Why am I not getting what I deserve?
A phone call, a note from the teacher, and a promotion notification list can all lead to celebration or crushing disappointment. Celebration is often short-lived, but disappointment hangs around like an unwanted guest, it just won’t go away. Even with a recent promotion, the disappointment of previous attempts is in the back of our minds. Some say Christians should not be disappointed and the Bible seems to back this up. (Romans 5:5) says we have a “hope that does not disappoint,” and (Romans 10:11) says “whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Is there something wrong if we find ourselves disappointed?
Jesus felt disappointed. That may come as a shock to you, but it is true. On the cross He cried out with disappointment when he said, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus is quoting from (Psalm 22), written by David a thousand years before Jesus’ appearance. In that Psalm, David (and Jesus) claim that others trust in God and they’re not disappointed. Why then are we despised, mocked, plagued by ever-present troubles, and are receiving no discernible help. They as we sometimes do, feel as weak as candle wax and are melting under the heat.
But… the Psalm also shows faith out-flanking these feelings. They know the Father does not hate them simply because they are tormented and believe they can have peace during their misery and misfortune. They know the Father is present even in the worst circumstances.
What then do we do with disappointment? We first must do a recon mission in our hearts. Like any good recon team member, we must take the time to study, analyze, and report what we see taking place deep in our hearts and minds with other Christians fighting the battle. This discussion should concentrate on determining and naming the things we want versus what we need. For instance, we may want lives free of pain and success as a natural result of our hard work. Or we want acceptance and respect in all our relationships, unfortunately, these wants have a tendency to mutate into deserves. So instead of wanting a pain-free life, we convince ourselves we deserve that kind of life. And instead of wanting good relationships, we believe we deserve them without putting forth too much effort. Unfulfilled wants and deserves will eventually lead to disappointment.
A systematic attack must follow solid recon. Paul tells us that “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” and “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). We fight our wrongful thoughts of deserves by obeying Christ’s Words. When I believe I deserve acceptance and respect from others, God’s Word leads me to be satisfied with His love and acceptance of us. When we think we deserve to be recognized for our hard work, we fight it with the fact that we already have honor because we are made in God’s image.
There will be times when we will experience the joy of promotions, success at work, and solid relationships, but there will also be times when all these things seem to be absent. There will also come a time when the Heavenly Commander will declare victory over all things, including disappointments. So, look forward to that day when all will be made right and there will be no pain, tears, or even death (Revelation 21:4).
Until then continue the recon and persist in fighting the good fight!