Question and answer: “I have had many disappointments as a disciple, is this normal?

We will all have many disappointments; we may get let down or feel that we have been used. These disappointments should not hinder us, but strengthen us, and they can be used as stepping-stones for our growth as we move into the future.

We have to understand that God is sovereign, which means that He is in control, Hebrews 13:5b-6. We can dwell on past failures and disappointments, Luke 9:62, or we can learn lessons from them and then move on, Isaiah 42:9.

Romans 8:28 ‘All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose’

Jesus said, ‘If you love me, you will obey me’ John 14:15, 21. In fact, Romans 8:28 teaches us that all things work together for good to those who obey God. How can we enter into God’s goodness, if we refuse to walk where He is calling us?

Wisdom: Don’t live in denial; accept what has happened. Fear would have you dwell on past failures, so as to paralyse you, Proverbs 24:16. You must learn from it and understand that nothing that you do or say can alter what has happened. See it as water under the bridge Hebrews 12:2-3.

Life is best lived looking forwards, but best understood looking back. The Apostle Paul (formerly known as Saul) persecuted Christians, even to death, Acts 7:58, 8:1-3, but then he met Jesus and became a mighty man of God, Acts 9:1-22. Peter, one of the inner circle of the twelve disciples, denied that he even knew Jesus, Matthew 26:69-74, Luke 22:54-62. All of the disciples fled when Jesus was arrested, Matthew 26:56. Peter lost his right as a disciple, Mark 16:7, and was so discouraged that he went back to his old occupation as a fisherman, John 21:3. Jesus reinstated Peter, John 21:15-17, and he then became a great leader of the early church, Acts 2:14-41.

Fact: You cannot change your past but you can learn lessons from it.

Many disciples have burned their bridges of comfort or security; - there is no turning back, they can only move forward with Jesus. When God calls and commissions you He will give you the grace and strength to succeed in His good pleasing and perfect will. Many have acted in faith and obedience to the call of God, but sometimes still seemingly fail or are let down through no fault of their own. This could be a ‘first-fruit’ to the Lord. The call, ministry etc has to die before it can be resurrected for God’s glory alone, Exodus 23:19a, John 12:24.

Think: Am I prepared to leave the past and to move into the future?

More Info: Numbers 23:19, Hosea 8:7, Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 28:20, Romans 8:31-39, 15:3-5, 1 Corinthians 10:11, 15:36, Galatians 6:7, Phil. 1:6, 2:12-13, 3:8-16, Heb. 12:11.

Visit the interactive version of this course online. www.byfaith.co.uk © 2003 ByFaith Media.