Gratitude in the Face of Disappointment
“Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever.”
1 Chronicles. 28:4 (NIV)
This expression of gratitude immediately followed the greatest disappointment of King David’s life. He had just learned from God that he would not have the honor of providing leadership for the building of God’s Temple. David had said in 1 Chronicles 28:2 that his heart had been set on building a magnificent dwelling-place for the God of Israel. Later, he describes the energy, enthusiasm, and unbridled generosity he had already invested in this God-honoring project: “With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God – gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble-all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God, I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple.” (1 Chronicles 29:2-3 NIV)
After all of this sacrifice and preparation, David learns that he would not be the man to build God’s Temple. What was his response? What would we do in the face of such disappointment? 1 Chronicles 28:4 gives us a true glimpse of the spirit of David. His response teaches us one of life’s greatest priorities: focusing on the goodness of God. Instead of throwing a “pity party,” reflect on how wonderfully gracious God has been to you. That’s exactly what David did. Upon learning that he would not be personally involved in building the Temple, he reminded himself and others around him of the incredible honor he already enjoyed: “Yet, the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:4 NIV)
David did not allow this disappointing circumstance to rob him of his joy, nor did he regret having sacrificed so much to build the Temple. He did not pout over his loss; he rejoiced in the honor that had been given to him and gave generously. David’s lost opportunity could have made him resentful or bitter. Instead, he maintained an attitude of gratitude and remained focused on the big picture of God’s purpose and glory.
Regardless of the disappointments you are faced with today, take the time to reflect on all the special expressions of God’s goodness in your life.