I’ve been going through Beth Moore’s study Believing God, and the entry for day 5 of week 3 inspired this post.
I should that think no praise is quite as lovely to God as that from a disappointed heart.
For it is in such that they powerful beauty of sheer trust is manifest. In those times where one exalts God through tears that the prism of His radiance is clearly seen. It’s after a storm, when eyes are lifted up, that one sees a rainbow. Those who praise the wisdom of God in Christ from the remnants of a shattered dream or hop experience His grace more deeply. God’s wakefulness and watchfulness over us give Him clearer views on the intricacies of reality’s tapestry than our tunnel vision affords.
And so, let us remember Jesus’ words to His disappointed cousin who from a prison asked in sidelined anxiety, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” In other words, John the Baptist was saying, “Did I get it wrong?” You see, he had been proclaiming Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah. Yet he sat in prison while Jesus increased in popularity. Was he forgotten? Was he cast aside?
We might not know this side of heaven if John asked his piercing question for himself or for his disciples’ benefit. But we are certain that Jesus’ answer applies to all disappointed and confused hearts:
“Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Matthew 11.6)
The Greek for “offended” is transliterated skandalidzo – where we get our words for scandal or scandalized. It’s the idea of losing trust in someone that you have heard bad things about or losing confidence in another’s authority due to their actions or words. Perhaps that’s why Jesus corrected the perception when He responded to John’s disciples, “Go and tell John what you see and hear…” (v4)
It’s not just that Jesus was eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners while John’s ministry was one of austerity and repentance. Jesus was calling people to faith, and He was changing the very order and fabric of mankind’s brokenness.
That’s why praise from a disappointed heart is so precious. It resolves the unexpected circumstances with the expected Sovereignty of God. It chooses to submit disappointment to a determined faith in the person of Jesus. It’s honest. It’s raw. It’s real. It doesn’t pretend to be unaffected. Rather, it chooses to exalt God and allow your expectations to be transformed into endurance, experience and confidence.