Points Covered: What to do when dreams fail? What to do when hope is shattered? There is hope in Christ Jesus.
Life has its own share of highs and lows that come our way. There are disappointments and unfair situations which we all go through from time to time. The mistake many people make is that when things are going against them, they get stuck where they are, get bitter, lost, and end up pursuing their dreams. At what stage is your life today? Are you advancing or all confused having no hope for the future?
Philippians 1:6 .. being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
MSG There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
Listen, God is not promising defeat. No, in your future God has a victorious finish. That set back, that betrayal, that loss you had, instead of it working against you; God knows how to turn it around and cause it to work for you.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes.
No disappointment is a final chapter for a believer. Do not set your roots down and think your life is never going to change. No for every set back God has already lined up a comeback. For every injustice there is vindication, for every disappointment there is gladness and every closed doors God has new beginnings.
What to do when hope fail?
1. Believe – Our outcome is fixed.
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.
MSG God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade.
Here Paul was in his third missionary journey. He went to different places: Troas, Philippi, but he was prevented to go to Corinth. After waiting for a while in uncertainty, God opened a door to Macedonia. What Paul is telling is that when one door closed, God opened another door but there were times of uncertainness in the process. So Paul says wherever a believer is in life, whether open doors or close doors, God always causes us to triumph.
You could say, a child of God is in a fixed battle. See what God said when he called people at various times.
In Genesis 12:2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
1 Chronicles 4:10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
As believers this is the promise that God makes to us. You may go through disappointments, at times it may seem like you are far behind, like it is never going to work out. You got to remind yourself, “I am in a fixed battle.” I already know the outcome. I am going to come out of this issue, not defeated but promoted, increased, healthier, to a flourishing future in Christ.
I was meditating on the crucifixion of Jesus. He sweat great drops of blood. He was beaten, mocked, and ridiculed. His body was in pain. His spirit was in agony. Yet deep down He understood this principle, “I am in a fixed fight. My father will never end me in defeat. I am going to rise again. My future is already fixed.” That is why he did not call 1000’s of angels to rescue him. That is why he did not try to defend himself. That is why he said, “Father forgive them.” Yes, on Friday it did not look good, but he knew Sunday was coming. On Friday the enemy was rejoicing, celebrating his defeat. But on Sunday morning it was a different story. Jesus came out of the grave victoriously.
Revelation 1:18 I am the Living one; I was dead and now look, I am alive for ever and ever.
John 14:19 Because I live you will live also.
It may feel like Friday in your life. Things may not look good in your finances, your health, maybe a legal situation. It looks like you are already lost, like you are far behind. No the good news is Sunday is coming. He has got another victory coming your way. God always causes us to triumph in Christ.
2. Trust God – Strengthen your faith.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Psalm 37:3-5 3Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Time and time again the Bible says ‘Trust God.’ You may go through difficulties, through unfair situations, through betrayals, but that is the way you need to see it, you are going through it. God will never fail you. Just because a company let you go, or a friend walked out, or you face a failure does not mean it is the end, God has a new beginning. Trust him.
Think about Joseph. He was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, put in prison, yet Joseph never became bitter, never blamed God, never gave up on his dreams. Why? He trusted God even when it was hard. In the end God promoted him, put him in-charge over Egypt, God vindicated him. The brothers that betrayed him came back and bowed low before him. That is a flourishing finish. This is triumph for a man who trusted God.
As a young man David was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel. Over the next few years David was very loyal to Saul, present king. David did him nothing but good, yet Saul hated David. He was jealous of him, chased him all through the wilderness. David had to live on the run fearing for his life. He could have thought, I am never going to be the king. I will never make it to the throne. No David trusted God. He stayed on the high road and one day he saw the promise come to pass. Psalm 31:14 But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
You may have circumstances right now that could be against of what God has put in your heart. Like Joseph something unfair has happened, maybe like David somebody is not treating your right. God is saying, “Trust me, it is not the end. I am still working behind the scenes. I have breakthroughs coming your way.” Friends if you will stay in faith, God will never let the enemy have the last laugh. God promises he will prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies. Friends when it looks dark, when it is looks like you will ever be happy again, when it looks like there is not a way, God says there is a way if you will stay in faith.
So, keep doing the right things even when the wrong things happen. Hebrews 4:3 Now we who have believed enter that rest. You must have that rest that God is in control over your life.
3. Be Confident – Do not waver.
When I say confidence, remember our confidence is in the Lord. Trust builds confidence. When you trust someone, overtime you become confident of that person. When you trust God again and again you become confidence of God. One of the first things the enemy tries to take away in your crisis is your confidence in God.
Hebrews 10:32-36 32Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.34You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.35So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Never lose your confidence or courage (state of mind that enables you to face danger or fear trusting in God). Do not believe the thoughts that are telling, you are never going to make it.
Illustration: Do you remember the confidence of Caleb? Caleb was one of the spies with Joshua with a positive report and was ready for the battle. Soon the negativity spread and they got discouraged. God made them wander until every man of Israel who had voted in fear had died.
After 40 years, God gave them victory after victory and within 5 years the majority of the Promised Land was theirs but there were other areas still occupied by the enemies. Now, it is at this point, as the 12 tribes are dividing up the land that we come upon the 2nd part of the story of Caleb’s life. I love you to see the confidence of Caleb now.
Joshua 14:10-12 10“Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” Caleb was a dreamer, wasn’t he? He was confident because he trusted God.
In the Bible there is a Shunammite lady who had a son that died. She did not tell the bad news to her husband but said, “Everything is alright.” She took a servant and a donkey from her husband and proceed to the prophet Elisha. Elisah’s servant saw her coming, felt it was unusual and asked, “Is everything okay?” She replied, “Everything is alright.” The whole time her son was at home dead but she is telling everyone all is well. Sometimes you will have to tell others all is well before everything will be well. You will have to say I am blessed, healthy even before you see these things because our confidence is in the Lord.
She got to Elisha, he came home and prayed and her son came back to life. I believe it was her faith that caused God to act. When you are in difficult times do not call yourself what you are, do like this lady, call yourself the way you want to be by faith and seek the Lord.
Apostle Paul: 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 4Such confidence we have through Christ before God.5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
4. Rise up and move forward.
It is natural that people sometimes stumble, get stuck and lose our focus in life. It is one thing for us Christians to fail, all criticized, and lose focus but it takes a man of faith to rise up and continue in life. Whatever happens in life we need an attitude that says, “I’ll never give up, I will rise again and go forward.” Do not allow your past or present condition to defeat you.
The children of Israel had many failures. They did terrible things in the presence of God.
- God gave them a land – They wanted a king. Kings misled the people.
- God gave them a temple – They did idol worship.
- God gave them wealth – They misused the money.
- Finally when God gave them Jesus – They rejected Him.
The children of Israel did not deserve any good from God. They sinned and failed. God was gracious. He still loved them and wanted them to change, have a better future. See God’s message to them: Isaiah 43:18 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. God was not condemning them for the past. They could do nothing to change them. God wanted them to repent and gave them a hand of hope.
See what God told them if they repent: Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Child of God, do not worry about your past. God is able to forgive you and is lending you a hand of hope. God is telling – Forget your past I am giving you a new opportunity to start over again.
- If you have failed in the past, do not worry.
- If you have committed terrible sins in the past, repent.
- If your prayers are unanswered, do not lose hope
Come to God for he is doing something new.
Think about Samson. He had a supernatural beginning. God gave him great strength. He had this ability where he could not be conquered by his enemy but overtime he sinned. He let his guard down, he fell. He told someone about his hair, they ended up cutting his hair. He lost his strength. Finally, he was captured by his enemies. They were so afraid of him that they gorged out both of his eyes.
Now here is a once powerful man who carried God’s anointing ended up chained, working as a slave, grinding at a mill. You would think God would not have anything to do with him. He had his chance, supernatural birth, strength, God gave him favour. Too bad, he made wrong choices. That is not the way God thinks. God will always give you another chance.
You may have made a lot of mistakes but God is still willing to work in your life if you repent. The Bible says Samson’s hair was beginning to grow again. He repented of his sins. Judges 16:28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”
After all these mistakes God was still willing to work in him. Once day Samson was in this large hall, there were 1000s of people. The enemy had chained him to the walls. It is like he was on display. They were coming by seeing him, mocking him. Samson asked one of the servants to place his hands on the pillars of the hall so he could rest. The Bible says the spirit of the Lord came on Samson one more time. God gave him his strength back. Do you know he pushed those walls down and he defeated/killed more of his enemies in his death than he did his whole lifetime?
That is a flourishing finish. Peter failed but he too ended up well. So, do not dwell on your mistakes. God will forgive you and will use you. Now you have to do your part, ask forgiveness.
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
What if you have not sinned, done everything right and faced failures?
Proverbs 24:16 ..for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again,
Job 8:5-6 5But if you will look to God and plead with the Almighty, 6if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place.
Remember we are in a fixed battle. If all is not well now, that is not the end. God is still working, you have a flourishing future.
Romans 4:18-21 18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Friends God has already promised a flourishing finish you need to believe against all hope. I am asking you to rise from your defeat and discouragement. God is going to restore everything that you have lost. We are going to have seasons of joy, deliverance, and God’s favour coming our way if you stay focused on against all hope. Amen!