When Life Doesn’t Work

Managing disappointment can be tough, even for strong believers. Even for Jesus.

Here’s What I Mean

I have two natures, the flesh and the spirit. The flesh isn’t spiritual; it’s worldly, self-serving and self-reliant. My spiritual side has none of those. It seeks the will of God, follows the Spirit’s lead, and relies on God.

When life dishes out disappointments and discouragements, which of my two natures will dominate? If my carnal nature leads, then I will struggle with anger, resentment, and negative thinking. If my spiritual side leads then I will find acceptance, purpose, and hope. I’ll set aside my natural tendencies and seek the peace of God which calms my soul and eases my mind.


I’ll confess it isn’t easy. In fact, some days it’s a really a struggle. And not just for me, but also for others who were pretty Godly people.

Paul said,

  • “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”
  • “All things work together for good…”
  • “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is Gods will for you”
  • “In all these things we are more than conquerors”

Paul also said,

  • “Who is led into sin and I do not inwardly burn”
  • “I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches”
  • “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure”
  • “In our hearts we felt the sentence of death”

You get the idea. Paul wrote some of the most positive and optimistic things in the New Testament. Yet, he struggled too, for at the end of the day, he was just a man.

And what of Jesus?

  • “Do not worry about your life”
  • “Do not let your hearts be troubled”
  • “Trust God, trust also in me”
  • “Seek first his Kingdom and all these will be given to you”

And yet,

  • “Get behind me Satan, you are a stumbling block to me”
  • “And being in anguish, his sweat was like drops of blood”
  • “An angel from heaven appeared, and strengthened him”
  • “He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears”

Paul was human, so was Jesus. I’m not suggesting Jesus wasn’t also divine, only that his divinity wasn’t allowed to intervene with his struggles. He is our perfect sacrifice because he suffered for resisting sin.

My Sinful Nature

The cross didn’t eliminate my sinful nature; it nullified it. God knows I still struggle. His son struggled too, but he struggled to remain morally perfect, where I have not, I’m a fallen sinner. But I’m no longer judged by my own imperfection, but by his perfection. Im saved by his righteousness. Shall I continue in sin that grace my increase? “No,” said Paul, “God forbid.”


We aren’t to indulge our sinfulness, just struggle to not let it run rampant. There is help; we aren’t alone. The Holy Spirit is always with us. God strengthens those who seek him.

To Close

I have some hard and heavy days. Days marked by sadness, discouragement, and even overwhelming anxiety. And what about my disappointments?

He understands those too, he understands all of it. He does.

It’s not a sin to be human.

So don’t give up, hang in there, find faith, and keep rolling with the punches.


One thought on “When Life Doesn’t Work

  1. Bro. Rick, thank you so much for your these words of encouragement, I for one needed them! I appreciate your candor and I love the reminder that the “Holy Spirit” is right her with us. I’m looking forward to Sunday as I always do! Have a Blessed week!! YSIC, Una ~smile~


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