Prepare to be disappointed…we’ve all been there. It’s not getting a call back on that job you certainly thought you had. It’s getting sick the night before you leave for vacation. It’s watching all the time and effort you put into something crumble away in a matter of seconds. Disappointment is that all-too-frequently occurring emotion we experience anytime reality doesn’t meet our expectations.
Most of us go through life with ideas about all of the “perfect” things we should expect in life; a perfect childhood, perfect friends, finding the perfect spouse, having the perfect children. But then, life happens. Sometimes disappointment can be more devastating than tragedy, because it requires you to have invested in the outcome first.
This last year held moments of pure, devastating disappointment for my wife and me. We were both so overcome with grief and pain that we simply didn’t want to be around anybody, much less talk to anybody about our disappointment. The Bible tells us that we should rejoice in our sufferings, but I’d be lying if I said that’s what we did during this time. We were angry, resentful, and found ourselves arguing with God over what just happened.
So, how are Christians supposed to respond when faced with disappointment? The only way we found to get through our disappointment was to “hope, even when there was no reason to hope.”
In Romans 4:18-20, Abraham kept hoping, “even when there was no reason to hope,” believing that he’d become the father of many nations. It goes on in verse 19 to say that “his faith did not weaken,” even though it seemed like the odds were stacked against him.
“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.” – Romans 4:20-22 NLT
As disappointment comes your way this year (as it undoubtedly will), remember these simple truths:
- God is sovereign, and nothing is out of His control. (Isaiah 55:8 NLT)
- God is who He says He is. (Psalm 136:1)
- God is involved. (Genesis 50:20 NLT)
In our moment of despair and disappointment, it was easy to lose all hope, close out our family and friends, and to keep this pain all to ourselves. However, let me encourage you to allow others into your situation [as the Bible suggests in Ecclesiastes 4:12 and Proverbs 17:17]. Turn to God immediately [Psalm 55:22], turn your pain into purpose [Philippians 3:12-14], and do not lose hope.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will completely fill you with joy and peace because you trust in Him.” – Romans 15:13
This week, when you are considering the problems that you are facing, make the choice to pause and allow any disappointment to pass over you. Make the decision to fix your mind on the fact that God is sovereign, that He is who He says He is, and that He’s involved. Thank Him for the fact that the world will fail you, but He never will. Then, find someone else that you can encourage through their very own disappointment.