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Don't Set Yourself Up For Disappointment

Don't Set Yourself Up For Disappointment

Jeremiah 17:5(NKJV) - Thus says the Lord: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord.

How many people have to let you down before you stop expecting more from them than you should? I once learned that disappointment is very subjective. Your level of disappointment is measured by your expectations. As a result, if your expectations are too high for people in your life you are setting yourself up for disappointment. You don't rely on unreliable people. You don't expect consistency from inconsistent people. You don't expect people to give up their comforts in order to help you out.

You don't expect commitment from people who haven't proven their commitment to you. You don't expect support from people who don't value what you do or who you are. Even when people show you a limited level of support don't expect them to take it to a level that costs them something. Whatever you do, don't set yourself up for disappointment. It's not their fault when they let you down, it's your fault for expecting them not to.

Romans 3:4(NKJV) - Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged."

People lie! Some do it on purpose and others don't mean to do it. Don't let anyone play you for a fool. If you put your trust in human beings you are cursed according to Jeremiah 17:5. Those are some very strong words but we must take heed because they are exactly what The Lord said. What does it mean to be cursed? It means that things won't go well for you or you are empowered to fail. When it's put like that it makes a lot of sense. Putting your heart in the hands of people instead of in God's hands is a recipe for failure so you probably shouldn't try it.

A few years ago while complaining to my wife about folks letting me down again and again she responded with the following great advice; "Be thankful for what people bring to the table and don't complain about what they don't". In other words, when they come through for you be happy but don't make an issue when they don't. Just thank God for what you do get from them instead of being disappointed about what you don't get because you could have gotten nothing. People are people and after some time you will learn that human beings are inherently selfish. It is in our nature to look out for ourselves first. Hence, my expectations have been adjusted to match what I know now.

John 2:24-25(NLT) - But Jesus didn't trust them, because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like.

Learn from the example of Jesus. He didn't trust them because He knew human nature. There's no better way to say it. He knew people couldn't be trusted so He didn't trust them. He was smart and some of us need to be as smart as He was. You know how people are. So why do you keep getting your hopes up only to have them dashed over and over? Have you not learned from your past experiences already? The first time they let you down, it's their fault. The next time they do it it's yours.

Jesus was not gullible because He understood people. He knew Judas would betray Him. He knew Peter would deny Him. He knew most of His disciples would abandon Him as He walked alone to the cross. He knew His own people would reject Him. Armed with that knowledge He adjusted His expectations to limit the level of disappointment He felt when people did exactly what He knew they would do in the first place. He loved them to the very end but He knew what to expect. If Jesus didn't trust them, why would you?

Isaiah 26:3(NKJV) - You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

Putting your trust in people positions you for disappointment but putting your trust in God positions you for peace. Are you tired of the disappointment yet? I hope so. Put your trust in God and receive His peace!


What Will It Take To Make You Happy?

What Will It Take To Make You Happy?

James 1:16-18(NKJV) - Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Everything that's good in your life came from God so it's safe to assume that if you bring His name up it should be to thank Him for the good that He's done. If you mention God at all it should be to give Him praise for His love and His goodwill. If the word, "God" enters your mouth it should only be to shower Him with compliments. It's really supposed to be that simple. God and good go together. If anything's good, it should be associated with God. It's like peanut butter and jelly; salt and pepper; bacon and eggs, shampoo and conditioner; shrimp and grits; fried foods and heart disease. They belong together. However, that's not always the case. Instead of giving God credit for what is good some people choose to blame Him for what is bad.

Some people will never be happy. In fact, some are discouraged and don't even know why. They don't need anything to be wrong for them to complain. They find things to complain about. Some poor people pray to be rich then when they're rich they complain about people asking them for money. Some single people pray to be married then when the marriage gets rough they wish they were single. Some regular people pray they were famous then when they get famous they wish they could enjoy a regular life again. Young people want to grow up. Older people wish they were young again. Some unemployed people pray for a job then when they get one, they wish they could get their time back. Some people go so far as to blame God for their situation even when they were the ones who asked God to do what He did for them. Does any of that sound familiar?

Numbers 14:26-30(NLT) - Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "How long must I put up with this wicked community and its complaints about me? Yes, I have heard the complaints the Israelites are making against me. Now tell them this: 'As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say. You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

You guessed it. That's the story of The Children of Israel. They prayed for God to get them out of Egypt then from the moment they were set free, they complained about everything. They complained when they were thirsty then they complained when God provided water. They complained when they were hungry then they complained about the manna God provided. They complained about Moses having exclusive access to God then they complained about the harshness of God's presence at the mountain. They complained and complained until God had enough of it. God reneged on His promise to take them into The Promised Land and they just dropped dead in The Wilderness. Let's now fast forward to modern times.

Malachi 3:13(NLT) - "You have said terrible things about me," says the Lord. "But you say, 'What do you mean? What have we said against you?'

The story goes something like this; As a teenager some folks say, "When I become an adult I'll be happy because I'll have the freedom to do whatever I want to do." Then as an adult they say, "It's hard out here on my own. I wish I could be carefree like I used to be when I lived with my parents. I wish they would help me more with these bills." Then once they get a hold of the bills they say, "Well, my money is looking a lot better these days but adulthood is not all it's cracked up to be because I'm single. When I start dating I'll be happy because then I won't be so lonely anymore." Then when they're dating they say, "My goodness, I wish we would just get married already? Are we going to keep dating forever? Hmmph!"

Once married they say, "I miss the days when we were dating. It was much more romantic. We were so excited to be together but now it's just like we're friends living in the same house. It feels more like running a business then running a family." Then after a few years (months for some) they say, "Marriage is okay but it's a little boring with just my spouse and I. When we have kids I'll be happy because it will bring excitement back into our marriage." Then when they have kids they say, "When these kids grow up I'll be happy because we'll have our freedom back." Then when their kids grow up they say, "When they start having our grandchildren I'll be happy." Then once they have grandchildren they say, "Do these kids think we're babysitters? Why don't they raise their own kids and stop dropping them off over here? We raised our own already. It's their turn now." Then they die and they're still not happy!

Philippians 4:11-13(NLT) - Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Contentment is not a feeling. It is a decision. When you are content you make the decision to be happy with your life right where you are with what you have. That doesn't mean you don't strive to be better but it does mean that you have a posture of perpetual appreciation to God. You must wake up in the morning and thank God for what He's done for you and choose not to complain about what He has not done. Be thankful for the people you do have in your life and not complain about those you don't. Be thankful for the opportunities you do have instead of complaining about those you don't. Regardless of what's before you, thank God for being right by your side. As long as you have Christ, He will give you the strength to face anything that comes your way.

Psalms 42:11(NLT) - Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!

When David saw his countenance falling because of his situation, he took control of himself and chose to hope in God. It's easy to find something wrong with your life. On the other hand, it takes courage to take your attention off of what's wrong with you and put it all on what's right with God. When things are looking down, you have to lift your own head and look up to Him. You don't wait for your situation to change to give God some praise, you force yourself to praise Him in spite of your situation. You can't become a victim of your circumstances. Use them to fuel your resolve to praise God. At some point, you have to stop yourself from complaining and just thank God for who He is to you. What will it take to make you happy? Hopefully, the thought of God being on your side.

Hebrews 13:5-6(NKJV) - Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

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