How to Handle Disappointments as a Christian
In the past 24 hours….
I dropped our landline cordless phone in a sink of hot soapy water.
A full pan of hot rhubarb crisp fell out of the oven and landed upside down on the kitchen floor.
The dog puked two minutes before dinner was to be eaten.
A certain small child of mine was disrespectful and stayed in a bad mood until bedtime.
Another child was disappointed after being told to share something they wanted entirely for themselves.
My son spilled hot oil into the flour mixture he was using while he was frying mushrooms. But I did not see it until the next day and by then it had solidified.
A lady pulled out in front of me after not stopping at a stop sign and shared a ‘friendly’ gesture.
This is real life, where husbands can hurt our feelings and children can be disobedient.
Things may fall and break. We may lose our jobs. Distractions happen. Plans change against our will.
Our to-do list may not get accomplished.
And there are many of us as Christians that think once we’ve been baptized and received our salvation, the rest of our life should be easy peasy.
I mean, we got Jesus, right? Shouldn’t our life be a piece of cake after getting saved?
Sadly, that is not true. God never promised an easy nor comfortable life for His children.
We will face persecution, trials (big or small), and moments that really test our faith. In fact, most of us will likely face a tough trial or two in our life, some that often shake us to our very core.
In 2013, my husband and I lost our son David Cooper, his mom, and two other family members, and I became pregnant in the midst of our grief.
This was a year of trials. We endured much grief and overcame it all due to our faith in the Lord.
We may have one trial after another, big or small, but it is important to keep our eyes heavenward.
Mama Said There Will Be Days like This
As a homemaker, I have many days where I often feel completely defeated or overwhelmed. Nothing seems to go my way and I become completely distracted which makes my life seem disorderly.
My kids will have their own plans and agendas at time that often don’t mesh with what I intend to do.
Or my husband will send me on errands that pull me away from my tasks at home or my blogging goals.
And just like yesterday when my rhubarb crisp landed on the floor or my phone landed in the dish water; things don’t go my way.
We Don’t Have Control of Our Own Lives
While we cannot control what happens in our life, we can control our reactions to big or little situations.
“Just because we cannot control the outcome of our life, does not mean God is not good. It is in these moments of being tested, that we learn to trust Him.” Stephanie Malcolm
How we respond to any or all situations is an indicator of our faith in God. But, we are told in Psalm 34:10, “The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
This is a promise is for those who actively seek and pursue the Lord in all that they do; and for those who are saved by faith in Christ and who are seeking to know him more.
How to Handle Disappointments
- Realize its not about you.
2. Let go of the disappointment, no matter how big or little. When you let go of a disappointment, you are glorifying God.
3. Stop losing precious energy by worrying about things that you cannot control. “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) We may not understand God’s plan, but there is absolutely nothing that He is not in control of.
4. Allow yourself to be comforted by God. In the Old Testament, God comforted His people with these words, “But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isaiah 43:1-2). God has promised us to protect, comfort, strengthen, and guide His believers.
5. Know that God allows disappointment. God often uses our disappointments to witness to others how we trust in God when things happen. How we handle our difficulties and disappointments by trusting in God, they can see that our faith is real. Trusting God in the tough times is a great witness to the world. Or perhaps, God uses disappointments to test us and grow our faith in him, thus developing more trust and growing as a Christian.
6. Seek Jesus as a refuge. Our relationship with Jesus will bring us an inner peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). The kind of peace Jesus gives is a long-lasting and powerful peace that allows us to face any kind of trial or hardship that may happen.
Some Verses of Encouragement
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
Psalm 9:9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
Psalm 34:17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.