Life is full of surprises, both good and bad. In this 5-week online Bible study you’ll tackle the topic of how to find hope and trust in God when the unexpected happens. Sign up now to get started right away! You’ll get access to the companion study videos for FREE – all 5 sessions of teaching videos with Christine, releasing a new one every week! Register now and get the schedule, free downloads, and all the great bonuses.
By Christine Caine
God had placed the desire to be married inside Amanda at a young age, and she had the expectation she would be. So, year after year, she had trusted God. Yet, year after year, she remained single. Eventually, it became hard to reconcile her desires with God’s timing. Ultimately, that was the disappointment she couldn’t get through alone.
God wants us to believe and understand that his promises don’t have expiration dates. They aren’t like passports or gym memberships. They aren’t like the condiments in the fridge or the food in the pantry. Our heavenly Father has given us a book full of his promises that have no expiration dates—and he will always make good on his promises.
Holding to our faith—even in the face of deep disappointment—is critical. Making God’s promises bigger than our disappointments is essential. Getting into his Word and letting it get into us brings our hearts back to life. Worshiping him opens the door for the Holy Spirit to encourage us and heal us so we can trust again. Learning how to change our perspective through steps like these helps us transition from fearing the unexpected to trusting God through it.
Do we trust that God is who he says he is?
Do we trust that God will do what he says he will do?
Do we trust that God is working all things together for our good and his glory?
Do we trust that he who promised is faithful?
Until we change our perspective, we won’t see things clearly, and we’ll even miss God ministering directly to us—much like the two disciples who walked together in sorrow along the Emmaus road (read Luke 24:13–35).
The two disciples, who were leaving Jerusalem heartbroken and bitterly disappointed, had followed Jesus and trusted him, only to be shocked and disillusioned by his crucifixion. All their hope had been in Jesus, and how he was the one to redeem Israel. But their dreams had died on the cross with Jesus.
These disciples had been with Jesus the week before his crucifixion and were full of hope. But when he was crucified, they lost all hope and headed back home to Emmaus. Their world came apart because the events did not unfold as they had anticipated. Even with all the rumors of the resurrection, they still did not believe Jesus was alive.
Their journey through disappointment and disillusionment to renewed hope is often the same path we follow:
- Jesus began talking to them, but they could not recognize his voice (see Luke 24:16). How many times does he speak to our hearts, yet we’re so lost in our own concerns that we cannot hear him?
- Their eyes were downcast (see Luke 24:17). They were crushed and couldn’t even look up to see the fellow traveler walking alongside them. As long as we look down at our circumstances, and not up at him, we’ll miss what it is that we need to see—what he wants us to see.
- They asked the only one who really knew what had happened if he had any idea of the disappointing events (see Luke 24:18). When we finally ask God what he thinks, we open the door for the clarity only he can bring.
- He brought them back to the Word (see Luke 24:27). Jesus knew the promises of God and explained how those promises would be fulfilled in a way that would change the world. He told them that a new kingdom was at hand. It is always the Word that changes our perspective from disappointment to hope.
- Finally, they saw him in the midst of their disappointment (see Luke 24:31-32). How powerful it is when we can look up and see God, even when our circumstances are ongoing.
- They got up at once (see Luke 24:33-34). Their wonder came back. When our hope is renewed, we are strengthened to move forward.
Jesus always walks with us through our disappointment. Through our heartaches. Leading us to recover our wonder. Leading us to something better ahead. He is the one who helps us remember that although the unexpected happened to us, he’ll never leave us.
Jesus was there for me in every unexpected disappointment.
He was there for Amanda.
And he is there for you. Right now. Wherever you are.
We all experience disappointments. All of us have expectations, whether big or small, that have not been met:
- Friends break their word.
- Our marriage ends.
- A colleague betrays us.
- Our kids don’t turn out like we hoped.
- We never have the child we long for.
- We never find our soul mate.
- We don’t get the promotion.
- We lose our retirement fund.
- A dream turns into a nightmare.
- We disappoint ourselves by saying or doing something we regret.
But despite how we feel, all the disappointment in the world will never change the promises of God, the reality of Jesus, or his destiny for our lives. None of our broken dreams, personal heartaches, or shattered plans can stop his desire for us to fulfill our purpose. The disappointment is real. The consequences can be devastating.
To keep moving forward, we must learn to be resilient. We must learn to trust, like a little child. We must learn to manage our disappointments well, so we can hop on another ride full of renewed hope. Otherwise, while we’re stuck in the disappointment behind us, we’ll miss the adventure God is setting before us.
Adapted from Unexpected: Leave Fear Behind, Move Forward in Faith, Embrace the Adventure by Christine Caine. Click here to learn more about this title.
Is it possible to have peace in an uncertain world? To not only expect the unexpected but embrace it?
Most of us want to have life under control. But God wants us to anticipate the unexpected with a faith deeply rooted in his goodness. He wants us to know that because he is in control, we don’t have to be.
In Unexpected, beloved author Christine Caine helps us walk into the life God has for us—unknowns and all. Using dramatic examples from her own journey, Christine offers real-life strategies and biblical inspiration to help us move from fear and worry about ourselves to hope and trust in God. As we learn new ways to manage disappointment, strengthen our hearts, and build our faith, we can enjoy a new adventure with God that is more fulfilling than any day we spend trying to anticipate what will happen next.
Stepping into our God-given destiny means stepping into the unknown, but we can embrace that calling because God knows it already. Nothing in our lives takes God by surprise. So even in the midst of personal upheaval, relational challenges, financial stresses, family transitions, career disappointments, and chaotic world affairs, we can expect God to be good and do good. What other expectation do we need to have? Listen to God’s dare to trust him in every unknown of your life today.
Visit ChristineCaine.com to see how you can receive Christine’s pre-order bonuses.
Christine Caine is an Australian born, Greek blooded, lover of Jesus, activist, international speaker, and author of the bestselling book Unashamed. Together with her husband, Nick, she founded the anti-human trafficking organization, The A21 Campaign. They also founded Propel Women, an organization designed to celebrate every woman’s passion, purpose, and potential. Christine and Nick make their home in Southern California with their daughters Catie and Sophia.