Have you ever had someone in the position of power able to do something for you, but they wouldn’t do it?
Pontius Pilate is an example of how deep the fear of man can run, and how it’s often used to manipulate people. Here was a man, a governor with great power sitting in the far corner of Caesar’s realm, and it’s the fear of Caesar that is a most effective manipulation tool in the hands of the Sanhedrin, Sadducees, and Pharisees.
He could have let Jesus go when Jesus was brought to him with all these accusations. Pilate even states that he wants to let Jesus go. What holds him back?
Fear of man is a kicker and such a slippery fish. It hides behind so many good intentions sometimes.
But we can feel it, and we know in our gut when we’ve succumbed to this fear, no matter what excuses we throw out there. And we can feel it from others, or at least some of us can. Fear of man is as obvious as a boogeyman-mask to some people. Sometimes it takes the form of people pleasing. Sometimes it’s simply succumbing to intimidation. Sometimes it takes the form of not doing the right thing because too many people would oppose it. And it can always be twisted to look good.
See? This is a very slippery fish. Really unpleasant stuff in the name of pleasing others.
When you’re on the receiving end of this, when someone does a wrong to you to “protect the majority” or to protect the veneer of looking good in front of others, the disappointment runs deep.
You know on a deep level that you’ve done nothing wrong and that it’s the right thing to do to help you, but the person in position to help you refuses in order to protect herself or himself, or to make themselves look good while you and your character are condemned.
Take that deep disappointment to Jesus. He has been there in a profound way.
It’s not just about being right. It’s not just about having the bragging rights. God wants to get those flaws out of our system since they don’t promote real relationship.
It’s about what we do in the moment of deep disappointment. It’s about learning how to not be bitter when you have every logical reason to be bitter. It’s about learning just how vile the fear of man is. And how important forgiveness is.
Most of all, it’s about learning how to press into Jesus in those crazy rough moments. When we press into Him, we establish intimacy and history. And we can look back on these moments to see just how faithful He is.
But what if it’s God who has disappointed you? What if you feel like God is the one who could have done something but didn’t? Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Prov. 13:12).
We’ll get into that a little more later on. That’s a giant thorny dragon I’ve wrestled in my life, and it’ll be touched on in more detail in another ‘Station’. For now, let’s look at the second half of that verse from Proverbs.
“…but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” God wants to fill us with His Life and Joy. Sure, disappointments can teach great life lessons, but joy and hope are wonderful, and sometimes better teachers.
Disappointment is akin to rejection. When we feel like we’ve been let down by someone, we fear it’s because they’re rejecting who we are and what we stand for.
“If they hate you, remember that they hated me first.” John 15:18. Sometimes that’s not a comfort, but sometimes that can drive us right into His arms. And His arms are mighty to comfort when we’re in the thick of disappointment and rejection.
Father, I pray that if there are those who have felt the heavy weight of disappointment and the sting of rejection that you would surround them with a sense of Your love and Your approval. Let them know that just as Jesus was given the seal of approval by You, so too are we, His followers. (see John 6:27) Amen!
“Set Me as a seal upon your heart, like a seal upon your arm, for love is as strong as death and its jealousy as vehement as the grave…it’s the very flame of the Lord.” (Song of Solomon 8:6)