Faith is not a leap into darkness and unreason in spite of cold hard facts. Faith is the honest and reasonable step in the direction of the person who can help you, given all the facts. David Powlison, Good and Angry
What does faithfulness to God look like in the midst of your disappointments? We are continuing our exploration of five questions that all of us can ask to better draw near to God in faith amid life’s hardships and struggles. Today, we will look more closely at the first question: What are you facing today?
I want to highlight three significant words in this question:
Faithfulness starts with a clear, honest assessment of what is going on in your life. Disappointment invades our lives in many ways: a missed promotion, biting correction from a co-worker, a failed test at school, a debilitating illness, a speeding ticket, a negative pregnancy test…again, another lonely year single, another lonely year married, a struggle with sin that won’t seem to die.
What would you add to the list? What are your particular disappointments right now…today?
The Psalms are filled with many good examples of God’s people clearly telling their griefs to the Lord. But, let’s look at an example from Paul as he highlights a specific time of trouble: “For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.” Paul experienced God’s comfort in the midst of particular affliction. (2 Cor 7:5-7)
Take a moment before moving on to consider your own disappointments. How, like Paul, would you describe them? Find a Psalm or other scripture to help give a clear voice to your disappointments and take some time to write them out.
God is personal. He does not work in the abstract; rather he brings his tailored mercies to bear on your particular realities. He is not distant nor detached. Instead, he intentionally enters into your trouble to bring help, aid, rescue, and redemption to you. Consider a few Scriptural examples, paying close attention to the pronouns used:
- Psa. 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise brings me life
- Psa. 94: When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul
- 1 Pet. 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
What Psalm or scripture did you find when considering your own disappointments? How does it speak to God’s tender mercy in his care for you as he walks with you through your disappointments? Take a moment to add that to your list.
Jesus clearly teaches us that sufficient for each day is its own trouble (Matt. 7:34). Yet, praise God, He promises to bring fresh mercies with each new morning (Lam. 3:23)! He gave manna from heaven for each day (except the day before the Sabbath). Our disappointments and other troubles can hijack our thinking, and endless thoughts about yesterday, tomorrow, or next year, or ten years from now consume us. But God invites you to bring today’s issues to him because he knows and loves you.
So, what disappointment are you facing today? Is your list pretty full like mine? Speak to the Lord, and share honestly about what you are facing, depending on his mercy to sustain you today.