Have you ever heard the phrase expectations are planned disappointments? So often we place unspoken or unrealistic expectations on others or ourselves then we are disappointed when those expectations are not met. We sit and sulk over the hurt. We complain for the lack of enthusiasm or participation from others. Sometimes the disappointment can be so great that we throw in the towel and never accomplish something that God may have called us to.
In our mid-week bible study at church we are studying the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50).
Joseph had a specific calling on his life, but he had to endure many disappointments along the way. As I study his life I see a man who on many occasions could have thrown in the towel, given up on God’s calling, and could have become very bitter over the circumstances of his life. His brothers hated him (Genesis 37:4).They wanted to kill him (Genesis 37:18). They spared his life but sold him into slavery (Genesis 37:21-27). Needless to say, his family was not very understanding or supportive of God’s call on his life (Genesis 37:10-11). He was set up, falsely accused and thrown in prison (Genesis 39). With hope of being released he ended up being forgotten (Genesis 40:23).
I would suppose that Joseph had many expectations. He was given dreams from God that in light of his circumstances would seem as though they would never come to fruition. He shared these dreams with his family probably with the expectation of support and encouragement only to be rejected. He served faithfully Pharaoh and his household only to be falsely accused and thrown in jail. Joseph suffered many disappointments in his journey of God’s calling.
It was in the pit and the prison that Joseph found strength to rely on God and remain faithful. Ultimately God placed Joseph exactly where He wanted him to be and through his faithfulness to God that calling was fulfilled.
Our pits and prisons can cause us to question if what we are doing is really what God called us to do. We can become weary in doing the everyday tasks that seem to bear no fruit. We can become distracted with daily living that we neglect the calling. We can begin to doubt when affirmation does not come our way. We are disappointed and may feel rejected when our expectation are not met.
I am made aware of Joseph’s great dependency on God. He never took his eyes off God. He never sulked in the literal pit and prison he was in. He always knew God had a plan. That dependence on God allowed him to endure the disappointments in life in order to fulfill the calling on his life.
Who or what are you depending on today? Do you believe God has a plan for your life? He does (Jeremiah 29:11)! Do you believe God is faithful to fulfill that plan (Philippians 1:6); even if there are many disappointments along the way?
When God calls us to something the road is never easy. There will be many ups and downs along the way. We will feel completely at peace in our calling one day and doubt every part of it the next. If God has called you to something do not be afraid to follow His leading. He will never leave you, never forsake you. He always has your best interest in mind. The blessing of being faithful to God far outweighs the disappointments we may face along the way.
Disappointment does not have to be discouragement. Allow God to teach you, strengthen you and prepare you for what is ahead. Don’t give up on the dream that God has placed within you. Remain faithful to God for He is faithful to you.
Lord, thank you for having a perfect plan for my life. Thank you for calling me to be part of your Kingdoms work. When my expectations are not met, help me to remember that the only expectation I should have is that You are faithful. May I not dwell on the disappointments of this life, but rather take refuge in You for the strength I need to persevere in Your call on my life.