Having hope in the midst of disappointment is believing in the goodness of God despite unmet expectations. Unresolved disappointments will lead to a defeated life. If we are going to hold on to hope in the disappointment of life, we must learn how to deal with the disappointment with waiting.
Alright, hey everybody! Welcome to Valley Creek Church! Hey, we are so glad that you are here with us today. Whatever campus or location you may be at – whether you’re in Denton, Flower Mound, Lewisville, the venue and extension site, or watching online somewhere in the world, can we just welcome each other together for a moment? We are so glad that you’re here with us. Maybe you haven’t been here in a while. Maybe this is your first time with us. We’re really glad you came to hang out with us today. Because we are in a series called “Disappointment.” And we’re talking about finding hope in the midst of life. And this is really – it’s a big series. It’s a full series. It’s a timely series. I think in a lot of ways it’s a prophetic series. I think it’s really tapping into some different areas in our hearts. And we’ve talked about what disappointment is. We said disappointment is simply unmet expectations. Like this is your expectation, this is what happens, and this is your level of disappointment. This is what you thought was going to be, this is what really is, and then this is your level of disappointment.
And we’ve said that the question is not whether or not disappointment comes. The question is what are you going to do when it comes, because disappointment is a part of life. And we have to learn to deal with disappointment, because a disappointed heart will live a defeated life. Unresolved disappointment will lead to an unfulfilled destiny, because you’ll never get from where you are to where God wants to take you, without going through valleys of disappointment. And so we have to learn to cling to our hope. And we’ve talked about how Satan doesn’t have the authority to steal your destiny, but He wants to disappoint you to the place where you give up on your own destiny. He wants to steal your hope. And so what we’re doing in this series is we’re taking a look at the life of Joseph, an Old Testament hero of the faith, through the chapters of Genesis 37 through 50. And what Joseph does an amazing job of is he holds on to his hope, in the midst of a lot of disappointment.
And we talked about how the story of Joseph is really a great picture of our lives because those disappointments – they’re really tests. They’re tests that come into our life to test us, to expose, to heal, to reveal things within us. Because God wants to challenge every area of our life, where our hope isn’t anything but Him. And if you remember the story of Joseph, it basically goes something like this. Joseph is one of the 12 sons of Jacob – 12 tribes of Israel that come from the 12 sons of Jacob – and he’s his father’s favorite son. So his father gives him this amazing robe. He’s the father’s favorite son. He’s got this dream and this destiny from God that he is going to be this amazing ruler, that God’s going to raise him up and he’s going to do incredible things. And so his 11 other brothers, they hate him. And one day Joseph is out for a walk and his brothers grab him, they rip off this special robe, they throw him in a pit. And they take the robe, and they kill an animal, and they put some blood on it, and they tell the father that a ferocious animal killed Joseph. The father Jacob is heartbroken, and then they take their brother in this pit and they sell him to slave traders.
Slave traders take him down to Egypt. They sell him to a guy named Potiphar, and now Joseph is a slave in Egypt. He’s serving a guy named Potiphar. He serves him well. He takes care of him. The favor of God is upon Joseph’s life. So Potiphar really likes Joseph, because this is working out really well, until one day Potiphar’s wife makes a pass at Joseph. But Joseph rejects her, and I love what he says. He says, how can I sin against God? He understands that by engaging with Potiphar’s wife wouldn’t be a sin against humanity, it would be a sin against God. Because all sin is not against people. It’s always against God. And it’s fascinating. If you’ve just been thrown in a pit by your brothers, sold as a slave, you end up serving a master in a foreign land, and you sit there and say how could I sin against God. What that tells us is that Joseph wasn’t disappointed in God. He still had hope in God in the midst of a hardship. And so Potiphar’s wife is so upset that he rejects her, she spins the story. Tells Potiphar he made a pass at her. Potiphar is furious, throws him in prison.
Joseph is now not only just a slave, he’s now in prison, and he starts serving people in prison. And he serves a couple of guys. And says, hey, when you get out of here, will you please remember me, because I shouldn’t be here in the first place, help me get out. He serves them, they get out of jail, they completely forget him. Years go by. Eventually they remember him, and he has an opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. He interprets it so accurately that Pharaoh is blown away, makes Joseph the number two leader in all of Egypt. God gives Joseph wisdom that seven years of abundance are going to come, and then seven years of famine are going to come. So for seven years, Joseph leads all of Egypt to stockpile grain. And then the seven years of famine come across the earth and everyone comes to buy grain from Joseph and the Egyptians. And ultimately his family comes, because they need grain bread to survive as well. And he is able to reconcile with his family, reconnect with his father, and he fills the fullness of the destiny that God has in store for him. It’s an amazing story. Wave after wave of disappointment, and he doesn’t lose his hope.
In the last two weeks, what we’ve talked about is his first two disappointments. Disappointment with people and disappointment with circumstance. And he works through those. And we’ve talked about those. And what I think is so fascinating about the story of Joseph is that we can read the story of Joseph, Genesis 37 through 50. It’s 14 chapters, you can sit down, you can read it in about 30 minutes. Go through the entire story of Joseph and be like, yep, man, that was disappointing. But look, he went from the pit to the palace, just like that in 30 minutes, it’s amazing! And what we forget is chapters 37 through 50 are 93 years! What we forget is from the moment his brothers threw him in the pit, until the moment Pharaoh appointed him as ruler over Egypt, was 13 years! Thirteen years. I’d say it one more time, 13 years.
He was disappointed in people. He was disappointed in circumstances. And he was disappointed in waiting. And so will you. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Those things that were desperate to change, they don’t change. Everyday, Joseph wakes up in prison. For 13 years. And the reality is, is that if you’re going to hold on to your hope in the midst of life, you’re going to have to learn to deal with disappointment in the waiting. Disappointment in waiting for things that you think should change faster than they do. And so how do we do that? Well, really, all I got for you today is simply this, to hold on to your hope in the midst of life. Sometimes the only thing you can do is wait upon the Lord.
I mean, if you will look just to the people of God all throughout scriptures, the Israelites had to wait 400 years for God to set them free from Egyptian slavery. Moses had to wait 40 years as a shepherd on the backside of the desert before God raised him up to be a deliverer. David had to wait more than 10 years from the time God anointed him as King until he actually got appointed as King. Ten years running from Saul, with no home, living in the desert, and caves and holes, and in the wilderness. If you think about it – from the end of the Old Testament, until when Jesus comes – 400 years, the people of God had to wait in silence. God didn’t have much to say in that moment other than Jesus was coming. You got anything else to say about that? He’s coming, 400 years! Jesus had to wait three days in the grave.
It is a mystery of the kingdom of God that sometimes we just have to wait upon the Lord. And sometimes, that’s all you can do. I mean, listen to these verses. Psalms 27:14, here’s King David. He says, “Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for He will never disappoint you!” Come on, that has profound anointing with it, because that came from a guy who was disappointed in the waiting. Ten years of waiting, and he says, here’s what I’ve learned. Don’t give up, keep your hope, He won’t disappoint you, because He always comes through on His appointments. Or how about Psalm 33:20? It says, “We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.” No matter what you’re waiting for, no matter what you’re disappointed in, it’s not changing. He is your hope and your shield.
Psalm 38:15, “Lord, the only thing I can do is wait and put my hope in you. I wait for your help, my God.” Some of you are here today, and that is literally the cry of your heart. You are so disappointed that things are not changing. That it’s literally the only thing I can do is wait and put my hope in you. Listen to me. Don’t make major decisions in the valleys of disappointment. Don’t make major life decisions in the valleys of disappointment. When you’re waiting and it’s not changing, that is not the time to make a major life decision. Wait for the Lord. He will be kind and gracious to you. Remember, we said disappointments are tests. So sometimes you’re being tested. Pass the test. Pass the test by not doing something dumb in the moments when you want things to change and they’re not changing.
Or how about Psalm 62:5, “Let all that I am wait quietly before the Lord, for my hope is in Him.” In other words, waiting is tangible trust. If you will wait upon the Lord, in your disappointing circumstances, it’s tangible trust. It says, I trust in him. I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t know why it’s happening. I don’t know why it’s not changing. I don’t know why this prison door won’t open, but I trust in Him. So I’ll wait upon the Lord. I mean, that’s really what Joseph did. This is fascinating to me. In Genesis chapter 40, when Joseph is in prison, listen to what it says. It says, “Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.” You’re like, what does that mean? Okay, think about this for a moment. Pharaoh is upset with the baker and the cupbearer. And so he throws them into jail – into the same jail that Joseph is in.
Here is my question. What does a baker and a cupbearer represent? A baker represents bread, a cupbearer represents wine. The baker baked bread for Pharaoh, the cupbearer gave Pharaoh the wine. He served him the wine. So it represents bread and wine. What do bread and wine represent in the Bible? The broken body and the shed blood of Jesus. Remember, I told you the entire story of Joseph is one big prophetic picture of Jesus. So when the baker and the cupbearer get thrown into prison, and it says Joseph attended them, what it means was Joseph turned his attention to the broken body and the shed blood of Jesus. He attended them, he turned his attention to the broken body and the shed blood of Jesus. You say, Jesus wasn’t broken and shed then. Okay, he turned his attention to the goodness of God. This literally what it’s telling us. What I’m trying to tell you is Joseph didn’t passively wait in the midst of disappointment. He didn’t go in his prison cell and turn on Netflix [Gestures operating remote]. And you wonder why you’re disappointed!
He actively waited by turning his attention to the goodness of God. That’s what that’s telling us. It’s a prophetic picture. He actively waited by turning his attention to the goodness of God. And what we learn from Joseph is, is that when we’re disappointed in the waiting, because that’s real, turn your attention to the finished work of Jesus. That’s all you can do. Some of you are here, and you’re waiting. And you’re so disappointed. That your body’s not getting healed, that your marriage isn’t getting fixed, that that darkness isn’t going away, that the addiction isn’t broken, that your child hasn’t come back home. I mean, you name it. What do you do? You attend the baker and the cupbearer. You turn your attention to the finished work of Jesus. And you look at the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and remind yourself that if He defeated sin, death and the grave, there is still hope even though I’m waiting. You see, the interesting part about this is like, the last two weeks, I’ve given you so much content. I mean, if you’ve been here, you’re like, yeah, that was a lot. It was a lot. It was full. And I think we’re saturated. And so all we’re going to do today is literally wait on the Lord.
And you say, well wait, I came here because I want more content. I want to write down more notes, because I want to keep getting through my disappointment. Okay. What I hope you will always remember for the rest of your life, in today’s message, is not anything I say, but the experience that we’re having. Because what I hope you remember is that sometimes as you start working through the disappointments of life, sometimes everything just goes quiet. And you have to wait upon the Lord. That’s called life. If you’re here and you’ve been disappointed in the waiting, you know sometimes the last thing you want is a trite Bible verse. The last thing you want is a three-point sermon. The last thing you want is someone saying the Lord is good, brother. Okay! And what we do as Christians is we like, like fake it.
We’re like simple – like, fake it till you make it kind of thing, you know. Like, yeah, I don’t believe it or feel it. But I know, I’m in charge – I’m supposed to say, yeah! Like, can I tell you – here’s what I think. Some of you today, you walked in here, you’ve listened to the last two weeks, you were so like hopeful when you heard the series disappointed, because you’ve been so disappointed for so long. We talked about two really full messages. You went home, you like worked on some of that stuff. And guess what, you’re still disappointed. It still hasn’t changed. Your marriage is still struggling. That job you still can’t stand, you still got it. You still haven’t been able to pay your bills. I don’t know, whatever it is. What’s up? I don’t know, man. But Joseph was in prison for 13 years. And God was still good to him. And God still loved him. And Joseph figured out something all of us forgot, or forget. Turn your attention to the body and the blood of Jesus. That He was broken so you could be healed. That He was poured out so you could be set free.
Do you understand? Joseph was free in prison. Because of where he turned his attention. You can be free in prison. And let’s be honest, waiting sometimes is the ultimate prison. Because, why? Because you have no control. When you’re in prison, you have no control. You’re told what to do, when to do it, how to do it. When you’re waiting, in disappointment, you have no control. The only thing you can control is your attention. You can go turn on Netflix and passively wait in the corner. Or you can turn your attention to the broken body and the shed blood of Jesus. You see, the truth is, that’s what I’m saying. That’s life. Because you won’t always have a sermon, you won’t always have a friend to encourage you, you won’t always have a gathering to come to. Some times you don’t need a word. Sometimes, you just need to wait on the Lord. That’s legit. That’s like, that’s like actually someone who works through disappointment and finds hope. You’re like, I don’t like that. I don’t either.
But Jesus says, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. If Jesus had to wait three days in the grave, I’m just saying, you’re probably going to have to wait. It’s a mystery of the kingdom of God. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I can give you a lot of teaching around waiting right now. And all these points just want us to wait on the Lord, and turn our attention to him. Because that’s where hope comes from. So our ushers are going to get up and they’re going to start passing out communion. And so when it gets to you, if you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, grab a cracker, broken body, and the cup of juice, the shed blood of Jesus.
And if you’re here and you don’t yet, today might be your day to say, when I reach out, when that plate gets to me, I am going to by faith grab a hold of the broken body and the shed blood of Jesus. That He was broken so I can be healed, that His blood was poured out so I could be forgiven. And what I want you to do, for the next few moments, as you hold that, is let’s just be honest about life. Sometimes life just doesn’t go the way we want it. Sometimes life just doesn’t look the way we thought it would. Sometimes our expectation is that things were going to be here, and they’re really down here. So you can give up, you can cash out, you can get angry, you can numb yourself. You can choose to make really bad decisions, and sin against God, and create consequences in the future of your life. Or you can sit there and say, Lord, I don’t know what else to do, but to wait on you.
You see, really what communion is, is it’s turning our attention to the bread and the cup. It’s turning our attention from the disappointments that are all around us, to the hope of the one who set us free. It’s looking insane. I’m disappointed in waiting for that marriage. I’m disappointed in waiting on that relationship. I’m disappointed in waiting for that healing. I’m disappointed in waiting for that provision. I’m disappointed in waiting for a vision for my life or a promise for my future. I’m disappointed in waiting for things to change. I’m disappointed in waiting to be able to move. I’m disappointing in being able to, like, live a new rhythm and reality of life. I’m disappointed that the provision I need hasn’t come. Okay, that’s real.
But what waiting on the Lord does is it turns our attention from that to the hope of the finished work of Jesus. See, whatever you look at, it’s growing in your heart. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m disappointed in waiting, I look at the disappointment and it gets worse and bigger. So sometimes we just need to attend the baker and the cupbearer. Turn our attention to the broken body and the shed blood of Jesus. I mean, Psalm 136:1, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.” Isaiah 30:15, “In rest and repentance is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,” disappointed and waiting, “and I will give you rest.” Can you just maybe for a moment, wait upon the Lord?
You say, I don’t know what that means, man. Can you just look at the goodness of Jesus? No matter how bad it is, can you just remember that you’re forgiven? No matter how much hurt you’re in, can you just remember that He has declared you healed? No matter how dark that prison might be, can you just remember He has set you free? No matter how big that disappointment is, can you remember, in Him, hope never dies? We don’t know how to be quiet, and be still. So just for one minute, can you just wait upon the Lord and turn your heart’s posture towards the goodness of Jesus?
Isaiah 40:31 says, “…those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as Eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” In other words, it says those who wait upon the Lord and their disappointments, find hope and strength. You see, Jesus has already turned His attention to you. That’s what you’re holding in your hands. He invites us to now turn our attention back to Him. Regardless of how hard the waiting is. I think what’s really interesting in the story of Joseph is really when it says Joseph attended them. Remember Joseph is a picture of Jesus as well.
And so, we wait on the Lord, by allowing the Lord to wait on us. We wait on the Lord, by allowing the Lord to wait on us. You say what does that mean? When it says Joseph attended them, it literally means he waited on them, he served them. So we wait on the Lord and our disappointments, by allowing the Lord to wait on, like a waiter, serve us with His broken body and His shed blood. You see, on the night The Lord Jesus was betrayed, He took the bread and He broke it, and He gave thanks. And He said this is my body. Do this in remembrance of me. In other words, He says no matter how disappointed you are, remember, I am hope. Can you receive the hope of Jesus in the midst of any disappointment in your life, right now?
And, “In the same way, after the supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is going to be poured out for you.’” He said my blood is going to set you free. In fact, what’s amazing is eventually it’s the cupbearer who says to Pharaoh, hey, there’s this guy in prison and you need to talk to him. It was the blood of Jesus that set Joseph free from prison, and it is the blood of Jesus that sets you free from your prison. So He says, no matter how disappointed you are, receive the hope in me. In fact, Jesus says, as whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. In other words, you proclaim hope in the midst of a broken and dying world. Can you let the hope of Jesus just fill you fresh today?
So Jesus, today, we choose to wait upon you. We’re not looking for a quick fix, a quick answer, a quick sermon, some little Twitter notes to jot down. Today, we’re acknowledging the reality of the journey from dream to destiny, from the pit to the palace. And we’re acknowledging that sometimes the disappointment of waiting is the hardest test to pass. But today we turn our affection. We turn our attention to the forgiveness and the healing, and the love and the grace, and the mercy and the kindness of Jesus for us. We love you Jesus. We wait upon you and we receive, as you wait upon us, the life-giving nature of the resurrected Christ. We receive hope. In your name we pray. Amen.