This weekend @ The Gathering we’ll be continuing our present series, “They Promised Me Chocolate.”
We’re talking about the 10 greatest disappointments I’ve ever faced, and this week we really get down to the heart of the matter.
Disappointment ultimately comes down to your relationship with God. Think about it. God can make everything go right: all your days be perfect, all your teeth be brilliantly white, all your relationships be successful, and your bank account always going up and to the right.
Everything that gets to you first goes through Him. Think of that. Nothing, no matter how bad and severe it may seem to you at the moment, gets to you at least without God’s permission. So the question is, “Is God good or not good?” And if He is good and great, how can He allow things to happen that He had promised He never would? Enter the problem.
Most people you know have a bad relationship with God based on really bad information. I call it the over-hyping and the over-selling of God: talking heads trying to make God look better and sound better than they think He really is, making promises God never made to people in order to get them to give more money, attend their church or make a public confession of Jesus as their Savior. In an effort to get people saved, we’ve told them things about God that He never promised. God never promised that if you loved Him, life would be easy. He never promised that if you would give money He would multiply it back to you and you’d be rich, or at least have all the money you ever wanted in order to buy all the things you thought you ever needed to make you happy.
God never promised that you wouldn’t get hurt, that you wouldn’t feel lonely, that you wouldn’t be betrayed. He never promised that you wouldn’t get sick, your children wouldn’t die before you, or that you wouldn’t get cancer. God never promised to give you a pass or to make your life easier if you accepted Him as your Savior.
So the question is, what did God say? And how do we reconcile our disappointments so we get the true promises God has made and understand that He can be trusted? Understand that the only thing He demands from us is our trust; not our moral perfection, not our promises to do better, not our efforts to save the world, not our attempts to fix our family, but a trust that He will always do the loving and gracious thing no matter what the circumstances.
If you know someone who is wanting to come back to their faith, maybe they are mad at God, or maybe feeling the need for God for the first time in a long time, in this world of uncertainty, this weekend would be a great weekend to come. We’ll find out the five best things God did say and build our lives around that.
Remember, disappointment is God’s way of getting us to love Him against our will. You can collect disappointments or push past them to delight. Few people do. But those who do know that it makes all the difference.