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KEEPING THE FAITH - There is no disappointment in Jesus, no matter who you are

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“For the Scripture says, ‘whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.’” Romans 10:11 (NASB)

The English Standard Version Bible translates Romans chapter 10, verse 11 as, “everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” The Catholic (Douay-Rheims) Bible says “whosoever believeth in him, shall not be confounded.” The word confounded can mean “bewildered, confused or perplexed.” Interestingly, the New American Standard Bible uses the word, “disappointed.”

We understand the word disappointment. The passage at face value, without context, seems to indicate any person who believes by faith in Jesus Christ is not disappointed. Let’s stop there for a minute.

A circumspect person was heard saying, “I once took a dream job. The dream job was not so much a dream as a disappointment.” Have you been there? The maxim states, “All that glitters is not gold.” It is true the bright, shiny things do disappoint.

Friends, there is only one case to prove the opposite perspective. Jesus Christ glitters in all His glory in Heaven — after blood, sweat and tears on Earth. He does not disappoint. The only disappointment you and I should ever expect is when we stop believing in Jesus and experiencing how amazing, wonderful and glorious He really is.

If you are confounded, shamed or disappointed about being a follower of Jesus because of your place or stature, you don’t have to continue in disappointment. Then again, there has to be more to it than simply believing in Jesus and His wonderfulness, right?

The good news about bumper sticker scriptural verses is that they always shine brighter in the greater light of the whole passage.

Just a few years ago near Waco, Texas, some scientists found a large prehistoric bone in a low-lying area near the convergence of two parts of the Brazos River. At first, the experienced scientists knew they had a fossil of some type but were not sure the magnitude of the discovery.

After further discovery, they realized they had something much greater. They had made a fantastic discovery. They found a fully intact Columbus Mastodon fossil. Eventually, after more digging, they found several more mastodons in close proximity to the first. They were beside themselves with joy at the great find.

Think on this for a moment: in order for verse 10, a fossil fragment, to have illumination in our hearts, we must unearth the other parts of the scriptural fossil. If a scripture passage is an entire dinosaur fossil, a verse is a fossil clue sticking out of the disturbed earth, ready for greater discovery. When Paul (paraphrasing) says that if you or I believe in Christ we will not be disappointed, we understand a little truth. But, is there more we can unearth surrounding this comforting verse?

In the part of the book of Romans that we are looking at, the Apostle Paul is opining on his great desire to see his brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith come to know Christ. This is important context to the Roman epistle for the fact that there was a large population of Jews in Rome during the time of Paul who are on Paul’s heart. Many of these Christians were most likely converted prior to Paul’s ministry.

While Paul is eventually called to the Gentiles, he still understands that God desires His people to receive Him.

Several commentators believe Paul was writing a kind of treatise (doctrinal explanation) to the Roman church to demonstrate his understanding of the Christian message in order to make inroads with that pre-existing Roman church. The Roman church would have included a mix of Jewish and Gentile Christians during this time. The truth we can glean is that no group, Jew or Gentile, will be disappointed or shamed in Christ.

Verses 8-9 state, “the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

No matter anyone’s context, we are all equally given the Word and a heart to receive the Word. We are equally endowed with the ability to faithfully believe with confidence and assurance.

No matter your story or circumstance, whether someone who grew up with all the right answers or grew up with very few of the right answers, you and I will not be shamed or disappointed in Christ. The only disappointment we will have in the faith journey is possibly only our own inability to see the whole dinosaur.

No matter who you are, faith in Jesus does not
disappoint. n