“I have some bad news.” “We regret to inform you…” “someone else” “a different direction” I hate those words. Is there any good way to prepare for disappointment?
When we’ve allowed our hearts to drink tentatively from the fragile glass of desire, those words cease the flow of that sweet nectar. What still seemed yesterday like at least a possibility, even if it was a long shot, is an unfulfilled longing today.
The door has been shut. The cut has been made. The documents have been signed and delivered. He left. She said no. They didn’t call back. Your ship didn’t come in after all. Someone else won, not you.
And you fuss at yourself for allowing your heart to hope. You had told yourself not to dream, not to taste, not to touch. You had measured the odds and knew it wasn’t a sure thing. You knew better than to think it was a done deal.
Still, you had peeked beyond all the obstacles and navigated a way for it to happen. You had calculated the height of the hurdles, but knew you could leap over them.
And, of course, you had prayed and prayed and prayed.
You weren’t even going to tell anyone that you believed, “maybe.” But then you did. In fact, you shared your heart, your enthusiasm, your longing, your gut feelings. It all gushed out in a waterfall of anticipation as you stood on the precipice of possibility and prepared to soar.
But now…you not only feel deeply discouraged; you feel embarrassed for ever letting yourself believe…
Disappointment doesn’t just weigh us down with feelings of regret and failure and loss. But it also cloaks us in thick humiliation, even if no one else seems to notice that we’re wearing it. When our dreams are dashed we’re embarrassed to see them scattered on the floor for all to see.
Look, disappointment is a normal part of the human existence. Every single person on this earth has experienced disappointment…multiple times, sometimes even daily. But it is one of the emotions that, by the very nature of its definition, isolates. When we feel disappointed, we feel that we must surely be the only person who has ever failed so miserably, lost so much, been overlooked so often, fallen so short.
It’s all a lie. Straight from the pit of hell, whispered by the father of lies, leveled by the accuser himself, it’s a bold-faced lie.
Your Enemy’s Scheme
The enemy of our soul knows the fate that awaits him, the deal that was sealed when Jesus rose from His grave. He is the loser. We, in Christ, are the victors. But until God reins our enemy in once and for all, the sneaky snake will continue his initial MO — to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). And since he can’t steal our salvation, kill our souls or destroy our destinies, he is limited to lesser frustrations. But he carries those out skillfully.
Your enemy seeks to steal your joy, kill your hope and destroy your faith. If he can do that, he can also rob you of opportunities, kill your God-sized dreams and diminish your relationship with the One who loves you without fail.
Get mad, sister. Get really angry. Each day we allow disappointment to turn into discouragement and then to pull us into despair is a day we’ve forfeited to the enemy.When I let disappointment turn into discouragement then into despair, I forfeit the day to the enemy. Click To Tweet
Are you wallowing in despair today? Don’t be embarrassed. I’ve hosted so many pity parties I could have a show on the Food Network and teach you what to serve at your next one! I confess, I’ve occasionally despaired over my disappointments.
The Truth About Disappointment
Truthfully, disappointments are simply closed doors. While no one likes having a door shut in their face, we must learn to view these barriers as re-directions rather than rude rejections. If we trust that God loves us with an unfailing love and that He is always faithful, then we must trust that the disappointments we encounter are simply necessary detours in the divinely designed journey He has mapped out for us.Disappointments aren't rude rejections, but divine detours God provides to get me to my destiny. Click To Tweet
If I refuse to have my thinking transformed in this area, then despair will undoubtedly set in at times. With each rejection I’ll dig in my heels, wave my fists at God or give up completely. That’s when Satan gets the win.
But if I cling to my hope in a loving, faithful, sovereign and powerful God, then the closed doors lose their power to insult and I see that they are simply meant to define my path and keep me on track.
Here’s what the Bible says about our disappointments.
As I have meditated on and memorized these scriptures, I am more resistant to feelings of despair. When disappointment hits, I see it for what it is. I feel the sting, but then I trust that God is in control and that He is lovingly guiding my steps.
I also no longer feel the humiliation of disappointment. Instead, I am able to praise God in all things, knowing that this is His plan for me (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The moment may feel ugly, but I am guaranteed that something beautiful will come of it.
I hope that today holds nothing but success for you. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Yes! But, honestly, in every life a little rain must fall. So when you next feel the sting of disappointment, I hope that you will recall one of these truths. Let it wash over you like a soothing balm so you can get back on your feet and move forward with hope.
The scripture cards pictured above are from the Joseph – Keeping a Soft Heart in a Hard Place Scripture Memory Pack. You can find out more and order the Bible study, the DVDs and the 10 scripture cards here. The Bible study book is also available on Amazon.