Redeem regrets: Deal with disappointment - 6 August 2020

By Louise Gevers

More and more frequently memes and jokes reveal people’s dissatisfaction and disappointment with the much anticipated 2020, so much so that some would prefer to write it off as not lived! Although life was not necessarily easy before the arrival of the coronavirus, it was predictable, and there were much anticipated celebrations to look forward to that would bring joy. In the absence of these, there is great disappointment.

With virus dangers at large, and strict regulations surrounding lockdown to counteract them in place, all kinds of celebrations and social occasions – even weddings – have had to be revised or postponed; while all things Matric-oriented have become perplexing for people in leadership positions who negotiate how learners will complete the year. Then being confined to home for many, not able to see families and friends has also brought great distress, not to mention what’s happening in the economy. But disappointment doesn’t last, hope does.

Reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians at this time should lift anyone’s spirits. He is choosing to make the most of being in prison, embracing hardship as a springboard, as he writes with a brightness of spirit to bring words of encouragement to them. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) Paul’s joy is in Jesus and not in his circumstances, and he is overflowing with the Spirit.

His gratitude to them for showing him love through their gift leads to his sharing of how difficulties have helped him to grow: “I have learnt to be content whatever the circumstances… I have learnt the secret of being content in any and every situation… I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

The truth is we will never be happier than when we are where God wants us to be, embracing His provision, even though the enemy may try to tell us otherwise. What God wants His people to experience is what Paul wrote about to the Philippians: “Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another.” (Philippians 2:1) We can embrace His love daily in His presence.

We can take our cue from Paul and use 2020 to give thanks for all our blessings; to move in the power of the Spirit and grow in faith. We can choose to be redeemed from the resentment of “losing” a year, think out of the box as the Spirit inspires us, and use the rest of 2020 pro-actively as we uncover what God’s plan is for us, rather than lose it to fretting and gloom. Let us grasp this opportunity to get in step with Jesus and trust Him to give us so much more than we could ask, or wish for, as these trials strengthen us.

Prayer: “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)