Dealing with Disappointments

News September 11, 2020

Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of a message, posted to YouTube on September 11, from president of the global Seventh-day Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson. Elder Wilson will release a new video each week. You can see past messages here.

Greetings, friends! I hope that you have had a blessed week, sensing the Lord’s presence with you as you have connected with Him day-by-day. As I am sure you know, the Christian walk is not always easy. While there are days when are hearts are full of joy, there are other times when life brings its challenges and we are not sure what to do. Disappointments come. Promises are broken. Unwise decisions made. Friends become enemies. Families break up. Churches split. Sometimes situations need to change but you feel powerless to make any difference.

Yet, there is good news! As followers of Christ, there is a lot we can do! Today, I would like to share with you seven action items that you and I can take to bring about significant change.

1. We can pray. In James 5:16 we read “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Prayer is so powerful that at one time it brought the angel Gabriel down from heaven to work with the Prince of Persia. And when he was unable to change the situation after masterfully working for three weeks, it brought Jesus, Himself to change the situation. You can read about it in the book of Daniel, chapter 10. If the Lord heard Daniel’s prayer, He will hear your prayer, too.

2. We can be faithful. That is so powerful, that it “subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” You can read more about it in Hebrews chapter 11, where you will find a “great cloud of witnesses.” Truly, no one has ever regretted being faithful to God, through the power of His grace!

3. We can do good. The Bible tells us very clearly in Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” In fact, the entire chapter of Romans 12 is filled with godly wisdom and counsel on how to deal with difficult circumstances. I strongly encourage you to read it today!

4. We can love. In 2 Timothy 1:7 we read, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Notice the wonderful promise here—God Himself gives us love, and power, and a sound mind!

“Love is power,” writes Ellen White in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2. “Intellectual and moral strength are involved in this principle, and cannot be separated from it. The power of wealth has a tendency to corrupt and destroy; the power of force is strong to do hurt; but the excellence and value of pure love consist in its efficiency to do good, and to do nothing else than good. Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful” (p. 135).

5. We can study the Bible, accepting it as the true Word of God. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” we read in Psalm 119:105. Inspiration tells us, “If we would not build our hopes of heaven upon a false foundation, we must accept the Bible as it reads and believe that the Lord means what He says” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 171).

6. We can uplift Jesus. First Corinthians 1:18 tells us, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Let’s look for ways every day to uplift Jesus in our own lives, and to others.

7. We can wait on the Lord. The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 27, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (verses 13, 14).

So, dear friends, when we are connected to Jesus, we are never truly helpless, and no circumstance is truly hopeless. We can always pray. We can be faithful through God’s grace. We can do good. We can love. We can study the Bible, and uplift Jesus. And, we can wait on the Lord.

Let me pray with you right now:

Father in Heaven, we thank you that we have the Word of God. That we have promises that help us to be lifted to the throne room of heaven. We thank you that we can pray, that we can encourage others and admonish them in the word of the Lord. We thank you that we can bring hope to people through our actions, that we can be kind and faithful in all that we do. Now, Lord, there may be someone watching right now, listening, who was full of discouragement and hurt. Bring them into your presence and encourage them and help each one of us to know how to meet difficult circumstances and maintain our faith in you.

Thank you for hearing us in Jesus’ name we ask it. Amen.