Has this ever happened to you before?  It’s your birthday, or in my family the day of your birthday party which is usually weeks after your actual birthday, and you are super excited about the day.  Your friends are coming over for games, birthday cake, and fun.  But the thing you’re looking forward to most is presents.  Because you know that you know that you know you’re getting this one present that you have begged and pleaded for.  Then the time comes to open presents.  Of course, you start with the smaller ones and one by one looking for that one gift that you know you are going to get.  You are down to your very last present.  The box is the right size.  It definitely looks like it’s that present.  So, you tear into the paper, rip open the box, and realize it is not there.  The present you were expecting nowhere to be found.  The disappointment begins to set in.  You now have no idea how to handle the emotions that you feel inside. You put on your best smile in appreciation for what you got but are not sure where to go from here.

Many times, life has a way of presenting itself in this same fashion.  Instead of disappointment with a birthday gift it might be a job promotion, a relationship, your income, a vehicle breakdown, your education, your living situation, a health condition or a vast list of many other expectations. So, what do you do when things in your life do not turn out the way you expected them to turn out?  A common method of coping is to cover up those feelings and struggle alone.  This is not what God has intended for us.  What I do is look for an example in the Bible that helps change my perspective.

One example of this is the life of Job.  Job was a wealthy man living in a place called Uz.  He had a large family and lots of livestock.  Job was a righteous man that loved God and avoided evil.  Satan made a statement to God that the only reason Job was righteous was because God had blessed him abundantly.  Satan claimed that if he could persecute him, he would curse God.  God basically said, “We’ll see,” and allowed Satan to bring persecution upon Job.  He could do anything except kill him.  Job struggled with this persecution.  He even said that he cursed the day he was born.

Through the struggle Job kept his faith and trust in God.  His respect for the Lord outweighed any and all fear or disappoint he might have had.  He knew that everything that happened to him was ordained by the Lord.  Throughout it all, he remained righteous and never cursed God.  (Full Story:  Book of Job).  It is God’s plan not mine, and God has already put that plan in place for me.

Another of those examples is the crucifixion of Jesus.  At one point in Luke 22:42 just prior to His crucifixion, Jesus said “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me.” He knew it was going to be an excruciating journey to take on the sins of the world.

Jesus knew what was coming, because He knew His purpose.  Even at knowing what was coming, He chose to walk that path.  Finishing the verse in Luke, He then made the statement “nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.”  This one statement shows me that it is not about what I want or my expectations, but it is about God’s will.  It is about the purpose that God has put into each and every one of us.

In both of these situations it could have been very easy for each them to rely on their own expectations and become very disappointed.  Our fear and lack of trust in God is what clouds this perspective.  Any time that happens we must refocus on our own personal purpose, and realize that God is in control of everything, everyone, and every situation.  So now looking back on that birthday party and thinking about opening those presents, you realize you never have to cover up the disappointment, because you know there is purpose in everything.  Whatever happens is absolutely in Gods perfect plan.

— Written by Chris