Thursday, we marked the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, the day that marked the beginning of the end of WW 2. Nonetheless, it was a horrible day. German casualties on D-Day have been estimated between 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead on just that first day. Stories of those from that day were stories about survival—just to get through those initial first hours—and the days that followed.
Today we’re beginning a new series called “Surviving Your Personal D-Day Invasion.” This series addresses some of the tough issues that many of us have to face from time to time. These Invasions Are Designed To Enslave You. There Are No Vaccinations Against These D-Day Invasions, And No One Has Natural Immunity From Them.
We’ll journey together through God’s word as we talk about these D-Day Invasions. I want you to know something about this series. I’m not teaching theory here—I’m teaching from the scars of my experiences. I’ve learned that everything Jesus promises is absolutely true.
The invasion may be happening right now, but it is not a battle that you have to lose. In this series, we’re going to learn that surviving our Personal D-Day Invasion will take complete trust—and it will take complete hope—in God alone. I want you to discover that through Christ we have overwhelming victory—no matter what we face. This morning our passage is found in one of the most misunderstood books in the Bible. Job 1:13-21 (NLT)
13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news:
“Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
16 While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
17 While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
18 While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. 19 Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
20 Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. 21 He said,
“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!”
Today’s topic is Disillusionment. I’m not talking about disappointment or discouragement. These emotions are painful, but disillusionment is much, much deeper—and so much darker.
- Disillusionment comes when what we thought was going to happen seems to be impossible. It is losing the ability to dream and vision about your future.
- Disillusionment is what causes us to feel despair—the feeling that we will not survive.
- Disillusionment is what makes us cynical—and cynicism always makes us bitter.
We say, “Oh, I’ll never become disillusioned!” So we turn to motivational speakers and posters. But they don’t really help. In fact there is a website called http://www.despair.com operated by a company called Demotivators. Here’s their mission statement on their website:
No industry has inflicted more suffering than the Motivational Industry. Motivational books, speakers and posters have made billions of dollars selling shortcuts to success and tools for unleashing our unlimited potential. At Despair, we know such products only raise hopes to dash them. That’s why our products go straight to the dashing. Enjoy!
The fact is that there will come a day when you will experience the D-Day Invasion Of Disillusionment. When things start crumbling around you, you will need something to hold onto, something that’s steady and constant. And what you may have thought you could count on—evaporates before your very eyes.
So here’s the one thing you need to remember: The Only Way You’ll Be Able To Survive Is If You Have Learned To Put Your Trust And Hope In God Alone. True survival for now and for eternity comes when you know God personally in a deeply intimate and personal way.
There is classic story in the Old Testament—nearly everyone is familiar with Job. It’s the story of a man who suffered much during his Personal Invasion, yet he was able to survive. We’ll look at his story and others during the course of this series and learn how they did it and how you can do it, too.
You need to understand that it wasn’t easy for Job nor did his victory come instantly. Job was a man who loved God deeply and had life going his way. Then comes Satan, who accuses that Job only loves God because of his blessings. The eternal conflict between good and evil is revealed once again.
Are you experiencing disillusionment in your life today? The disillusionment of being in a dead-end life? Of struggling financially? Of a crumbling health? Of rebellious children? Of broken dreams? What’s disillusioning you? Job faced his Personal D-Day Invasion. Let’s take a look at three survival tactics Job used to survive—these same tactics worked for me and they will work for you. Here are 3 things that Job did that you need to do in the face of Disillusionment.
1. Be Open And Honest About Your Grief.
Job didn’t try to hide the pain in his life—he grieved openly and admitted his suffering. In order to get beyond pain and experience healing in our lives, we have to grieve.
Too often, we try to mask our pain through denial, through superficial spirituality, through a drink or pill, or some other thrill. Job doesn’t do this. And he doesn’t resort to clichés, “Hallelujah; I’m just going to let go and let God. I’m just going to claim my victory.” Instead, Job Grieved. He tore his clothes, he put on sackcloth, covered himself with ashes, and he began to mourn.
This is how grief was expressed in his time and culture. And in doing this he was telling everyone there that he was grieving—he was being open and honest about his suffering. It’s normal to grieve.
In fact, it’s abnormal not to grieve. Through grief we can express our feelings about the situation. This is what Job did—He expressed all his feelings about the situation. Through grief, we are able to gripe and express our desire for the circumstances not to be true.
Job was brutally honest with God, and when we go through struggles, we can be brutally honest with God about what is going on in our lives. Grieving helps us to express the effects that we’ve experienced from the impact of The Invasion. We can begin to tell God and even other people how we really feel.
Grieving has a purpose. It Forces Us To Become Honest With Ourselves So That We Can Begin Making The Necessary Changes In Our Lives. Grieving gives a chance to ask the hard questions that we need to ask—“Why did this happen? Is it God’s will? Did God do this? Is it my fault?” As we ask the questions, we can then begin to discover the source of our disillusionment.
Like Job, sometimes it’s the result of evil, like planes flying into buildings. Sometimes, it’s the result of wrong choices on our part. Through either situation, there are lessons to be learned, and we can’t learn them until we Grieve, until we ask the tough questions. That’s the first tactic to handling disillusionment. The second is:
2. Choose To Put Your Complete Trust In God.
We don’t know how long Job grieved, but we do know there was a day when he stopped. He grieves, but he doesn’t stay in grief.
Did you notice verse 21?—“Then Job fell to the ground and worshipped God!” Real trust comes only through a personal relationship with God. I want to make sure you understand this.
We can do a lot of different things to feel good once in a while—but true faith, true trust comes only through a personal relationship with God. When we trust or value anything more than God, guess what happens? We’re setting ourselves up for Disillusionment.
You can’t trust in your money; money can be lost. You can’t trust in your skills; there are some things your skills can’t get you through. You can’t trust in your relationships; relationships can unravel. Where do you put your trust and hope? If you put it anywhere else than God for here now and for eternity later, you will become a disillusioned person.
I Have Learned That I Can Trust In God Because He Loves Me Unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done, what I’m doing, or what I will do. God loves me unconditionally and I cling to this truth. And so can you! I discovered that I can cling to this truth and I can trust God because He’s always in control. In your D-Day Invasion, you need to know who’s in control. God is—and you can trust in God.
Yes, sometimes bad things happen, but God is still in control. I can trust God because He loves me unconditionally. He is in total control. He knows what’s going to happen. Most importantly—He promises to never leave me and to always be there. Here’s a third tactic to help you through the invasion of disillusionment:
3. Restate Your Eternal Hope In Jesus.
We all need to believe in dreams—to believe that we have a purpose and can achieve great things. We should desire to be effective and successful. We should want to be the best that we can be and drive hard towards it. However, when these positive thinking traits are not balanced with the real world and real life and the sovereignty of God, we can become Disillusioned.
When we develop unrealistic expectations, we’re setting ourselves up for Disillusionment. There’s a hard truth we have to face—The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You And It Doesn’t Revolve Around Me. Sometimes we have a hard time believing that, but it’s true.
Believing that the world revolves around you is a sword that cuts you down. We have these expectations that we should shoot for but when we don’t balance it with reality we become Disillusioned. It’s great to dream, and we need to work toward those dreams. Just remember:
Jesus said that life would be hard sometimes. But he also promised to help us overcome. We can walk around angry and disillusioned and wish things could be different, or We Could Stop And Take Responsibility For Our Own Stuff. We Can Stop And Re-Evaluate Our Priorities—And Focus On What’s Really Important.
Really, what’s more important to you—to have a big house and a new car, or to play catch with a child? It’s your choice. It’s perspective, isn’t it? This sword cuts us down when we’re not honest with ourselves about our passions, our purpose in life, and about our time constraints. Re-Evaluate Your Expectations. Prioritize Your Life. Set Your Face, Values And Priorities With God And Continue To Move Forward.
The economy can crash, relationships fall apart, health declines, but God is always the same. Our hope is in Jesus. It’s the confident expectation that God is willing and able to fulfill the promises that He has made. Christian hope is based on Who He Is And What He Can Do, not on you and me. It’s not based on our circumstances.
With Christ, we are able to rise above our circumstance no matter what they are because of who God is. Do you need that kind of hope? That firm foundation of trust? Are you wondering where your hope can be found?
It can only be found in the one who knows your past and loves you anyway. He Promises To Hold Your Hand In The Present And Has Your Eternal Security In His Heart And It’s Secure In Him. Hope and trust in God alone is the backbone of this whole series. It’s how we can survive and even learn to thrive in our D-Day invasions.
- If You Are Hiding Your True Feelings, Be Honest With God. You need not be afraid of telling God how you really feel. He already knows and He’s so full of grace and love for you, He can handle whatever it is you are feeling.
- When Your Life Is Invaded By Disillusionment, Talk It Out! I am always available to you. But find someone who will listen as you grieve, and at the right moment, offer you hope. Make it someone who won’t say “Let go and let God” or some other cute phrase. Make it someone who will listen to you, AND the Holy Spirit.