Posted by: rcottrill | June 26, 2017

No Disappointment in Heaven

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Words: Frederick Martin Lehman (b. Aug. 7, 1868; d. Feb. 20, 1953)
Music: Frederick Lehman, with harmony by his daughter, Claudia Faustina Lehman Mays (b. July 15, 1892; d. Feb. 19, 1973)

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Note: Frederick Lehman was born in Germany. His family moved to the United States in 1872, at first living in a little one-room log cabin in Iowa. He trusted Christ as his Saviour in boyhood, and went on to a long and active ministry as a pastor, an editor, a gospel song writer and music publisher. He gave us the beautiful hymn The Love of God.

Hundreds of years ago the word “disappointment” meant: to remove from office, as in: the senator broke the law, so he lost his appointed position. Today, the word describes feelings and attitudes when someone lets us down, or something fails meet our expectations.

There is a sense of loss involved, and perhaps we feel sadness, or frustration over it. In the wake of a disappointment, we can also be discouraged and lose hope for the future.

In Greek mythology, Tantalus is said to have displeased the gods. As a punishment, he was condemned to stand forever in a pool whose waters fled whenever he stooped to drink. Above his head was a tree bearing luscious fruit, but the branches always shifted away when he reached for some. It becomes an apt parable of perpetual disappointment.

In our lives, many expectations carry with them such a possibility. That’s because we’re dealing with fallible human beings, in a broken world. Peggy Noonan is an acclaimed author and columnist with the Wall Street Journal. Years ago she served as a speech writer for President Ronald Reagan. But she wrote more recently, “Don’t fall in love with politicians, they’re all a disappointment. They can’t help it, they just are.”

So, is there anything positive about these painful feelings? Yes, there can be. And Noonan’s words illustrate it. Perhaps our hopes need to be adjusted to reality. To think that voting one man or woman into office is going to solve society’s ills is naive. We need to temper our expectations with a better knowledge of how things are. Politicians are only human after all, and they often have to deal with complex problems for which there is no perfect solution.

Disappointment tests our goals and values, to show whether they need to be refined. In that sense, it can become a blessing in disguise. If we are able to learn from the past and get a better understanding of future possibilities, the present may become a bridge between disappointment and renewed hope.

Church ministry has its own challenges and struggles. Bob Dale, a pastoral ministry consultant, notes that there are three particular periods in a clergyman’s ministry that are often especially difficult. The first comes early on, when some of the idealistic dreams of seminary days are hit by a dose of reality. The second comes around age forty, when the pastor realizes he hasn’t reached many goals he set for himself. And the third comes later, when he faces the insecurity of retirement years.

Pastor Frederick Lehman was going through some of these things at the age of forty-six. He and his family were apparently facing some financial troubles. In addition, he says, “As I sat disconsolately at my desk one Monday morning, after a particularly disappointing Sunday, Satan helped me to count my disappointments.”

These thoughts may be what the Bible describes as “fiery darts of the wicked one,” darts of disappointment and blame. Against them, we are to raise up “the shield of faith” for our protection (Eph. 6:16)–faith in the great promises of God. When Pastor Lehman did that, he reports, “The Spirit flashed a picture into my brain of what a Christian’s prospects were to be after this life is over. Like a panorama I saw beyond the disappointments in this vale of tears.”

The book of Revelation describes some of the things that will be missing in heaven: sorrow, crying, pain, and death (Rev. 21:4). The trials of this life are put in perspective as we contemplate the blessings to come (II Cor. 4:17). As he thought on these things, Lehman took up his pen and wrote words and melody for a gospel song called No Disappointment in Heaven.

CH-1) There’s no disappointment in heaven,
No weariness, sorrow or pain;
No hearts that are bleeding and broken,
No song with a minor refrain.
The clouds of our earthly horizon
Will never appear in the sky,
For all will be sunshine and gladness,
With never a sob or a sigh.

I’m bound for that beautiful city,
My Lord has prepared for His own;
Where all the redeemed of all ages
Sing “Glory!” around the white throne;
Sometimes I grow homesick for heaven,
And the glories I there shall behold;
What a joy that will be when my Saviour I see,
In that beautiful city of gold.

1) What disappointments are you currently dealing with in your life?

2) How has the Lord brought encouragement to you?

Wordwise Hymns
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