John 1:6-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
John’s Witness: The True Light
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.
Have you ever been disappointed? Maybe now, somewhat.
--Disappointments come to all people, more or less.
--Anything - place, product, people - can disappoint.
--But there is no disappointment in Jesus.
--We may disappoint God; but not the Lord, to us.
God even gets disappointed, look at Genesis 6:6.
--On earth, Jesus was disappointed. He "came to His own (people), and His own did not receive Him" (Jn 1:11).
--Jesus' own brothers, at first; and His own nation.
--How disappointing it must have been, to Jesus.
--He had left heaven to come in Person as Messiah to "seek and save the lost." Demonstrated deity.
--"He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him" as God.
--That is, many did not. Must be heart-breaking.
--Jesus faced it in prayer, "Father, forgive them."
Again, Palm Sunday on the Mount of Olives, as Jesus looks over Jerusalem, saying, "0 Jerusalem, how often I wanted to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing" (Matthew 23:37). Many "were not willing."
--Another of the disappointments of Jesus.
--No wonder Jesus wept over a city, soon destroyed.
Or the Apostle Paul, wanted to go to Spain to preach.
--"Whenever I journey to Spain" (Romans 15:24).
--He must at first been disappointed, for he went to prison - in Caesarea and Rome - instead of Spain.
Try as we may, no one fully avoids disappointments.
--But we can turn them into God's appointments!
--It was true for Jesus, tested by the Tempter.
--True for Paul, winning many in prisons, and inprison writing many epistles we have in God's Word!
--Perhaps no Roman prison, no such helpful epistles.
I've discovered disappointments often work for good.
--If given to God they become better than we thought.
If disappointed some not yet saved, keep on praying.
--Keep on doing your best., serving the Lord, praying.
-No one is perfect, Be patient; they'll be, to you.
Some may remember Edgar Bergen, the ventriloquist.
--He grew up in Decatur, IL. A very promising kid.
--In school he loved photography - to be his career.
--Bergen saved and sent for a book on photography.
--His heart set on taking, and making, pictures.
--Guess what? They sent him the wrong book!
--Not on photography.! A book on ventriloquism!
Edgar,Bergen was disappointed - he didn't even know what ventriloquism was! Or he could send it back!
--Instead, he began reading it! Found it exciting!
--Something new. Learned to "throw his voice."
--He got a wooden dummy. Named it Charlie McCarthy.
--He practiced much. Enjoyed it. Made folks happy.
--He kept at it, got better and better. On radio.
--Then television. Even movies. A great success!
Out of disappointment, Bergen made a great career.
--I ask you, Was it a publisher's mistake?
--Or, was it God's providential appointment for him?
Sure, we will have disappointments. Losses. Hurts.
--But if life hands us a lemon - make the most of it.
--Make some lemonade, and enjoy it with a friend!
--To a great extent, life is what we make it, in God.
The grass may look greener on the other side - but it really isn't, when we think it all over.
--Let's make our side, the best side .. God's side.
--With a positive attitude of faith, and obedience.
Don't let any disappointment get out of hand. It can.
--In 1894, Baltimore Orioles came to Boston for a routine game with the Red Sox. What a heartache!
--John McGraw of the Orioles got upset in a play.
--Tempers flared. Both teams battled. It spread.
--In the grandstands, was fighting. Fire started!
--The ball park burned down, but that wasn't all.
--Some 107 Boston buildings lost in that fire!
Heartaches! Homes, jobs, dreams, properties lost!
—Disappointment turned to anger causes great loss.
A sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, 12/7/1941 changed so many millions of lives; got the USA into war.
--I had a good job. Future plans. It all changed.
--Many so disappointed! What to do? What's ahead?
--I was led to the Navy, knowing it could be my end.
--But God made it to begin a great life in Christ!
--To really know Jesus ..His call for my life to be in ministry, evangelism and missions .. for Christ.
--A dear wife at my side; great family; world travel.
--Many times to the Holy Lands. Many pastorates.
--Many converts, and precious friends and memories!
He taught me to accept disappointments as from God.
--To be an encourager for others to yield to Jesus.
--To daily pray, "Lord, Thy will be done, not mine."
People come to me with all kinds of disappointments.
--I don't have all the answers, but I do have a love for people and a love for the Lord - to listen and counsel, and pray with and for them, His promises!
Remember that Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified?
--How dark all was. In gloom, sorrow, confusion.
--There was hopelessness all around, the Bible says.
--Jesus had prepared them, "In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 1:33).
--Jesus has! The third day, "He arose! Alive!"
--He can turn our dark Fridays to glorious Easters!
If you and I will do the possible - trust Him - then God will do the impossible for us. Give us peace.
If your heartstrings are stretched on some dross of pain, let the sweet winds of His Spirit make the music of: heaven sound in your soul, to cheer you.
I was in seminary with Harold and Ivah Heneise; they went as missionaries to Haiti, founded a seminary.
--It is a part of a Christian University in Haiti.
--Nearby is the Good Samaritan Hospital founded by Dr. and Mrs. Hodges, for all those dear people.
--We visited, ministered, at both these institutions.
--I tell you this, for they had disappointments too.
--But such only led to greater faith, and service!
Take the life of godly Joseph in the book of Genesis.
--His brothers all jealous - they wanted to kill him!
--They sold Joseph, as a slave, bound for Egypt.
--He triumphed over temptation; unjustly imprisoned.
--So many things against Joseph, but he trusted God.
--Don't you know he had many disappointments?
--But never once do we read of any complaint!
--People, Joseph is one of the finest models for us.
Why all these set-backs, heartaches, disappointments?
--Joseph's godliness, faithfulness, God rewarded.
--He became Prime Minister, saved Egypt in a famine.
--His brothers who sold him, came to him, for food.
--Stood before Joseph, begging bread, for families!
--He could have gotten revenge. Have them punished.
--He told them, "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good to save many people alive" (Gen. 50:20). "God meant it for good" in disappointment!
--Dear friend, let God work for gpod, for you!
Life's disappointments may be God's appointments.
Presence of problems does not mean absence of God.
--Proverbs 3:5,6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Trusting Him takes our worries away!
So many believe in God, and that is good. Which God?
--Jesus came to show us God - the God that saves, and forgives sinners - Who died for our sins on a cross and arose, alive again, as our Lord and our God.
--The beautiful thing - anyone can come to Christ!
--He turns no one away! No disappointment, in Him!
--"As many as received His .. become children of God, to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12).
--Have you "received Him"? Come now, be born again!
--I find no disappointment in Jesus. Nor will you.
--A Savior the whole world needs today, is in Him!
--Give God a try!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 858