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23 March 2016

Holy Week 2016: Arising out of disappointment

Holy Week 2016: Arising out of disappointment

Join us during Holy Week as we reflect on what it is to arise from the sorrow and darkness of Good Friday and into the light of Easter Day.

by Damilola Makinde, an intern at the Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland

On this day in the life of Jesus, he is both the subject of a beautiful display of worship, and the budding intent to betray.  Mary breaks the jar of alabaster at the feet of Jesus, and Judas meets with the Sanhedrin to arrange his arrest.

While the scale is drastically different, it is not uncommon in my life for my experiences to range from polar extremes. Try as they might, people cannot in themselves provide a mainstay for confidence, myself included. Far from fun, the times where I am forced to confront this reality can often leave me bereft and struggling to make sense of God's purpose and plan. In these times, I must consider the very meaning of faith.

Faith is not primarily about the fervour with which we will God to do something, or even how great we judge His power to be, but the trust we have in Him. The confidence that He will only dispense of His power in ways that are good. 

And so, when faced with disappointment - which will come -  when grappling with the pain and fall out of things not going quite as I had envisaged, there is only one reasonable mental progression:

Because God is, then this is…

And not:

Because this is, God is…

Yes, disappointment in this life is a fact, but it is still superseded by the fact of who God is and what He does. The fact of His independent existence means we can understand all of life in relation to Him, and are not the other way around.

God will never deceive me. God will not set me up for a fall.

In my life, there will be times of disappointment with self, with others, and even with God. Even in the midst of that, the love of God remains steadfast. Jesus will never leave or forsake me. He will by no means cast me away. Friends of this world will be sweet today and bitter tomorrow, but this is not so with Jesus. The friendship of Jesus is marked not being fickle, but by faithfulness.

As you read this, there may be people may be gearing up to disappoint you right now. The preoccupation of our faith isn't to be with God stopping that – because He may not. Our confidence is moored in the fact that the most appalling of circumstances do not affect the righteousness of His reign. No evil visited upon us can blindside God. God in His supreme mastery promises to work all things together for the good of those who are called according to His purposes.

On this holy Wednesday, Jesus is heading straight into disappointment and betrayal, but he is also on his way to the cross. The cross of Christ is the revelation of the heart of God, and gives all the assurance that can be given that good triumphs over evil, that God is in control, and that His purposes are unshakeable.

He will one day wipe every tear. Pain is not pointless, and the sorrow of the moment will yet give way to the comfort of God.