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Reimar A.C. Schultze

Past Issues of the Call To Obedience


by Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze

  Have you ever been disappointed? Have you ever disappointed someone? Are you disappointed now? Is it a sin to be disappointed? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, then know that there is no escape from disappointments in this life. Disappointments are as unavoidable as the air we breathe.

1. Disappointment was first experienced in heaven.

     God was disappointed when Lucifer the Archangel rose up against Him. He experienced disappointment when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and again in the days of Noah saying: And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart (Gen 6:6). After the flood, we hear God’s disappointment and broken heart in the days of Moses: O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Our God has a broken heart. We have disappointed Him over and over.

     The root meaning of the Hebrew word for disappointment (parar) is "to break up". When we are disappointed it means something has broken up for us - an expectation, a dream or a hope has been shattered. As long as we have expectations, we will have disappointments.

     Now as God the Father had many disappointments, so did His son Jesus. Let me list some of the disappointments He had while He was amongst us.

Jesus and the fig tree.  Jesus saw a fig tree full of leaves and expected fruit on it. When He found no figs on the tree, He was so disappointed that He cursed it (Matt. 21:19).

Jesus and the Temple . When Jesus came to the Temple He expected to find people in prayer but discovered that it had become a place of merchandise. He was so disappointed that He made a whip and drove out the money changers (Mark 21:12).

Jesus and His disciples. Jesus was greatly disappointed when His disciples could not cast out a demon. He chided them for their lack of faith (Matt. 17:14-20). He expressed disappointment with His disciples when they fell asleep on Him in the garden of Gethsemane saying: What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  (Matt. 26:40)

Jesus and the ten lepers. He healed ten lepers but only one returned to give thanks, causing Him to say: Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?  (Luke 17:17)

     Everyone of us is capable of disappointing Jesus anytime. Further, since Jesus could not live a life without disappointments, what makes you think that you will fare better? Not only was Jesus disappointed with people but....

2. People were disappointed with Jesus.

     More people have been and will be disappointed with Jesus in the future than with any man. Of course not rightfully disappointed, but disappointed nonetheless! All of the believers who have preached and done miracles in Jesus’ name and have called Him Lord, have expectations to go to heaven. But many of them will be disappointed when they hear Jesus saying to them on Judgment Day: Depart from me ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 13:25). Many are disappointed with Jesus today because He did not heal them, He did not spare them from hardships nor provide them with employment.

     Here are some Scriptures to show you how Jesus disappointed many people in His day:

A.  The Pharisees, scribes and teachers of the law were disappointed with Him because they thought Jesus did not keep the Sabbath holy. He healed and ground wheat on Sabbaths, which they considered work. They were disappointed that He did not follow traditions such as washing cups and pans, that He did not answer their questions to their satisfaction, and that He said that the publicans and harlots would enter the kingdom of God before them (Matt. 9: 10-12;12:1-3, 10-12; 15:2; Matt. 21:31).

 B.  The Samaritans were disappointed with Jesus. When He passed through their country they expected Him to heal their sick and cast out devils. But He did not meet these expectations. They were deeply disappointed. They did not realize that Jesus’ agenda was to go straight to Jerusalem to be crucified for their sins, not to work miracles that day. The notion that Jesus helped and healed everyone, to meet their desires, is false (Luke 9:52-53).

C.  The Nazarenes were disappointed with Jesus. They were so disappointed and enraged by Him that they planned to cast Him down a cliff to kill Him (Luke 4:28-29).

D. Almost all Jews were disappointed with Jesus when He talked about the family: For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law  (Matt. 10:35). And a man's foes shall be they of his own household (Matt. 10:34 -36; Luke 14:26). Church meetings were more important to Him than family events. At one time Jesus’ family wanted to pull Him out of a meeting, but Jesus said "no thank you,” For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother (Mark 3:35).

     Jesus disappointed people by His uncompromising standards and high demands, not even allowing a man to say goodbye to his family or to bury his father before following Him (Luke 9:59-62). They wanted a king in royal robes who would deliver them from the Romans. They were deeply disappointed when instead He ended up as a common criminal, shamefully hanging on a cross. Their response was: away with Him.

     Many churchgoers believe that Christ-likeness means not disappointing people. It is the opposite. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets (Luke 6:26).

     The closer you walk with your Savior the more you will be like Him. The servant is not above his master (Matt. 10:24). The way they treated Jesus is the way they will treat His followers. The more you are like Him, the more people will be disappointed in you (John 7:7; 15:8; 1 John 3:13). The belief that not disappointing people is Christ-like is one of the biggest lies of the devil. Millions of people wear themselves out trying not to disappoint anybody without realizing that they may be disappointing their Savior by doing so. We are not called to follow man's agenda but God's agenda. Friend, the only ones who will not be disappointed in Jesus are those who are entirely sanctified. It is those who trust Him completely who know that Jesus does all things well. All others will find fault with Him.

3. There is no sin in being disappointed.

     But there is sin in storing disappointments. As soon as you experience disappointment you are to cast it away. Just like manna, if you hold on to it, it will breed worms such as: resentment, anger, self-pity, bitterness, a spirit of retaliation, criticism, breaking fellowship, depression, an uncooperative spirit, division, withdrawal etc. To live with disappointments is like trying to drive a car with the brakes on, like trying to fly an airplane with a wing missing: you will never get anywhere. You have to learn to let go of disappointments immediately and go at once into rejoicing evermore, to be an overcomer. Most all people who have psychological and spiritual problems are where they are because they have not surrendered their disappointments. A proof that you have forgotten your disappointments is that you stop thinking and talking about them.

      In addition to harbored disappointments breeding worms, they attract a bug called the "therefore bug." The therefore bug has many subspecies: because you disappointed me, therefore I will end my connection with you, therefore I shall not send you a Christmas cards, therefore I will not answer your phone calls anymore, therefore I will not have you in my home again, therefore I will avoid you at church or therefore I will cut back on my church giving etc. Most disappointments carried overnight will give birth to this spirit of retaliation.

     Spiritual maturity comes when we no longer let disappointments arising out of our infirmities or lack of spirituality or that of others come between us, when we no longer define our relationships with each other on the basis of “whether I attended your wedding or you remembered my birthday.” It comes when we realize that our relationship to each other must be based on the blood of Jesus, out of who we are and whose we are in Christ Jesus. Disappointments are not sin, but they lead to sinful attitudes if not cast into the sands of forgetfulness the moment they are received. They always clamor for our attention causing us take our eyes off Jesus and putting us into a downward spiral to be buried in a grave of self-pity.