“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18
What do you do with disappointment? I’m talking about things that you had hoped would go a certain way, things that you had prayed for, believed for, and instead of the result you had wanted, you received no change or a worsening of the situation. What do you do with that? Over the last year and a half, I have experienced this over and over — taking blow after blow of heavy disappointment. I know that very few, if any of you, are facing the exact same situation that I am, but perhaps you are facing disappointment with your marriage, children, job, or even just the way that your life has turned out. Perhaps you are just looking at the world around you and feeling overwhelmed, feeling like it is an impossible situation. I know many of us can identify with that feeling currently! If that’s the case, no matter what specific situation you are facing, there are three responses that Scripture encourages us to pursue.
- Cast all of your cares on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7 NKJV). He cares for you! Whatever your disappointment, be real with God. He can handle it! Psalms is full of David’s expressions of disappointment. But just like David did in the Psalms, don’t stay in that place. David always turned his frustrations, fears, and disappointments back to praise for God. Which leads to the next step…
- Offer Him the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). If you’ve ever been disappointed, you intimately know what this means. You must purposefully obey and do what you do not want to do. Use your will and not your emotions. Praise Him. Praise Him for who He says He is, for who you know He is, for what He’s done in your life, and for what He is going to do in your life, even if it’s not the way you had pictured it. Watch how this alone will remind you of His presence and completely change the atmosphere. And now…
- Step out on the water and walk with Him (Matthew 14:22-31). In this famous story, Peter saw Jesus walking on the water. When Jesus invited Peter to come to Him, Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the water. Peter walked on the water, headed for Jesus, but when he saw the wind, he became afraid and began to sink. If you’re looking around at your circumstances and the seemingly impossible nature of them and if that is your focus, you will sink. But if you keep your eyes on Jesus, you will never sink. I know how hard this is. Your circumstances may be screaming in your face, but pay them no mind, for you are called to walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)! Fix your eyes firmly on Jesus, and walk with Him.
I know how hard all of this is. I am right there with you! I am constantly out on the water with the Lord, walking through the biggest storm of my life, and it’s an incredibly difficult place to be. But He has given us His very great and precious promises: with God, all things are possible (Matt. 19:26), and through Christ, we can do all things(Philippians 4:13). So be encouraged, friend! There is nothing that we cannot do with Him. And remember: Jesus does not leave you or forsake you. He is with you always, even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20).