You cannot prevent the enemy from directing his fiery arrows of wrong thoughts toward your mind, but you do have the armor to keep him from making a penetration.
As a young and inexperienced Christian, this truth was so liberating. I remember when I was driving home after giving my testimony. God had used me, and I was filled with joy! I was singing up a storm (my singing could cause a storm!), rejoicing over the evening, when all of a sudden it came to me,
“You did a wonderful job. You were great!”
My singing stopped abruptly and I realized, “That was pride!” And I knew that God resisted the proud. How could He use me if I was proud? He couldn’t. My joy turned to sorrow—disappointment. Suddenly I felt I had greatly disappointed God.
What I didn’t know was that the enemy was playing with my mind. What I learned from that instance has so brought victory to me, and to others, as God began developing and using the gift of teaching He gave me.
Let’s look at how this truth relates to disappointment, the first of the deadly D’s that I have listed. Disappointment comes when our expectations are not fulfilled, when we are left wanting. To be disappointed is to not be satisfied or to be displeased with some situation or person—even ourselves.
Have any of the following situations caused you to feel disappointed?
- A person’s failure to perform, act, or respond in a certain way
- Something that you were counting on to happen and it didn’t
- Some event that didn’t come out the way you expected
- Something about yourself as a person
- Your failure to perform your role as a mother, father, wife, husband, child, friend, employer, or employee
And has it kept you from going forward, from serving God in the freedom of His Spirit?
Oh Beloved, if you do not handle that disappointment biblically, then you will give ground for the enemy to penetrate your mind and to begin building a stronghold—a fortress—where he will seek to defeat you from within.
When Jack and I came home off the mission field in Mexico, I was crushed. I had pericarditis, and the cardiologist I had worked for told Jack he needed to bring me home. I felt like such a failure. My illness had brought a seasoned missionary, Jack, off the mission field. All I could do was lie in bed and think about what my illness had done.
Then one morning, the Lord rolled me out of bed onto my knees in complete submission to Him. It was through this time that God taught me that the defense against disappointment is first to see everything as HIS (GOD’S) APPOINTMENT. You simply change the “d” of disappointment to an “H” and give God space—time. Disappointment is His appointment.
Little did I realize what God had planned! Not just Mexico but the entire Spanish-speaking world; not just Mexico but nearly 184 countries; and not just Spanish (which I never really learned—I’m terrible at languages and never got hooked on phonics) but 67 languages. Not just Jack and Kay but a whole wonderful, dedicated staff—and partners in ministry like you!
Oh Beloved, is there a situation in your life in which you need to change the “d” of disappointment into an “H”?
Will you? Why don’t you get on your knees and talk to God about it? Maybe put it in writing.
This blog post is excerpted from the out-of-print 30-day devotional “How to Stand Firm Against the Five Deadly D’s” by Kay Arthur.