ODJ: Disappointments

November 8, 2017 


The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle (v.11). 

READ: Ecclesiastes 9:11-16 

I don’t recommend gambling—it’s a fast way to become poor. Gamblers don’t always win, even when they do. In 2016, a woman was playing a slot machine when it rang up a US $43 million jackpot. When she went to collect her winnings, the casino said the machine had malfunctioned. Local law prohibited giving her the money, so the casino offered her a steak dinner instead. From US $43 million to a hearty meal! Now that’s disappointing.

Solomon saw many disappointed people in his world: fast runners who came in second and strong warriors who came in dead last (Ecclesiastes 9:11). He noticed the wise, skillful and most prepared don’t always gain success. The most talented team doesn’t always win. Diligent students don’t always get A’s. Faithful employees don’t always get promoted. Loving and kind people aren’t always treated with respect by others.

Solomon shared the human perspective of blaming such disappointment on luck or blind chance (v.11). But he also revealed God’s perfect perspective in Proverbs 16:33: “We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.” It all may be “decided by chance”, but chance itself is under God’s control.

What’s disappointed you? It’s okay to grieve your poor fortune, but don’t stop there. Pour out your grief to your sovereign, loving God. Jesus understands your pangs of disappointment. He was let down by Peter’s denial, Judas’ betrayal and the pervasive evil in our world (Genesis 6:5-6). He gets it.

Our amazing Saviour has also done something about it. His resurrection reversed His disciples’ deep disappointment after Good Friday, and one day He’ll wipe every tear from our eyes (Revelation 21:4). May our disappointments drive us closer to Him.

—Mike Wittmer

365-day-plan: Acts 20:13-38

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Read Psalm 55:1-23. What did David do with his disappointment? 
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What is the biggest disappointment of your life? What should you do with your disappointments based on Jesus’ example? 
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