When was the last time your expectations were shattered?
We all have expectations of how our lives should go. We prepare. We make sacrifices. We move forward with our plans. But even our best intentions can end with our world turned upside.
Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see Me, but a little while after that you will see Me again. I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to Me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.” – John 16:19-20
In John 16:19-20, Jesus is explaining to the apostles what is about to happen to Him. He will be arrested, wrongfully tried, brutally beaten, mocked and humiliated, then die on the Cross. However, in three short days, He shall be resurrected as the Savior of the world.
Jesus has prepared the apostles for what is ahead. He has told them all of the facts. He has given them specific timelines. Jesus has made the promise that they will see Him again.
However, the apostles just didn’t get it. They heard Jesus, but they didn’t yet comprehend and grasp the fullness of His gruesome death and glorious resurrection.
When everything that Jesus predicted actually happened, they were devastated. They thought Jesus’ death on the Cross was the end. But it was just the beginning.
Believers now face the same challenges that the apostles faced. Will we wholeheartedly trust the promises of God that we have heard, read, and studied about when we are faced with devastating circumstances?
When our world is turned upside down and our expectations are shattered, we may struggle to recreate life as it once was – to put the broken pieces back together. Only Jesus knows how to gather up the broken fragments and pieces of our lives and create something beautiful and new. Our grief is never the end. So much of the Bible teaches us that sorrow and grief can (and will often) coexist with hope and faith. Sorrow is a part of our world, but so is hope. We can allow room in our lives for both.
“It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed. I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.” – Philippians 1:20
Our expectations for our life can be very limited and short-sighted compared to God. This life here on earth is only the first tiny step of our eternity with the Lord. Our numbered days here on earth can’t even begin to compare to the hundreds of thousands of years we will spend with the Lord.
Believers’ lives are not limited to this world. We are linked to eternity. When our expectations remain linked to the promises of God, our sorrow, our grief, and our disappointment are never permanent.
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:2-4
We will have great sorrow, but an even greater promise of God’s presence, comfort, and compassion.
We will experience great sadness, but an even greater promise of God’s boundless joy.
We will experience discouragement and disappointment about the world around us, but also the shatterproof promise of God’s victory from Jesus overcoming the world.
God has prepared His children for what is ahead. He has given us all of the facts in His Word. He has made the ultimate promise that we will dwell with Him forever.
In the midst of our grief, our heartache, and our disappointment, we can patiently expect God to bear our burdens, carry our pain, and bind our wounds. But we can also confidently and boldly expect His promised joy. God cannot and will not fail us.
How can we pray for you as you face shattered expectations?
Peace and grace to you,
Terria serves on the LGG encourager and social media teams. She lives in Virginia with her husband. Her passion is igniting and empowering women to grab hold of God’s truth and cling to it. She is always hard at work in military hospitals listening to patients’ stories, while sharing the love that God has poured out in her life. Despite the sometimes chaotic circumstances of Terria’s life, God always shows Himself strong and loving.
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