Many years ago I attended a student’s sweet sixteen party at a luxurious hotel banquet hall. It was a beautiful event. However, on Monday this same young woman walked into my classroom in tears. She explained that when she got home that evening her parents told her they were divorcing. She felt betrayed by this sad ending to her birthday. The good news is that this precious teen did not turn against God. Supported by mentors, she was able to move forward and today is a grown godly woman with three teenage children.
Life’s disappointments produce a sense of sadness resulting from our unfulfilled expectations. One moment we are celebrating life, and the next moment we feel knocked across the face by unexpected disappointments. In Matthew 26 Jesus faced a situation that caused great disappointment. Remember, He was fully God, but He was also human and could experience emotional pain. Nevertheless, He accepted what happened as part of God’s plan. Not only did His disciple Judas plot to betray Him (vv. 14–16), but he also led the capture of Jesus, with a “large crowd armed with swords and clubs” (v. 47). Then Judas sealed the betrayal with a pre-arranged signal: a kiss (v. 48). Oh, how hurtful that must have been for Jesus, to be betrayed by one within His closest circle.
What was Jesus’ response? Notice that He called Judas His “friend” (v. 50). He told those defending Him to put away their swords (v. 52). He asked questions and referred the crowd to Scripture (v. 54). Notice what Jesus did not do. He did not wallow in disappointment. We serve a Savior who understands us when we face disappointment because “Jesus understands every weakness of ours” (Heb. 4:15–16).
>> Serving God will, at times, bring disappointments. Consider how God wants you to respond. Perhaps He wants you to share His Word or mentor someone facing trials. Ask God to mold you to His image, no matter what today brings.
Our prayer is that the Lord, the great Teacher, will teach us how to turn away from pride, selfishness, and greed and make us ready to serve one another with humility.