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Overcoming Disappointment and Finding Hope Again

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: Overcoming Disappointment and Finding Hope Again


Overcoming Disappointment and Finding Hope Again

Disappoint means not (dis) settled (appoint) if you break down the etymology of the word.

Disappointment (not being settled) is a hard thing to deal with. If you have anticipated something, like a new job, or a new baby, or a new home, and those things did not come, disappointment is a natural response. The thing we have to be careful of is not to allow disappointment (not being settled) turn into anger toward God or a lack of faith on our part.

Waiting on God in these times is hard. Sometimes we feel all alone.

Even the greatest prophet, Elijah felt alone. He had just splendidly called fire down from heaven, defeated the Baal worshippers and established the sovereignty and holiness of God before the nation and then with a death threat he forgets the faithfulness of God.

How did that happen? How did He go from such a high to such a low so quickly?

Elijah became disappointed the miracle on Carmel did not have more immediate results with the people of Israel. He became self-focused and overwhelmed by fear when Jezebel threatened his life, and he even wanted his life to end. This is more than just disappointment, this was burn out.

Burn out is defined as fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity.

If we are not careful, if we allow disappointment to fester and fear to take over, we end up depressed and unfocused. We become burned out on our works, and in desperate need to get back to the basics with God, which are prayer, worship and reading the word. It happens to the best of us and it often happens after great disappointments.

When we face disappointment we can recognize it, give it to God and allow Him to teach us in that moment, or we switch our focus from God to the circumstances and whine about it, like Elijah did. The former should be our response, but the latter is usually the case.

Thankfully, God is faithful despite our response and He can bring us back around, just as he did with Elijah.

The first thing God for Elijah is he provided for him, even in his desert place. He gave him food, shelter, and water. He teaches us in that moment with Elijah that He is always faithful. He meets our needs and is our sustainer.

Restoration and rest are essential to overcoming burn out and surpassing disappointment.

Resting in God’s provision begins to pull our focus from ourselves and begins to set us back on the path we were meant to be on in the first place. God allowed Elijah to rest and store up His provision, because there was a bigger lesson coming soon.

That second lesson was one I’ve had to learn over and over. God reminds me every time when I take my eyes off of Him, to find Him again. He reminds me to get quiet and focus. God is not in the circumstance: not in the hurricane-like winds, the earthquakes, or in the fire. God is in the quiet, still small voice. The comforter to our soul, He is our buckler and our shield. We have nothing to fear when He is the focus of our lives.

When we stop focusing on the circumstances and focus on hearing what God has to say about the circumstances, then we can move on to the next thing God has for us. Disappointments come, Jesus said in this life we will have trouble, but He also said He had overcome. BE of GOOD CHEER!

Trust in the Lord, and remember His promises are yes and amen. He has planned a future for us, one full of hope and peace. He has promised that He will work things out for our good if we love Him and are called according to His purpose- and we are called!

Jesus talked to the disciples about disappointment. When things do not go the way we plan, we should shake it off like the dust from our feet and move on. Let God deal with the circumstances, let God deal with people’s hearts, Let God deal with our hurts, as we shake off the disappointment like the dust it really is.

We need to get still and let God speak comfort and peace to us. We need to listen for His direction. He will bring us through the flood; he will bring us through the fire.

Let the winds of life blow, let the fire rage, God will raise a standard against it, and if we listen for His voice and follow Him, we will come through.

Lift your eyes to the Lord, where all of your help comes from.

So when you are disappointed, when the hard things of life come, trust that God has a plan, and that plan is designed and tailor made just for you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don’t lean on what you know, lean on Him, even in the disappointments. Don’t become burned out from the work and weighed down by the stress of what you have faced. Guard your heart, and listen for His still small voice. He cares for you.

Have you been disappointed before?  

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