Experiencing Disappointment 10-18-23
● One of the great questions we have to answer as Christians and as followers of Christ is how do you handle disappointment well?
● It comes to all of us. Pain and suffering come to knock on all our doors. No one is immune. How do we handle it when our life is not going the way we wanted it to. When it’s not trending up and to the right. When it’s not instagrammable in any way whatsoever.
● At some point something will go wrong and how you handle it is paramount to our walk with God.
● Some of us default into a sort of pseudo stoicism that just says whatever is going to happen is going to happen and I’m ok. But being ok is not an adequate foundation for life.
● In Christian circles, particularly among Charismatics (which we are proudly apart of), we tend to teach kind of a prosperity gospel of “the best is yet to come” or a weird sort of theological determinism as if all pain and suffering is some sort of divine blueprint to make you better.
● Sometimes in an attempt to alleviate the pain we lose sight of the fact the our Lord’s life didn't end in glory but in shame, on the cross.
● How do we deal with disappointment and not only that but emotional pain in general?
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
● Gethsemane - a garden at the western foot of Mount of Olives. The word literally means “olive press.” It was a tool that would press an olive to release its oil for others to use. a fitting word picture for a place where Jesus is coming to prepare Himself to be crushed for the benefit of others.
● It’s a place of pain.
● It’s raw and intense.
● He says to His friends: I need you here with me.
● Cup is a first century idiom for your allotment of pain and suffering in life.
● He is referring to the Cross, saying “If there is any other way God.”
● The second prayer is similar but more open to what God has.
● Let down by His closest friends
● There is so much we can learn from Jesus about our own “Gethsemane moments.”
● Before we look at Jesus’ response, there are 4 other responses to look at.
1. Peter’s Response
2. Judas’ Response
3. Thomas’ Response
4. The way of the 12
The Way of Jesus
● “Watch and pray so that you might not enter into temptation.”
■ Watchfulness or wakefulness is an ancient christian discipline practiced by followers of Christ for the past 2 millennia.
■ “Be the door keeper of your heart, and do not let any thought come in without questioning it. Question each thought individually are you on our side or the side of our foes.” Evagrius Ponticus
■ It’s the idea that we guard our hearts for from it comes the well springs of life.
■ Theres something about going through difficulty that opens us up to believe lies.
●Lies about God
●Lies about ourselves
●Lies about others
■ The devil is the father of lies - we’ve got to be on guard against lies, belt of truth.
■ He gives God His feelings.
■ Many Christians find prayer boring because we aren't actually praying. We talk at God. We talk to God. But we don’t talk with God.
■ Look at the Psalms! The psalmist was brutally honest with God.
■ Prayer isn’t a place to be good; it’s a place to be honest.
■ Prayer is a safe place to bring all that we are before all that God is.
■ He gives God His desires.
●“Let this cup pass from me”
● This could revolutionize the way we pray.
■ He gives God His trust.
●“Not as I will but as you will.”
●Jesus’ deepest desire was to do God’s will.
●It is same with those of us who are filled with the spirit of God
Christian Life Lessons
● If we do this we will get to a place where we can let go of control and let God have His way.
● Whenever you are feeling disappointed, or your life isn’t trending the way you wanted, I want you to do what Jesus modeled for us.
■Lord here are my feelings, Lord here are my desires, and finally Lord here is my trust. I trust you God with this and will allow your deepening work in me.