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When Life Disappoints

When we talk about life letting us down we usually mean that we didn’t get something that we wanted. Something that we worked hard for and invested much time in, something that seemed perfect to us, something that we loved–it was either taken from us or kept from us entirely. Depending on the circumstances, this can cause real heartbreak. Plans we work on fall apart. Friends we love turn on us. Calamity strikes. Death and disease show up unannounced. Things simply go wrong!

How do we cope? How do we move on? The problem gets even worse for Christians, right? Because we have to reconcile our loss with the promises of our True and Sovereign God who says that He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37), nor will he withhold any good thing (Psalm 84), or that He has given us every spiritual blessing (Eph 1), or that He will give us ALL THINGS (Rom. 8). If God is so audacious to say this, how come He can’t seem to give me the ONE thing I have been longing for?! How am I supposed to believe He will do good to me or see me through hardship?

The answer is because He’s given you Christ. Christ is literally yours. And in Him you have you heart’s desire, you have everything good, you are blessed, and you possess all things. In one Person God has gifted you the whole world. And more.

And yet life still seems to disappoint, doesn’t it? We can still be so devastatingly let down. Things don’t seem to go our way. We still don’t get what we want. What’s the answer? Cling to what you have: Jesus. In writing on suffering, the Puritan Samuel Rutherford said that the antidote to trials is to simply be nearer to Jesus, whom we have and whom we will never lose. This is what he writes: “Keep close by Christ and let the wind blow. Rejoice in his cross. Your deliverance does not sleep and his promise is not slack. Wait for God’s appointed time of deliverance. Not one ounce too much is laid on you. If you wade after Christ, not matter how strong the current is it cannot carry you down. Christ will meet you and go with you, foot for foot, yea, he will bear you up in his arms. O then! For the joy that is set before you run your race with patience!”

Jonathan CruseComment