Disappointment. It’s a big word. It has big implications. It sometimes has complications.
It’s something we have all faced and have had to deal with. Sometimes it’s small like a pebble, seemingly insignificant, probably unimportant. Other times it is as big as a mountain. It can feel like a missed appointment, a lost destiny, an unfixable mistake, or a divine set-back on our happiness. We have a moment like Job did in Job 17:15 – Where then is my hope? As for my hope, who can see it?.
But what if we stopped thinking of disappointment as a failure or an impasse and instead thought of it as God’s opportunity?
For I believe it is in disappointment that God is able to get our attention and potentially turn it in another direction. His direction. Toward His purpose. Toward our destiny.
Why? When life is going well and things are good, how often do we really stop and thank God for all His blessings? How often do we appreciate all His goodness in our life? Don’t we have the tendency to stroll through our day, almost oblivious to the fact that it is all from Him?
But in disappointment, our focus becomes less starry-eyes and more reality based. For we must look into the reality of daily life and deal with the things that don’t go our way. The hurtful words. The backlash of opinions. The missed opportunities. The wrong ideologies.
We take a wrong turn when we assume that disappointment is the end and there is no comeback from it. Because disappointment is never the end.
So do you respond like it’s the end? How do you respond?
God said there is a way to respond that launches you over and through the disappointment – hope!
Why is hope important?
- It will not disappoint – Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)
- It strengthens us – Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)
- It roots us in Him – Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
- It focuses us on Him and gives us joy – Psalm 16:8-9 – I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.
- It reminds us of His goodness – Psalm 78:7 – That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments;
- It reminds us of His mercy (in giving us another chance) – Psalm 130:7 – O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption.
- He is our Hope – Jeremiah 14:8 – O the Hope of Israel, his Savior in time of trouble, Why should You be like a stranger in the land, And like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night?; Romans 15:13 – Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- It reminds us He has a plan – Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
- He has our back – Lamentations 3:24 – “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”
- It makes the impossible possible – Romans 4:14-16 – 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
It is hope that will give us this overcoming attitude found in 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 – But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—. We know disappointments will come, and there will be moments when we are thrown off our feet. And these moments will define us in one of two ways – either they will deter us from His plans and purposes, or they will draw us closer to Him.
So who do you want to be? Do you want to be that girl (or guy) that gets knocked down by disappointment and stays down? Do you want to be that girl (or guy) that takes matter into her (or his) own hands because you think you can’t rely on anyone but yourself?
Or do you want to be to girl (or guy) who believes that promises in His Word? That Romans 8:28 is true – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. That “it is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation [direction, purpose] of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:26). Do you want to be a “prisoner of hope” from Zechariah 9:12, one who has the promise that “even today I declare that I will restore double to you”?
So be faithful and faith-full. Be the person who lives out Hebrews 10:23 – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Be the person who believes that God is faithful and has your back. Be the person who believes that God will work things out for your good and His glory. Be the person who looks at disappointment as an opportunity – to begin again, to start over, to learn something new, to change. And let God walk with you through the disappointment to the other side, where His glory and your future await you.
Marie Fremin, 7/10 and 7/12/15