Dealing with Disappointment

I’m dealing with some disappointment. I’m not going into particulars, but it is one that has been there for quite a while. Like everyone else, I’ve had my share of disappointments, and I’m going to share what’s been helpful to me, and I’d like for it to be helpful to you, too.

First, I would note the obvious: everyone has disappointments. We’re not the only ones to have disappointments. As a student I had times when I didn’t get the grade I thought I was going to get. The worry: this might have a bad effect on my grade point average. Will I be able to go to the college I want, get into the grad school I want to go to. Will I make it into a doctoral program. I ultimately made each of those goals, but there was the worry that maybe I didn’t do as well as I could, and it could mess up a life’s goal. I could write a book on my disappointments, but that’s not going to help you or me.

Second, as a believer in Jesus, I have the promise of God’s word: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV). I’ve believed in Christ for salvation. Therefore, this promise applies to me as well as everyone who has come to know Christ. I have seen this a number of times in my life when I was disappointed that something didn’t happen according to my plan. But in hindsight, I have seen that by waiting or having a different door open, it was better. And from eternity’s viewpoint, I’ll be able to see that much better. Yes, acknowledge the disappointment. But realize there’s a better plan awaiting you.

Third, use the disappointment as a time of growing closer to God. I’ll admit, if events are going according to my plan, I don’t seek God and His purpose as much as I do when I’m disappointed. Yes, I should always do that. But, admittedly, I don’t. I have the tendency to put too much confidence in the flesh as opposed to focusing on what God wants to do with my life.

Fourth, don’t give up. I have had times when I’ve thought, “what’s the use? Why try?” Yet it may be that you will accomplish what you desire. It’s just that you may need to work harder, or perhaps you need a different route to your goal. Maybe you should seek some godly counsel related to overcoming your disappointment.

Which brings me to my fifth and final point: Have someone to confide in. I know from personal experience, when I’m disappointed, I sometimes have isolated myself. And while having some time along to reflect is helpful, keeping everything inward can lead to despair. Have a friend with whom you can share. He or she may have some valuable insight that can give you a different view. Perhaps your wise friend will listen carefully and then present some valuable advice.

God will see you through your disappointment to accomplish His purpose in your life.

Ashton C. Smith

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