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Ep. 410 How Can I Know a Person, Place, or Thing Won’t Disappoint Me?

p. 411 How to Know a Person, Place, or Thing Won't Disappoint You

Shows Main Idea – Fear is our number one temptation. We are afraid of so many things, and making a mistake is probably at the top of most people’s “I don’t want this to happen” lists. How can you know with certainty that the person you meet, the place you go, or the thing you do are right and that the results will not disappoint you? Sadly, too many people have experienced hurt too many times, and they have relegated themselves to a lesser life to keep themselves from future disappointment.

Show Notes

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Sovereign-centered Suffering

What the too-often hurt person who resigns to the lesser life does not perceive is that they live one continuous disappointed life in place of those momentary disappointments that they are afraid will happen in the future. It’s like saying that I don’t want to experience hurt in a relationship; I will live an isolated life. I will accept the incarcerated life of isolation over the potential of momentary relational hurt.

  • Part of the problem is a lack of understanding of how suffering is part of our life (Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 2:21).
  • Part of the issue is a person who is more problem-centered than God-centered.

Thus, we’re back at our question: how can you vet something with 100% certainty that we won’t be disappointed. The answer is straightforward: you can’t. But the answer is more profound than that; it’s the wrong question. Common sense should already have answered that question for us; bad things happen to everyone. You cannot move through life in a disappointment-free way. We must think more deeply, with sovereignty in view.

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A Disappointing Example

My first pastor recommended that I go to a fundamentalist Bible college. Based on his recommendation, I attended this college and gained two degrees. Would I recommend this college to anyone? Absolutely not! But the more significant question is, what can I learn from a disappointing recommendation?

  1. I had trusted friends who loved me and wanted what was best for me.
  2. I was moving in a general direction based on what I knew.
  3. I was adding more clarity each step of the way—always reforming. I make my plans, and the good Lord adjusts my steps.
  4. A vital key is that God is the Author of my story, and I’m living it out by faith. I will trust the story the Lord is writing.
  5. I stepped out in faith because faith is optimistic and feisty, always realizing God is up to something.
  6. He may use suffering and disappointment to move His purposes along.
  7. I must continue to grow in Sovereign clarity; do not miss the lessons.
  8. I must resist letting bitterness, cynicism, anger, or grumbling entrap my mind.

Call to Action

  1. Have a person, place, or thing disappointed you? Are you stronger or weaker because of that disappointment? What does your answer reveal about your relationship with Christ?
  2. Are you always reforming, maturing, or steadily growing in your faith? Will you explain your answer to a friend?
  3. What does a “sound theology of suffering” mean, and how has God used pain in your life to bring about redemptive purposes?
  4. Have you succumbed to the mind-captivating temptations I mentioned, i.e., bitterness, cynicism, anger, or grumbling? If so, who will you see to talk about these things to experience God’s restoration (Galatians 6:1)?

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