Anyone who has lived for very long realizes that life is full of disappointments. Life just doesn’t always go the way we planned or hoped. Students aren’t accepted into the college of their first choice, marriages fail, people lose their jobs, children disappoint their parents, sickness keeps us from enjoying our later years, etc. Granted there are good aspects to life, but it seems that it is the disappointments that we tend to remember. The greater the disappointments the longer they linger in our memories.
With all of the controversy surrounding Harold Camping’s (Family Radio) prediction of the rapture on May 21, it’s easy to forget that he, and those who followed him, were sincere in their belief. Some have suggested that he was deceitful and manipulative. I don’t think so. I think that he sincerely believed, however misguided he was, that Christ was going to return. So far the only public reaction that he has given is to say that he is flabbergasted. I would be too if I thought that Christ was going to come back last Saturday. I think another good description would be disappointed. I can’t imagine anyone who followed Camping not being disappointed today. In fact it would be a disappointment far greater than anything else I can think of. What do you do when life hands you a disappointment? How do you respond?
The Apostle Peter, writing to Christians who had been scattered around the Roman Empire by intense persecution, reminded them that even though life had not gone their way, they still had something to hang onto.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now, you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9)
Peter reminds these believers that they had hope. They had an eternal inheritance. They had the knowledge that their salvation was secured by the will of God. And even though life was filled with disappointments they could rejoice that their faith in God’s mercy and goodness was more precious to God than gold. Beyond that, their faith, especially in the bad times, would ultimately result in praise, honor and glory to Christ.
That is what we have to hang onto as we face the disappointments of life. We have a living hope. We have an inheritance to look forward to. We have a salvation that can never be taken away from us. And in that hope, that inheritance and that security we can rejoice. Don’t lose faith. It is the faith in times of disappointments that is precious to God. It is the faith in times of disappointments that will bring praise, and honor, and glory to Him.
Stay in the Word