Devotional

while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” – Titus 2:13-14.

Disappointment. It happens. Sometimes frequently. There doesn’t seem to be a way of eluding disappointment in life. And once disappointment has set in, we immediately look for a cure, a solution to end whatever is disappointing us. That tactic usually ends in more disappointment. Maybe you have been in that position, where you put your hope in someone or something that ultimately was disappointing.

You are not alone. Every day Christians put their hope in different things. It could be a person, or a church, or the pastor of the church. It could be a school, a new job opportunity, a promotion or even a bonus. It could be a vacation, a new relationship, a marriage, or new baby. It could be volunteering or serving. It may seem completely logical to put your hope in something: “When this diet works, I will have more energy for the other parts of my life.” Or “this church will move me closer to God.” But what happens when we put our hope in the wrong place?

Whenever you place your hope in something or someone, you are depending on that thing or person to provide you what you are missing; it could be a better life, a better attitude, a better day, a solution to a problem, encouragement, a way forward, or something similar. You place the weight of your life on this other person or thing. The goal is that (fill in the blank) will lift you out of your circumstances and put you in a better place. Often that simply resulted in new disappointment. Maybe even bigger disappointment. The place to put your hope is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only person that provides true hope of life change. The only one who can change your inner heart.

Dick Innes said, “No matter how disappointed you are feeling or how much you are hurting, know that every heartache and loss has within it the seeds of opportunity. Hidden within each disappointment is a peal of great price, that, when found, will totally dwarf your problem. The greatest success stories are written by people who, against seemingly overwhelming and often insurmountable odds, have accepted their trials and turned them into opportunities for personal growth and stepping stones on their pathway to success. With God’s help you can do the same. Trust him and choose friends who will empower you to do so.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your normal “first response” in times of trouble? What steps can you take to make turning to God your “immediate” response?
  2. Read Romans 5:1-5. What do these verses tell you about placing your hope?