I was disappointed today while finalizing and reviewing the sermon for Sunday morning. Does that sound strange? If so, then this will sound even more bizarre. It is rare that I am not disappointed while studying and preparing for Sunday morning. Since we are already into the strange, let us go a step further. I am grateful for the disappointment. No, I am not a person that relishes on the negative. I do not look for the undesirable things in life. It is nothing like that.
The disappointment I experience while studying God’s Word is directed toward me and me alone. My disappointment is not toward the world, other people, the church and certainly not toward God. Studying the Bible and preparing to deliver God’s message reveals how far I fall short of His standards. Reading verses and passages over and over ministers to me and shows me how utterly broken I am. How desperately I need Him. I want to do better. I want to please God. I want to know His Word and show Him through obedience, but I fail. I never seem worthy to deliver a message that instructs others to be obedient to God’s Word, when often I am found wanting. Although I see my sin in every sermon I prepare and usually experience personal disappointment, I press on. I continue in His Word. I pray to Him. I thank Jesus for rescuing me, for giving me new hope. I take the focus off my shortcomings and direct my gaze toward His perfection; His perfect plan, perfect knowledge, perfect power and perfect love.
God is perfect and He is for me! I know this is true because He has told me. In the Bible, He has told me. Yes, He tells me that I am flawed and will never be free from sin living so far from Him, but also He tells me it will not last forever. My disappointment will go away when I meet with Him face to face. It is at this point in my study and prayer where my disappointment turns to pleasure. I do not find pleasure in my failure. I find pleasure in a Savior that loves me even though I fail Him. The Bible tells me these things, and it doesn’t put it so softly. God says He loves me even though I am His enemy. That’s right. When we sin against God, and all sin is against God, the Bible calls us enemies of God. But He loves us anyway. With all our failures, He still loves us, and coming to this pleasure always starts with my disappointment.