Disappointment

disappointment
Matthew 6:1 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
I would love to say that I have not posted lately simply because I have been too busy, but that would only be half truth.  True bloggers could call me out really quickly because a true blogger is never too busy to write.  If you are a Christian blogger you know that you can not wait to write what the Holy Spirit moves you to put into words.  Even the most mature Christian has times that they choose not do what we know we should do.   One of the reasons I have not written lately is because I made sure that I was too busy to write.  Ok, stay with me for a minute.  I am passionate about writing but caused myself to be too busy to write because of disappointment.
Websters Dictionary describes disappointment as the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations. Disappointment is something we all experience and certainly can not avoid in our life time. It also comes in all shapes and sizes, not a one size fits all. It can be a passing emotion over a temporary loss, or it may strike powerfully when something permanently changes our lives.
There were many strong men of God who experienced disappointment and acted on their disappointment too.  Maybe not in the exact way that I did.  By looking at these great men I realized a couple of things: 1) Being disappointed is a natural emotion.  2) It does not mean you are weak or a failure if you find yourself disappointed and 3) Usually we are are disappointed in people or circumstances because we believe they caused us to miss out on our hopes or expectations.
Disappointment is the first seed of doubt that intrudes on our faith. Disappointment sounds so harmless, but it’s the tip of a wedge that will stop our spiritual growth and make us bitter and defeated. You prayed about it, meditated on scriptures, sought Godly counsel, and things still didn’t work out for you. You wonder what happened to “ask and you shall receive.” Think of disappointment as a test permitted by God to see if you’ll continue trusting Him, obeying Him, and believing that He is good. That brings us back to those two sources of most disappointment: people and circumstances.
When we place our expectations on people, we are usually disappointed. God made us with a vacant space in our innermost being that only He can fill. So He will always let us experience disappointment with people so that we are driven to find fulfillment in Him.
If our joy depends on circumstances, we are in trouble, because circumstances are always changing. There are too many variables for them to remain the same.
The next time you experience disappointment ,and you will, here are three healthy ways to deal with it.  1) Mourn then release it to God. t might take time, but you must make a decision to move past the disappointment. Don’t run from it—face it and release it. 2) Evaluate and adjust your expectations. It’s natural and normal to want things and to want to excel, but issues arise when we begin to believe our happiness is based on achieving that goal or being with that person. 3) Move it, Move it, Move it.  Disappointment can be a time of renewed resourcefulness. Try something else, go in a different direction or maybe approach things a new way. If one dream dies, pick up another one and keep moving forward in life.
When you have nothing left but God, you realize He is enough. Your questions will not all be answered. Your circumstances may not be improved. The person you set your heart on may not live up to your expectations, but God is the strength of your heart and your portion forever.  If you are in a season of disappointment, I am praying for you today.  Just know that you are not alone and you are not the only who has been where you are right now.

Loving Difficult People

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Matthew 5:46 ESV For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Luke 6:32 ESV “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
A difficult person may be one who is condescending, argumentative, belligerent, selfish, flippant, obtuse, or simply rude. Difficult people seem to know just how to “push one’s buttons” and stir up trouble. Dealing with difficult people becomes an exercise in patience, love, and grace.
I think we all have or are currently dealing with a difficult person. It can be frustrating, annoying and down right hard to be a Christian in the face of this adversity. Jesus never displayed an attitude of harsh superiority or dismissive pride; rather, He showed authority under control. So we should strive to follow His example.
Here are a few suggestions on ways to deal with a difficult person:
1) It is important to determine if you are dealing with a Christian or a lost person. If they are lost they will not understand the word of God, which is our instruction book on life. John 8:47 (GW) says The person who belongs to God understands what God says. You don’t understand because you don’t belong to God.” (We are going to assume for this post that they are Christians)
2) Sometimes, the answer is to be silent. Don’t respond. Ignore them. Their intent may be to push you over the edge to get you to behave in a way that is not appropriate. They may then use your bad behavior against you. So you may need to zip it! Proverbs 12:16 The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.
3) Sometimes you need to confront the issue with them with love and grace. Matthew 18:15 ESV “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
4) Don’t argue with them. A difficult person is really not looking for a resolution to their problems. They are looking for a quarrel. Proverbs 20:3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling. Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
5) If you know in advance that you are going to have to deal with this person, ask for the Holy Spirit to intervene. John 16:13 (GW)When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into the full truth. He won’t speak on his own. He will speak what he hears and will tell you about things to come.
6) Ask questions rather than make statements. We rarely make it a point to ask other people questions. In using questions frequently, I think Jesus is modeling the behavior of a good communicator, one who cares about the other person enough to engage with them and challenge them. Even, and perhaps especially, when they are being difficult.
7) Pray for them and love them not their sin. God will be honored and our hearts will find deeper satisfaction as we seek to love people just as Christ loved us when we were his enemies. Matthew 5:44 ESV But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
8) Pray for your own heart. 2 Corinthians 13:5a Examine yourselves
Difficult people have been around forever and will continue to be here as long as the world is standing. They’re everywhere: on the road, at work, in the grocery line, at church and even in our own family. Some people are truly damaged, and that damage often spills over and touches others. It may be that their wounds will not be healed in this lifetime, which means that we have to accept the reality and the limitations of who they are.