So often, you and I are disappointed when we expect God to do something specific in our lives, and it doesn’t happen. We find ourselves losing hope and we feel a sense of despair. The danger in feeling this way is that we risk missing what God is already doing in our lives! How can we find hope when our expectations aren’t being met? How do we deal with the disappointment and still maintain hope? Just three ideas I’d like to share with you on this topic.
#1 WHEN GOD HAS OTHER PLANS
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is a great illustration of people having expectations, only to find God has other plans. Everyone believed that Jesus would raise an army, overthrow the government and re-establish the kingdom of Israel. This expectation was held not only by the disciples, but also the Romans and the religious leaders. Everyone involved was expecting God to do something that he wasn’t going to do. Jesus came riding into Jerusalem to confront the people, not with power but with truth, the foundation of hope.
The disciples had to discover what it meant to give up expectations. It would have been easy for them to feel disappointed, bitter and angry that things didn’t turn out as they expected. They would have to let go of their expectations in order to see how God was working in their lives, giving them hope. How often we expect God to do something that he doesn’t do and if we’re not careful we can miss what he is in the midst of doing in our lives.
#2 LETTING GO OF DISAPPOINTMENT
When Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on that donkey he came to confront the people, not with force, but with love; God’s love. His message was the same for the Romans, the religious leaders and the poor, to tell them that they were all God’s children and to ask them to treat one another with a sense of respect and dignity, to love one another.
When the disciples began to look at life through the cross and in the light of eternity, they began to let go of the idea that things would never happen the way they had imagined. They began to view others and the world around them with a whole new set of eyes. Seeing what God was doing in their lives began to set them free, to give them hope.
As we approach Palm Sunday, we are reminded that Jesus rode into Jerusalem bringing forgiveness. We know Jesus forgives our sins, but he also asks us to forgive one another. He comes to confront our hearts so that we might forgive one another. Once you know what it means to be forgiven, you start to see people with different eyes. Christ comes to remind us that God is still at work in our lives, giving us hope; even when it’s different from what we expected or wanted.