Let’s look at the following diagrams that the Lord revealed to me about this whole process. The Word of God says in Ps 23:3 – “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake”
The Hebrew word for “paths” also refers to circles – like life circles of a tree when cut down. Everything in life exists in systems and processes and we go through seasons/ cycles. Some are good and some are not so good. But all seasons make the tree stronger to survive. The problem on hand that we have to face and to address, is the fact that the Church of today is either busy with “condemnation preaching” or “preaching the “good news syndrome”. With the latter I am referring to the prosperity preaching of churches and pastors who only deal with the “good news” and promises. They preach and prophecy to their congregations that everything will just be fine when you believe and serve the Lord and provide promises from the Word as if it is a prophecy from God.
When we look at the first circle of life, everything looks fine and there is absolutely no problem on hand: (This is now based upon someone who became born again in Christ): Life seems to be a continuous circle of blessings and favor and relationship in Christ.
Is this real life or is it just a figment of our imagination of how it should be? BUT what happens in between when it seems everything is going wrong? What happens when it feels God has dumped you on another circle of life – a circle of pain and suffering. A circle of disappointment? Now this is exactly where the rubber hits the road.
Remember, disappointment comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. It also includes trauma such as an unfaithful spouse, divorce, sickness, even death of a loved one, and these days also crime related activities such as a high jacking or armed robbery. All such things could lead to us feeling disappointed in God and in our fellow man due to the specific situations on hand. There is a saying that there are only three things in this life that we can be sure of:
- Change – which of course brings good times but sometimes also disappointment.
- But I would also like to add another one: We can still be sure of our Lord and Savior for He cares for us!
Therefore we need to learn how to deal with disappointment in our lives. We have to do it ourselves through the lessons that we learn in the process. And believe me, God is the very Author of it all as He would like to see us come through this as a stronger and wiser child of Him and with more faith. We need to not only have faith in Him, but also to trust Him completely!
In this model with the second circle, we find what I call the “crossing factor”. There is a fine line between “blessing” and “loss”, between “joy” and “disappointment”. And we are being forced through our lives to cross over on the second circle for a purpose. We are sort of compelled to travel on a similar road as Job. Nobody would chose such a road of suffering, as the trauma and disappointment could be devastating. It feels like there is just no way out! When will it all stop now?
BUT – in the end your disappointments and trauma could become a testimony (like mine and my wife’s). Your testimony could reach someone else who also goes through the same or similar experiences as yourself, which will motivate them to keep on going and to keep the faith. Dr Bruce Wilkinson recently made the following statement in a seminar that I attended:
“Your giants are a gift from God. The bigger the giant, the bigger the miracle. The bigger the miracle, the bigger the glory to God.” Therefore, the giants, the trauma and the disappointments we face, all serve to be a platform for Glory to God and a testimony for us.
I also would like to tell you, that it is not so easy to just tell people “to get over their disappointments” – it is not so simple as just that. People who would say this have not yet experienced true disappointment or trauma in their lives.
How do I deal with disappointment then?
- Do I have specific steps that I can follow?
- What about all these emotions that overwhelm me?
- What can I ignore or reject?
Once again, lets look at Scripture:
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1Pe 1:6-9 )
This verse drives me up the walls when I read that we will be grieved by various trails to test the genuineness of our faith and to obtain the salvation of our souls, which should be the final and ultimate outcome of our faith. So, we have good news and some bad news:
- Even if you are a child of God, you cannot escape bad things happening to you;
- But the victory is on hand and God will never forsake you;
- YES – absolutely we pay some “school fees” in the learning process and sometimes we have to experience the same learning process more than once.
When you go through this negative loop, you will experience the same emotions of shock, denial and retreat, anger, disappointment before you will acknowledge the loss. It seems that there is just no other focus. Why do I feel so miserable? Why do I feel I want to ring someone’s neck – just to feel better? Will this ever stop or not? What must I do?
Believe me when you are in this situation you do not feel capable or even willing to pray. It feels as if your mind and thoughts are shut up and you cannot focus straight on anything positive. But the lesson is to learn that the emotions you are going through are normal. It is embedded in you to deal and to cope with the situation on hand. Unfortunately these emotions are negative and not based upon faith .
The main thing to remember is that you should not park on any of these negative emotions, as it could destroy you and your faith.
DO NOT PARK – or dawdle on any of these emotional stations such as shock, denial and retreat, anger, disappointment and even the acknowledgement of the loss – because the latter could result in a pity party. If you do not deal with the situation and the emotions in faith, you will then slide to the third circle in life – which I call “the Job experience” or “Satan’s territory” .
You will experience the same type of emotions and pity parties and accuse everybody around you of wrong doings, except than to look at your own. The danger of falling and staying on this circle of life, is that you could end up with extreme bitterness, lack of faith, hatred and even despair and depression, up to the point where you would even consider taking your own life. And that is exactly the place where Satan wants you to be in the process to fulfill his plan to destroy you (John 10:10), while God intends the process to be one of building you up in faith. On this circle, we have the same scenario as what we call “the groove and grave scenario”. You can quite easily get stuck in the same old rut – day in and day out. The only difference between the same old rut (groove) and a grave, is the depth of it.
So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. (MSG 1Pe 1:13 – 14)
When we look at the second circle again, which brought about the shake up and disappointment, then we see something else. When we look in faith and in the Word of God, then we see the purpose of God through this all. Therefore I call this circle the “Faith Experiences” . When you encounter personal experiences and profundities with God, it is like a spiritual marker in our lives. This is where:
- You learn the lessons to help others;
- The Lord lays a foundation of faith and trust to keep and support you;
- He builds character and integrity in you;
And this process is not something to fear, but to embrace because it is also here where you will grow spiritually far more than on the first normal circle of life. It is right here where God will reveal new revelations and teachings to you what nobody else have even heard of. If you want to know more about the Lord Jesus Christ and want more of His character, you will go through these type of learning experiences . It is God’s way of building His character and will in us.
Someone said the following:
“The depth and width of your faith experiences are directly proportional to your calling.”