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Dealing with Life’s Disappointments

Disappointments are not uncommon in life; we’ve all experienced them in some form. From struggling relationships to job loss, from doing poorly on a test to infertility, disappointments happen in every area of life.

So how do we deal with disappointments in life? What does God say about overcoming disappointing circumstances?

Recently, my son tried out for a team that he’s dreamed of joining for over three years. We were hopeful when he made the first cut, but even though he performed well in the second round, he wasn’t chosen to join the team. We were beyond disappointed because we were believing for God’s unmerited favor and blessing for him. In our minds, this year-round team was the perfect solution because he has no high school team to practice with next year.

Of course there are many more serious situations in life that can disappoint us. But just as we were disappointed by this scenario, can you relate to believing God for something only to be let down?

God is not our “Genie in a Bottle”

It's not God's job to make all our wishes come true - Faithisland

It’s not God’s job to make all our wishes come true; He’s not our personal genie or fairy godmother.

It’s not that God doesn’t enjoy blessing us, but sometimes what we want isn’t necessarily what’s best for us. For example, a father may tell a young child, “No, you don’t need any more candy.” The child doesn’t understand because to him, the candy tastes good! But the father knows that too much candy will be a bad thing.

God is like that, but He’s the best Father we could ever ask for.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” In our hearts, we think we know what’s best or right for us, but God sees the whole picture. So when things don’t work out the way we hoped, we can thank God for directing our steps, knowing that He has our best interests at heart.

Romans 8:28 reminds us, “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.” Even though some of the things we go through are disappointing, we can trust that God will cause them to work toward something good in our lives.

God’s plans for us are good

Our plans for us are good, but God’s plans for us are best! In fact, in Isaiah 55:9 God says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Since God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours, trusting Him makes sense! We need to exchange our thoughts and ways for His.

And in Jeremiah 29:11-13 God encourages us: “‘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. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.’”

According to this scripture, God only has good for His children. Our job is to pray and seek Him with all of our hearts and trust that His ways are better than ours.

Satan sometimes gets in the way

Sometimes, when we go through disappointing outcomes or difficult situations, it’s because Satan is fighting God’s plan for our lives.

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan doesn’t want us to experience the goodness of God; he schemes to disrupt and destroy us.

In John 10:10 Jesus explains that, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Even though God promises us a hopeful life and good future, we have an enemy that wants to stop that from happening. So no matter what our circumstances appear to be, we must remain steadfast trusting that God is good and that He’s working on our behalf to make things right.

Our job is to trust God

Trusting God even when circumstances don’t go our way requires faith—faith that God is who He says He is, and faith that He’s going to do what He says He’ll do.

In fact, “… without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). When we remain full of faith and continue to seek God during disappointments, He is pleased and will reward us.

Additionally, God promises to make our way smooth and straight when we fully trust Him:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Even when life disappoints us, God will lead us if we’ll completely trust Him. Don’t try to figure things out on your own—remember, His ways are higher.

Finally, Psalm 37:4-5 shares, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”

Delight yourself in the Lord

This doesn’t mean that God will do whatever we want Him to. He’s not our genie; He’s our good Father. But as we delight ourselves in Him, the desires of our hearts begin to line up with His.

When we commit our way to the Lord, we can be sure that even through life’s disappointments, God is big enough and good enough to get us on the best path, even if it’s not quite what we hoped for.

~ by Jennell Houts

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