Living the Resurrected Life. The Testimony Part 7 Overcoming Disappointment in the Testimony - David Mitts
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)
We have all experienced the disappointment of believing God for a certain good outcome and seeing that outcome fail or at the very least come to pass in a greatly reduced fashion. This causes many of us to question the reliability of God or our understanding of God and how He operates. We have prayed for a healing which we know is God’s will and it doesn’t happen. We have believed Him for a provision need and it doesn’t come to pass. We have implored Him for the salvation of a loved one and they seem just as unsaved as before we prayed. The list goes on and on, fill in your examples.
We want to believe, to trust again but inside us is a bit of despair, a voice which whispers to us, “why bother?”. We carry the burden of the disappointments which weighs us down and can affect what we believe for.
This chapter, I want to examine disappointment and hopefully empower us to transform it into a new hope, a new expectation of miracles.
First, let’s look at why we get disappointed in the first place. It may seem obvious you say. I had something I really wanted, and it didn’t happen. Isn’t it natural to be disappointed? Yes, it is natural but NOT supernatural. Let’s open the scriptures and see what they reveal:
Let’s begin with the story of the golden calf, Exodus 32. To recap before we look at it, God has supernaturally saved Israel from bondage to the world system in the Land of Egypt under the dominion of hard-hearted Pharoah. He has given them His Law and has met with them at Sinai. In Exodus 32, they lose hope and return to what they know and trust:
“Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people assembled around Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt—we do not know what happened to him.” Aaron said to them, “Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So, all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. Then he took the gold from their hands and fashioned it with an engraving tool and made it into a cast metal calf; and they said, “This is your god, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.” So, the next day they got up early and offered burnt offerings andbrought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink and got up to engage in lewd behavior.” (Exodus 32:1-6)
The golden calf was an idol to the god “El” in Egypt. It represents what happens when we abandon our trust in God and turn to the things we know how to control. This is explained in the book of Acts:
““At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands.” (Acts 7:41)
Rejoicing in the works of our hands is what happens when we lose trust in God. Moses had been gone from Israel’s sight for 40 days and the people turned to their own provision. What I want to emphasize is that losing trust will drive us to man-centered solutions. The challenge is that when we rely on man-centered solutions, we lose trust in the supernatural provision of God.
Let’s look at another story from the scriptures: John 5:5-9
“Now a man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. Jesus, upon seeing this man lying there and knowing that he had already been in that condition for a long time, *said to him, “Do you want to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus *said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was a Sabbath on that day.” (John 5:5-9)
In this case, we see a man who had been ill for 38 years. Clearly, he lost trust in God to heal him but relied on the superstition of the pool. Yeshua saw that not only was the man sick for a long time, but his faith had been reduced to gimmicks. Yeshua asked him the key question, “do you want to get well?” It is hard after we have waited and waited for the manifestation to even remember what the original desire of our heart was. The Lord had to return the man to his true desire which wasn’t to get into a pool but to be able to arise and walk.
Let’s look at another story from the scriptures: Mark 5:25-29
“A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but instead had become worse— after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she had been saying to herself, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.” (Mark 5:25-29)
This woman had used up all her natural resources trying to get healed from her bleeding disorder. This is not to criticize the use of medical resources. It’s just to point out that there are some things we need God to do. The woman had a conversation in her heart that told her that if she could touch the cloak Yeshua was wearing that she would get well. Sometimes in the pursuit of faith it is the unlikely thing that causes the miracle to come into our experience.
This woman had a new conversation in her heart that gave her hope. This is so important because it is only the conversation in our hearts that can truly come into alignment with the miraculous provision we seek.
In both cases much time had passed for the sufferer. Let’s try and tap into the place where His power can and will manifest in our lives. In the first case, the man had dropped his expectation to an almost mystical process. He had to get into the water, in his mind to get well. Yet what he truly needed was to look to Yeshua for his healing. In the second case, the woman was at the end of her rope, but she still had an expectation, it was unusual but still yielded the miracle she was so desperate for.
What can we learn about disappointment through these stories?
What is the source of disappointment? If we look at the word, we see that it includes the word appointment. In Hebrew the word appointment, is mo-ed, which as we shared before has to do with a door opening from the eternal realms. The expectation of the doors opening is where hope springs from. “Dis-appointment” tells us that what we hoped for didn’t arrive when we expected it to. If we are honest about it, disappointment not only reflects what didn’t happen as we expected it to, but also the loss or reducing of hope.
It is harder the next time, for most of us to believe again. This is where the sickness of heart comes in. The heart is encouraged by hope coming to pass and discouraged when hope is deferred or worse doesn’t happen at all.
This sickness in the heart is what we need a healing from. The Word tells us that Yeshua came for this very purpose.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalms 147:3)
“"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE HAS ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR; HE HAS SENT ME TO HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED, TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET AT LIBERTY THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED;” (Luke 4:18)
Losing our hope through disappointment is a self-protection mechanism. We don’t like the pain that we feel when what we have hoped for doesn’t come to pass, so we lower our expectations. This lowering of expectations is putting up boundaries that limits our internal hope meter. If we don’t swing for the fences, we reason, then we will strike out less.
We settle for smaller goals that we can accomplish with less risk, and less God.
The problem with the safety strategy is that we also harden our hearts. Our hardness of heart is the result of trying to avoid the disappointments. We may still go through the same motions but the expectations, the stuff of faith has been subtracted from the equation.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
What happens simultaneously with this is our perceptions change to match our expectations. Let me say that again, it is so important. Our perceptions are reduced to match our expectations. We literally see and hear differently because we don’t expect things to happen. This is the hidden power of disappointment, of a broken heart.Yeshua told His disciples that this was the reason He had to use parables, to guard people from their own burdens of disappointments.
“Therefore, I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'HEARING YOU WILL HEAR AND SHALL NOT UNDERSTAND AND SEEING YOU WILL SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEARTS OF THIS PEOPLE HAVE GROWN DULL. THEIR EARS ARE HARD OF HEARING, AND THEIR EYES THEY HAVE CLOSED, LEST THEY SHOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, LEST THEY SHOULD UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEARTS AND TURN, SO THAT I SHOULD HEAL THEM.' But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;” (Matthew 13:13-16)
The heart needs to understand to be healed from the pain of disappointment. The dullness of heart that Yeshua is describing is the diminishing of expectation. The key to restoration is to see with new eyes and hear with new ears. This is why the Apostle Paul prayed:
“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Ephesians 1:15-19)
You see our disappointments truly come from our knowledge or lack of knowledge of Him. It is truly an issue of the heart and how we see things. Let’s press in for a breakthrough in our understanding. To restore hope of His calling, we need a breakthrough in seeing.
Maybe it is time to let go of the pain by coming for a fresh revelation:
Activation: Ask the Lord to reveal to you what you have allowed into your heart as ungodly beliefs because things didn’t turn out the way you thought they should. If you want to see possibilities again, hear the words of His encouragement again, it is time to let your heart be healed.