Feeling Dis-Appointed? Christ is being “formed” in you

Scott Benson

Ask God to speak as you interact with today's Scripture and devotional.

“My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.” - Galatians 4:19

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 1:6

All of us know how it feels to be disappointed. John Ortberg reminds us that sometimes we can even live in a “state of dis-appointment,” especially when we realize that we’ve missed the life that God’s appointed us to live. We can “dis-appoint” God, too, whenever we displace Him and appoint ourselves in His rightful place. But even in disappointment we can still hold on to the hope of Christ being formed in us: 

I am embarrassingly sinful. I am capable of dismaying amounts of jealousy if someone succeeds more visibly than I do. I am disappointed at my capacity to be small and petty. I cannot pray for very long without my mind drifting into a fantasy of angry revenge over some past slight I thought I had long since forgiven.… 

Sometimes, although I'm aware of how far I fall short, it doesn't even bother me very much. And I'm disappointed in my lack of disappointment. The feeling of disappointment is not the problem, but a reflection of a deeper problem — my failure to be the person God had in mind when he created me. 

But God is determined … not simply to repair most of our brokenness. He wants to make us new creatures. So, the story of the human race is not just one of universal disappointment, but one of inextinguishable hope.... Your story is the story of transformation. You will not always be as you are now; the day is coming when you will become something incomparably better.… The possibility of transformation is the essence of hope.... 

The Greek word “morpho,” used in Galatians 4:19 (“until Christ is formed in you”), means “the inward and real formation of the essential nature of a person.” It was the term used to describe the formation and growth of an embryo in a mother's body. Paul agonized until Christ would be born in the Galatian people, until they would express his character and goodness in their whole being. Paul said they — like us — are in a kind of spiritual gestation process. We are pregnant with possibilities of spiritual growth and moral beauty so great that they cannot be adequately described as anything less than the formation of Christ in our very lives.” (Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People, p. 13, 15, 17, 20)


Answer the questions below and write down any other thoughts and prayers to God in your Life in Rhythm journal.

  1. How do you resonate with Ortberg’s personal feelings of disappointment?  
  2. How does the hope of Christ being formed in you give you encouragement today?  
  3. How do you see Christ being formed in you?  
  4. Give thanks for God’s promise to continue His “good work” in you until “the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

Go deeper (optional)

Every day you'll have an opportunity to "go deeper" into God's Word by practicing the REAP study method. Read the following scripture and use your journal and the REAP method to unpack the following scripture and apply it to your life.

1 John 1:5-10, 1 John 2:4-6
Learn more about reap