Monday, August 29, 2011

Dealing With Disappointment

To quote Max Lucado, "When God doesn't do what we want it's not easy; it never has been and it never will be. Faith is the conviction that God knows more than us...and he'll get us through. Disappointment is caused by unmet expectations...and it's cured by revamped expectations. Don't panic...don't give patient...God is in control."

So when you're disappointed: 

1.) Look inward. David asked, "Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?" (Psalm 42:5) Admit how you feel. You can't deal with what you don't acknowledge. Ask God to show you the root of the problem. Is it pent up anger? Envy? Unforgiveness? Pride? Lust? Physical and mental fatigue? Be open to what He reveals.

2.) Look upward. David said, "I will hope in God! I will praise Him" (Psalm 42:5). Instead of focusing on your discouragement, focus on the One who knows the way out.

3.) Remember God's past faithfulness. David said, "I am...discouraged, but I will remember you." Through every trial we can cling to the assurance that we "can do all things through Christ who gives us strength" (Philippians 4:13). Recalling God's faithfulness builds your confidence that He'll continue to provide.

4.) Remember, you don't have to have all the answers. Just because you can't figure out what God's doing right now, doesn't mean it won't make sense later. He "causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him." (Romans 8:28).

5.) Don't give in to the bitterness. When your hopes are crushed, resentment can set in. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). Regardless of how deep the pit may seem, God is on your side!

We've all experienced disappointment in our lives and inevitably will experience disappointments in the future.  But in those disappointments are lessons to be learned, wisdom to be unlocked, and believe-it-or-not...opportunities in disguise. Disappointments can help us to grow if we allow God to reveal His purpose and if we trust that He will reveal His plan to us in perfect time. It's important that we don't let ourselves get stuck in our disappointment by allowing bitterness and resentment to replace our hope and trust in Christ. How we respond to disappointments greatly determines the ultimate outcome.

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