Oh that dreaded feeling of disappointment. Are you familiar with it? It can be defined - "the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one's hopes or expectations." In my own life, I have found myself actually lowering my expectations in hope of avoiding being disappointed. But, it doesn't work... disappointments can never truly be avoided, they are a fact of life for each of us.
Lowering expectations or seeking any other avenue to avoid disappointments is vain, but we do have a powerful option to face disappointment head on - our attitude and our faith.
Christians serve a Savior who has overcome the world. God has given us His promises and has a plan for each of us. He has also given us a free will to choose how we respond to life's situations and trials. He has equipped us each with a measure of faith. It is up to us whether we will choose to allow the disappointments of life to drive us away from God or will we consider how God might be working through these circumstances to make us more like Him and to accomplish His plans for our lives (which are usually much bigger and better than anything we could come up with).
In our physical lives, a time will come when we 'catch a cold'. It is inevitable. It makes us feel bad and causes us to stop to treat it. There is no cure for the common cold, but we usually treat it with a few remedies:
Then we return to our daily routine, feeling better, stronger and with an appreciation for our health.
In our spiritual lives, disappointments can be like a cold or illness that stops us, drains us and makes us miserable. But if we stop and pay close attention to what our 'spiritual body' needs, we can be strengthened and renewed.
- Rest - in the Lord. He knows and sees where we are and where we are going in life. What we see as negative, He brings about for our good and His glory.
- Nourishment - feed on His Word. Find strength and hope in His promises.
- Medicine - Drive the doubt, fears and bitter feelings away, but replacing them with faith and hope. God is gracious and faithful. He loves us and we can trust Him.
Hebrews 10:23 tell encourages us to "Hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful." The confession of our hope can be described as our confident expectation of the future. Our God is faithful and we can confident in Him.
As disappointments come - and they will...may we not let them overwhelm us, but take that time to become stronger in the our faith, in the Lord and trusting in Him. May we surrender our hearts to His plans and trust in His promises.
"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." Romans 15:13