One of the most crushing feelings we can experience is a disappointment. Often we get our hopes up for something that we really wanted, and then that hope comes crashing down when it doesn’t work out. Whether it’s a job opportunity, a project we were working on, or a relationship that didn’t go the way we hoped, every instance can be as hurtful as the last.
Disappointment is a normal human experience. It happens frequently, sometimes in small ways and other times much larger. It’s not unusual to get frustrated with God during these times, wondering where he was and why He didn’t give us the thing we wanted. We get lost in our self-determined will, thinking that we know best for ourselves.
In Matthew’s gospel we are reminded of the father/child relationship God maintains with us:
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (verse 11)
As a father protects his children, so too does God protect us from ourselves. Our own will is often self-harming, and God redirects us towards His perfect will, even if that comes with momentary disappointment.
The key to coping with disappointment is remembering that it is only momentary. Frequently we find ourselves lashing out at God, only to start rejoicing when His will is realized in our lives, sometimes a very short time after the initial disappointment. What we forget is that we serve a big God, bigger than all worry, all doubts, all fear. He set this world into motion and sustains it through his never-ending power, we can’t forget that.
In Ephesians, Paul provides us with a beautiful reminder:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (2:10)
We were created with a purpose, and every step that we take is leading us down the road that was set up for us. We may not always see the signs at the moment, but the beautiful thing about our relationship with God is that we can trust that He will guide us, even if we aren’t sure where we are going.
Like a loving father, He works to give us good gifts, and how much greater a gift can there be than keeping us from harm? As we face disappointments, we must take them in stride. Life is full of them but we can’t let that stand in the way of moving towards God’s perfect will.
So the next time you face disappointment, mourn the moment. It’s okay to be sad or frustrated. But instead of lashing out, as a child would when they don’t get what they want, turn your eyes to heaven and thank your heavenly father for His protection. We may not know what would have come if we had gotten our way but it pales in comparison to what God has in store when we trust in His will.
This Week’s Challenge: Tell yourself every day that God is in control, especially during the tough moments. When you tell yourself something over and over it will become your reality.