Disappointment is something we all experience and can be one of the hardest reactions to deal with. While we can’t avoid disappointment, we can effectively handle discouragement when we keep an empowering mindset. Unfortunately, this isn't always easy to do, especially when we're in our head about our circumstances. How we choose to cope with disappointment is crucial in our ability to overcome. How should we as believers in Christ handle disappointments we face in life? The Bible offers a tremendous amount of wisdom.
There are countless verses in the Bible that speak on disappointment. Jesus even guaranteed we will experience it when He said “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). It can show up as a failed marriage, a stagnant career, or a failed dream – No matter where you’re positioned in life, you are not protected from disappointment. The question we then must ask is how can we overcome disappointment in our lives? The Bible says with God.
While we can’t avoid disappointment, we are told through Scripture to trust in God and His promises for us. When we seek God, many of these promises are revealed. Psalm 34:10 reminds of this, when it says, “The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those seek the LORD lack no good thing.” These promises are for those who are seeking the Lord. When we seek Him, we will lack nothing. In short, this verse means God will give it to us, if it’s good for us. This is where shifting our focus around disappointment comes in and trusting God is vital. We all know the popular verse from Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Let that soak in for a second. I mean really soak in. Now, take a moment to reflect on a particular disappointment, maybe even one that you’re currently hooked on that you just can’t shake. Maybe you are experiencing this particular disappointment right now because God doesn’t want that for you –maybe there’s a different plan in store for you. Now, the hard part is trusting in Him, when His plan isn’t making much sense to you. You’ve asked God for the the right relationship, but you still haven’t found your match. You’ve asked God for a job, but you are still unemployed. You’ve asked God for a financial miracle, but you’re still in debt. You’ve talked to God, and you’re still disappointed. When you start to feel this way, it’s time to adjust your lenses.
When it comes to dealing with disappointment, the Bible tells us to focus on the good and that good can only be found in in Jesus. We are reminded of this when David says in Psalm 16:2 “I say to the LORD “You are my LORD; I have no good apart from you.” Maybe the good we’re looking for isn’t in our employment, in a relationship, or even in a lottery winning. Maybe, it's in Him. Overcoming that disappointment can only come when we take our eyes off of earthly possessions and desires and really set our eyes and hearts on Him. Maybe we didn’t get the answer we’re looking for but when we let go of our focus on how greatly we are unfulfilled, we can focus on the One who fulfills us.
If you are dealing with a disappointment right now, remember that you can rely on God. When we recognize God’s goodness, even in our disappointment, we begin to really know God. As Paul tells us in Philippians 3:8 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus My Lord,” we are reminded that God himself represents the greatest good and if we set our eyes on Him, we won’t be disappointed or discouraged because He will satisfy us. I’m not talking about knowing about Him, but really knowing Him –sensing His closeness, His love, and His constant presence. When we truly know God, we know that no matter our circumstances, He satisfies our every need and we will never be disappointed.