The Blessings of Bitter Disappointment

By John Hinkle

God chose John the Baptist to “prepare the way of the Lord.” He did not choose one Hundred men, not fifty, or even twelve, He chose just one man. Jesus said of John, “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee” Matt. 11:7-10. John misunderstood Jesus mission. In Matt. 3:2 he proclaimed “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He thought Jesus was going to set up a earthly kingdom, and instead of this, he found himself in prison. “For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison.” Matt 14:3. As time went by, Jesus did not deliver John nor set up His kingdom. This was a bitter disappointment for John, and “He sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another” Matt. 11:2,3?

The disciples were bitterly disappointed when they watched Christ being crucified. They “trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel” Luke 24:21. Were not Jesus own words “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” Mark 1:15. Bitter disappointment was experienced by Joseph when his brothers sold him, and again when falsely accused, he was cast into prison. Bitter disappointment overwhelmed the Millerites in 1844 when Jesus did not come in the clouds of glory, according to their teaching of the 2300 day prophecy.
A closer study of what caused the bitter disappointment shows, in each case, the person expected something different than what happened. Their preconceived ideas, plans, hopes or dreams, that were not in harmony with God plans, brought bitter disappointment.

In Matt 21:33-37 Jesus gave a parable about “a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son,
saying, They will reverence my son.”

God is represented as the one, who planted, dug, hedged, built the tower, and let the vineyard out to husbandmen. God sent His first servant to the husbandmen for fruit. Did God know what was going to happen to His servant who got beat up? Yes. Did the servant know he was going to be beaten? No! What was the servant
thinking he was going to do? Get fruit, do ministry, preach the gospel, do outreach, etc. His plans and Gods plans were not the same. What about the servant who was killed? Did God know what was going to happen to His servant who got killed? Yes. Did the servant know he was going to be killed? No! What was he thinking he was going to do? Get fruit, do ministry, preach the gospel, do outreach, witnessing, etc. His plans and Gods plans were not the same.

Notice that the last person God sent to the husbandmen was His own Son. Did God know what was going to happen to His son? Yes. Did His son know what was going to happen to him? Yes. When Jesus was baptized, his baptism was a prophecy of his death burial and resurrection. A Short time later Jesus told Nicodemus in Jn 3:14,15 “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Much later Jesus told his disciples “Behold, we go up toJerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again” Mark 10:33,34. Jesus had full knowledge of what was going to happen to him, and he expected it. There was no bitter disappointment because he knew the scriptures “They shall look upon him who they have pierced,” “He tread the wine press alone” “He is despised and rejected a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.” Mar 14:27 “And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered”.

2 Cor. 4:10,11 will help us understand how to avoid bitter disappointment in our own lives. “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” According to 2 Cor. 4:11 we are always (all the time) delivered unto death. If you are going to be delivered unto death today, what are your plans going to be? What will you be expecting? Are you willing to let this experience happen in your life, knowing that this is the will of God? Are you willing to be made willing? God says Isa 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isa 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Jesus gave this same message another way in Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Where was Jesus going? To Calvary to die. If you
take up your cross (daily), what will happen to you? What kind of plans did a person carrying a cross have? Looking again at the parable of the vineyard, and realizing God knew what was going to happen to His servants, a
new picture can be seen. The vineyard had a hedge, (the law), it also had a tower, (the temple and its services and priests). Even though the law was a transcription of Gods character, and the temple, sacrifices and priestly intercession all pointed to Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, they did not know God or His love for them. The husbandmen of the vineyard could not see or understand Christ. Jesus told Nicodemus “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” John 3:3. God knew that in
the beating, stoning, and killing of His servants, Jesus would be seen. “For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” 2 Cor. 4:11.

Next, God sent Jesus to the husbandmen knowing what they would do to him. Jesus went to the cross to manifest (show) what His father was like. John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Not only would his death reveal the Fathers character of love, it would “draw all men” unto him, the centurion said “Truly this was the Son of God.” More than this, Jesus earned the right to become our advocate and intercessor by his death on the cross. {That the mind and heart of God might be revealed.} Jesus prayed “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” while they were crucifying him. Gods faithful servants become intercessors when they are “‘delivered unto death.” Moses repeatedly interceded for Israel in the wilderness. They accused, chided and even tried to stone him. Joseph prayed for his brothers who sold him, and then provided for their physical needs. Stephen “kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” Acts 7:60. “Job prayed for his friends” “When Gods wrath was kindled against them”and God would not accept their prayers. Job 42:7-10

God says Jer. 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” What a privilege Gods servants receive in being “always delivered unto death for Jesus sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in their lives,” and also to intercede for their persecutors salvation. “And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor.”

The real question today is: Will you let Jesus be seen in you? Will you let God deliver you unto death so that Jesus can be manifest to the world in your life? Jesus in you “the hope of Glory.” The Holy Spirit is inviting you now. Today, if you hear His voice, offer Him your heart the Holy Spirit will strengthen you for, comfort you in, and keep you. After the death and burial, there is a resurrection. A resurrection from the death of self. I want this experience.
God bless you.

God sent His servants knowing they would not receive the fruit of the harvest, but rather that His servants would bear fruit, as well as intercede on the behalf of others. Please Copy and Share