Christen Limbaugh Bloom: The secret, practical weapon Christians possess to overcome disappointment

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Have you ever been put off or misunderstood by a person who seemed too optimistic about a trial you’ve experienced?

The last thing we ever want to do as Christians is misrepresent God’s character, especially at times when the very thing we are trying to point out is His empathetic nature! That’s why it’s critical we don’t skip any steps while attempting to lift people up–ourselves included.

Yes, we are taught that when we are weak, we are actually strong because of Christ’s power in our lives. But when it comes to communicating this encouragement, we have to keep some key lessons in mind so we’re not seen as unfeeling robots who don’t understand the pain we all experience. Pain and suffering are real and part of our experience.

Remember, the Bible tells us, “There is a time for everything…a time to weep and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3).

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When we face disappointments, God doesn’t yell down from Heaven, “Chin up! Get over it!” He is the God who bends down to hold us while we mourn: “To them, I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them” (Hosea 11:4).

If God takes the time to grieve our losses, even though He can see the good things that are around the corner, how much more should we respect the feelings of those who are anxious, disappointed, and hopeless?

But compassion does not have to be devoid of hope. Our secret weapon as believers is something so inherent to our faith, we can lose sight of its importance–that is, our childlike faith.

It’s crucial that we share this secret weapon with others when we offer consolation.

I love the New Living Translation’s version of Jesus’s teaching about childlike faith in Matthew 18:4, “So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Faith is not just about believing in God’s power, it’s also about trusting that His plans for us are good.

The key word here is humble. Critics might think childlike faith is a wanton abandonment of reality. But I believe childlike faith requires a level of trust that demands one to look closer at reality.

It’s only when we see the world for what it truly is and come to the end of ourselves, understanding how little control we have over our circumstances, that we are able to humble ourselves and trust God to miraculously move in our lives.

Faith is not just about believing in God’s power, it’s also about trusting that His plans for us are good.

People like to say, “Let go and let God.” I don’t dislike the phrase, but I do think it somewhat cheats believers of fully understanding what faith requires of us.

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“Letting go” implies that we just stop caring about something that’s dear to us. Having faith, on the other hand, is consciously choosing to hand over control of these important aspects of our lives to a loving Father who wants the best for us, and who has ultimate power and authority over the universe–that’s a pretty big distinction!

Clearly, we should not take our faith lightly. It is what gives us the ability to take God at His Word when He tells us paradoxical things like “the last shall be first” and “those who are weak are strong.”

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Jesus said our faith has the capacity to move mountains, and in Ephesians 6, Paul likened faith to a shield that possesses the power to extinguish every fiery attack from the enemy.

It’s one thing to read and remember these scriptures, but it’s another to take them to heart and put them into practice.

Our faith should move us to pray and ask God to do things only He can make possible. Bible teacher and author, Beth Moore, said in her study on the Book of Daniel, “Everything can be affected by prayer. God would not tell us to pray about everything if everything could not be affected by prayer…you do not have a situation that God is not able to change.”

What a powerful notion!

As our belief in God’s ability and faithfulness increases, our hearts align with His good and perfect plans.

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We will have plenty of heartbreak and times of uncertainty, but living inside of God’s will places a sense of security and hope that cannot be squelched. That is the true hope we all have in Jesus, and no disappointment or trial can rob us of it.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,” (1 Peter 1:8).

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