1 Peter 1:3-12
Great Expectations = Great Disappointment. Many struggle with disappointment. I know I don’t like feeling disappointed. I imagine you don’t either. When you go through great disappointments in your life, it is understandable that you might take precautions to avoid any more at all costs. There is nothing like having hopes dashed against the rocks and plans fall apart. Disappointment really is another form of grief and it’s important to work through all of it in a healthy way.
I think the past couple of months during our COVID crisis, many of us have been working through various levels disappointment. Family and friends unable to connect with each other in person. Missed hugs that are often shared between grandparents and grandchildren. I think of the high school and college seniors who had big expectations this past spring feel the disappointment of the end of the school year fizzle out. Men and women who have been furloughed or unemployed have experienced interruptions of income and an uncertain future. Our essential workers who have needed to isolate themselves from their families to keep them from the virus. For those who are already struggling with personal disappointments, the COVID crisis/social distancing can feel like everything has compounded together.
In a broken world, we will never escape disappointment. Well placed and realistic expectations can even be derailed. One hope and expectation that will never fail or disappoint is Christ.
1 Peter 1:3-9 says: “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuinenessof your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.“
Peter makes some very encouraging points about our hope in Christ:
- Through Christ, we can receive healing and renewal
- Because of Christ, the promise of eternal life can never be taken away
- From Christ, we receive peace and joy in the storm
- In Christ, we find strength and victory over our trials
Make a list of things that have disappointed you. It may take you some time to create this list. Acknowledging our hurts is the first step towards dealing with disappointments. Pray over your list. Talk to God about how those disappointments have affected you. Use 1 Peter 1:3-9 to help you pray for: healing and renewal; peace and joy; strength and victory. Realize that placing your hope in Christ is an expectation that will never disappoint.