“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
John 14:1 ESV
John 14:1 ESV
One way in which we can deal with disappointment is to remind ourselves that it’s not the end of the world – it really isn’t! Yes, maybe you expected things to go a certain way and they didn’t, or you were promised something which was never delivered, or you were hoping for something which didn’t materialize – it doesn’t matter how bad it is, it really isn’t the end of the world. Jesus knew that His disciples were about to go through a massive crisis; they were about to see their hope crucified. They most certainly would have experienced some grief and disappointment. Jesus knew what was coming and so He prepared them for it by teaching them.
Firstly, Jesus says “don’t allow your hearts to be troubled.” That’s powerful! You have the power to allow your heart to be troubled or not – it’s in your control. You choose to worry, or not to worry. Then Jesus says to have faith. Faith comes through the Word (Romans 10:17); through knowing what Jesus has done for you and focusing on it (Hebrews 12:2). You can’t overcome a crisis without being strong in faith. Then Jesus moves on to talk about eternity. He starts moving their attention onto heaven where they will be one day, forever. Basically He starts telling them that even if your world falls apart, in light of eternity, it will all work out and we (as believers) ultimately win. If you have that mentality (that it’s not the end of the world) then it disarms the enemy’s attack against you because he can’t get you into panic or fear. In Christ there is only ever perfect peace (John 16:33) but it doesn’t fall on us by accident; we have to receive it and co-operate with God to experience it (Isaiah 26:3-4). A great way to respond to upsets and disappointments is to adopt an attitude of trust – trust that God will work things out for your good.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 KJV
Romans 8:28 KJV
Many people are wrongly optimistic and think that “everything will just work out.” But unfortunately, for many people, things don’t always work. Sometimes things just get worse. Romans 8:28 has a few conditions to it. The verse before it reveals that we should be praying in the Spirit to co-operate with God in the situation which needs to turn around and work out for good. The power of the Holy Spirit is unleashed in a situation when we pray in the Spirit. Then, God works things together for the good of those who love Him – not everyone loves God. Also, the promise in this verse only works for those who are called according to His purposes.
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
1 John 3:8 KJV
1 John 3:8 KJV
It’s important to note that this verse isn’t saying that “all things” are from God, but that God works all things together for our good. Many people wrongly see the crisis as sent by God with some divine purpose, but not all things are from God. James 4:7 says that we should submit to God, but we must resist the devil if we want the devil to flee. If we’re accepting negative things in our lives as if they are from God, it will lead to passivity. It’s not resisting the devil. The attacks of the devil must be resisted. Jesus’ purpose was to destroy the works of the devil. If we are not resisting the attacks of the enemy in our lives then we are not operating in the same calling as Jesus. To be “called according to His purposes” means that we operate like He operates.
We have a great promise from the Word that things can work out together for our good. When things go wrong we should take a stand and be expectant of things to turn around and work out for us. But things only work together for our good if we’re praying in the Spirit, if we love God and if we’re operating in the purposes of Jesus, which is to destroy whatever the devil is up to.