TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. It’s a new month and yet another chance to begin making changes that will impact your family for generations to come. Every day choices become lifetime legacies, and so we encourage you to continue to cultivate grit in yourself and your family for the sake of God’s work in you and through you.
Let’s continue to breakdown the concept of grit. As we mentioned last week, grit can also be called resilience. The APA Dictionary of Psychology definition of grit is that it is “a personality trait characterized by perseverance and passion for achieving long-term goals. Grit entails working strenuously to overcome challenges and maintaining effort and interest over time despite failures, adversities, and plateaus in progress.”
Joseph - Jacob’s eleventh son - was resilient. He showed true grit despite his circumstances. Joseph had been given visions from God and he trusted in God’s plans - even when his older brothers sold him into slavery, even when Potiphar’s wife lied about him, even when he was forgotten for years in prison… he held fast to the truth about God, not the world of circumstances at the moment. Because of his trust in God, he exhibited the characteristics needed to face the disappointments that were thrown at him.
So, how does a five-minute family work through disappointments in order to glorify the Lord?
1. First, you have to fully acknowledge your hurts and disappointments. We cannot work through them if we do not want to admit they exist. There are numerous verses which demonstrate the hurt and pain the biblical heroes of old faced; one such beginning is found in Psalm 42:3, “My tears have been my food day and night.” Allow your child to recognize those disappointments and speak about them. Allow yourself to do the same.
2. Second, remember that being disappointed isn’t being unfaithful to your belief in God’s greater purpose and plan. Psalm 34:18 tells us, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” He knows we will face disappointments, and He isn’t surprised by them.
3. Third, remind yourself and your child about God’s view of them and you, not what the failure or disappointment might be causing you to think. YOU are not a disappointment. The situation may be, but the person is NOT. As Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
4. Next, you must shift perspectives and review whether your beliefs or thoughts set you up for this disappointment with unrealistic expectations. Our beliefs lead our thoughts which, in turn, lead our actions. As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on YOUR OWN understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
5. And, finally, discuss why the disappointment might be a good thing. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 reminds us that though we may be afflicted in every way, we are not crushed. We may be perplexed but not driven to despair. We may be persecuted but we are not forsaken, and we may be struck down, but we are not destroyed.
Disappointments can be challenges that lead us to trust God more and look to Him continually for our purposes, or we can let them allow us to conform ourselves to the world and its standards. Its standards of having to fight to win, the world’s standards of success in all areas is all that matters, the world’s standard that a good leader or worthy person must have never face disappointments along the way… but that just isn’t true. Isaiah 40:29 says, “God gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” Humans don’t always give God the glory when we think we have done all the work ourselves, but when we allow Him to guide us, renew us, repurpose and transform us, then we can see the good and give him the glory.
We close with Isaiah 40:28-31 - “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” God is with you and your family as you work through your disappointments together. Often it takes disconnecting from the chaos in order to connect with each other. We encourage a good biblical retreat and hope we may see you one day at Clear View Retreat. Be blessed!