Disappointments come in various forms, from the relatively minor issues like not being selected for the school football team to the major life issues of being let down by a spouse. To some extent everyone has suffered disappointment. Having placed our trust in someone or something that trust has sadly been proven to be mis-placed and we have had to deal with the painful consequences. When it comes to issues of eternity, we must be very careful in what or whom we place our trust. To find out that our trust has been mis-placed will have eternal consequences.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Rome during times of intense persecution. In 64 AD a colossal fire had broken out in Rome destroying much of the city. To combat the rumours that he had orchestrated this destruction Nero ordered that Christians should be rounded up and killed. Some were torn apart by dogs and others were burnt alive as human torches. There was, and oftentimes is now, a high cost attached to being a Christian. Many people would have believed that to be one was a shameful thing and something that brings disappointment. Paul countered those thoughts when he wrote:
Paul quoted the Old Testament prophet Isaiah who had written “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.” (Isaiah 28:16). The prophet was proclaiming God’s word to a people who instead of calling and waiting upon the Lord had hastily sought to make an alliance with a nation who they thought could bring them salvation from an approaching enemy. God, through Isaiah, tells them this is foolishness and rebellious. They should not have acted hastily but instead they should have looked to Him. It will not surprise the reader to learn that their alliance brought them disappointment and shame.
When it comes to the issue of eternal salvation and the forgiveness of our sins scripture testifies that there is only one person in whom we can trust and that person is the Lord Jesus Christ. Although we may have lived our lives in rebellion to Him or sought to be right with God on our own terms there is a universal offer that if you acknowledge His Lordship over your life and trust in His substitutionary work on the cross you will be saved. The glorious message of the gospel is that although each and everyone one of us is, by nature, a sinner who cannot do anything by ourselves to obtain a right standing before God we can have a right standing through faith in Jesus Christ.
God’s call to every single individual is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. There is not, nor ever was, a plan of salvation for the religious Jew and another one for the irreligious Gentile. God has promised that whoever believes on Jesus Christ will not be put to shame, will not suffer disappointment or be confounded. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus shows that Holy God was satisfied with Jesus’ work on the cross when he took upon Himself the punishment for sin, bearing God’s wrath against sin, so that whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.
In this world people, when thinking of a right standing before God, place their hopes, their faith, in different philosophies or people. Some envisage that everything will be alright in the end, that everyone ends up in heaven. Others think that by living the best that they can then in the end their good will outweigh the bad and everything will be okay. Sadly, according to the Bible, these philosophies will bring great disappointment and shame. They may be widely applauded and elevated as enlightened thinking but God’s voice is unequivocal, there is only one way to avoid eternal shame and disappointment and that is through trusting in the Lord Jesus.
In what or whom are you trusting for an everlasting righteous standing in the sight of a Holy God? There is only one way to avoid shame and disappointment, trust in Jesus Christ. God promises whoever believes on Him will not be put shame.