One of the unfortunate by-products of living in a sinful, fallen world is that every person, Christian or not, experiences pain, suffering and disappointment in this life. From failed relationships to unfulfilled dreams, life can be filled with sorrow and disappointment. In fact, Jesus assured us of it: “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). No one is immune.
The first thing to keep in mind is this: no amount of suffering or disappointment we experience in this life can ever undo what God has done for us in Christ.
Sources of Disappointment
1. Life and circumstances will disappoint us.
Life will let us down from time to time. Disappoint is a fact of life in this fallen world. Life can definitely work against us. Life often opposes our efforts to live for the Lord, delivering disappointment to our doorstep.
2. People will disappoint us.
People disappointment cuts deep. It is heart breaking when people we look to and trust let us down through disappointment. Each of us can recall when someone disappointed us. We know how awful that felt. We need to remember that we have disappointed others too…and made them feel bad.
3. We will disappoint ourselves
Some of our deepest disappointments are with ourselves. You and I can beat ourselves up pretty good when we bring disappointment upon on our selves.
Disappointment: The First Seed of Doubt
Disappointment is the first seed of doubt that intrudes on our faith. Disappointment sounds so harmless, but it’s the tip of a wedge that will hinder our spiritual growth and make us bitter and defeated.
Some times we disappoint ourselves, when we know that we have taken the wrong road or even purposefully followed our head strong will or prideful own ambition.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
You may not know why God has allowed you to encounter disappointment, frustration, or deep sorrow. Regardless, the one thing that matters most is the focus of your faith.
Is your faith set on God or your own ability?
The Lord has good plans for your life, but you must be willing to walk with Him through the valleys as well as the mountaintop experiences.
David turned to God with his disappointment. He didn’t ask, What am I going to do? He knew who the source of his strength was.
Psa 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psa 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psa 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
No social science can work restoration on the soul; only God can do this (Psalm 23:3). The truth is, our trials and disappointments, though we may not like them, do serve a purpose. It is through trials that we learn patience and humility, endurance and trust—virtues that strengthen us and develop godly character.
Being a child of God means we are never alone in our trials (Hebrews 13:5 “..I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ).
God gives us the strength and grace we need to endure any circumstance and to overcome any disappointment (Php 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.). His peace will guard our hearts when we look to Him.
Php 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
As Maurice Roberts stated, “The degree of a Christian’s peace of mind depends upon his spiritual ability to interpose the thought of God between himself and his anxiety.” If we keep our mind on God, nothing can steal our peace.
Isa 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
If we live in the past, we will look down on the present, and forget about God’s promises for the future. (Jer. 29 :11)
If our joy depends on circumstances, we are in trouble, because circumstances are always changing. Don’t let discouragement drive you from God. Your disappointment may be God’s appointment to bring you to the cross for forgiveness and salvation.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Col 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Whatever you do, don’t turn away from God. Failure is not fatal with god. How will things get better if in your despair you reject the only fountain of hope?