Dealing with disappointment can be difficult. Here are six concrete steps to overcoming disappointment.
Disappointment – the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.
Let’s face it, disappointment can be devestating. No matter what it’s caused by, disappointment is something we all have to deal with at one point in our lives or another.
We can be disappointed with others letting us down, God doing things differently than we expected, or even with ourselves.
We may feel like we should be further in life than we actually are, over a situation that still bothers us or from falling back into an old habit.
Disappointment is the difference between the ideal and the real.
Where does disappointment come from? What is it’s root?
Whether we are disappointed by a broken promise, from being passed up for a promotion or when our trust is betrayed, disappointment comes from expectation.
If we really think about it, all of these disappointments came about because what we expected is not what actually happened.
It’s when we say, “The ideal me is not the real me.”
Disappointment is a path that can go one way or another.
It can lead to release or it can lead to discouragement, doubt, depression and defeat.
Before we go any further, let’s get a better understanding of these. Here are their brief definitions.
- Discouragement – a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness; to take away courage
- Doubt – n. a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction. V. feel uncertain about, fear; be afraid of
- Depression – feelings of severe despondency and dejection (a sad and depressed state; low spirits)
- Defeat – to be demoralized and overcome by adversity
My hope for you is that you would find peace, even in the midst of your disappointment.
6 Steps to Dealing with Disappointment
- Trust God’s Plan – Don’t abort the plan because it hasn’t gone the way you expected it to. Get to know Him so you know His plan, His heart for you.
- Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ASV
- Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” NLT
- Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” NLT If you can’t say “It all worked out for good”, then it isn’t over. God isn’t finished working in that situation yet!
Whoever believes in Him, will not be disappointed – Romans 10:11
- Pray – Do not be afraid to go to God in prayer, letting Him know how you feel and asking Him to help you get through it. And while you’re there, ask Him what His plan is for you. He will tell you!
- Psalms 55:22 “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”
- Don’t Let Your Disappointment Cause You to Isolate Yourself – When we are disappointed, we are vulnerable to the enemy. It is important to build strong relationships with those who can encourage you when you are disappointed.
- Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”
- 1 Peter 5:8 – “Be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. ” KJV The devil is compared to a lion. Let’s think about this. When a lion is hunting, it doesn’t attack a group of it’s prey. He waits until one is alone, isolated and weak. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up and pray for you.
Disappointment is the root of all heartache. – William Shakespeare
- Be Patient – Wait on the Lord. The only thing worse than waiting on the Lord is wishing that you did. Often times we get impatient waiting for God to fix things, so we take matters into our own hands.
- Psalms 27:14 “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous (full of courage). Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
- Be Willing to Grieve – Grieving is part of the healing process. It allows us time to accept what has/hasn’t happened, but we grieve with the hope of Jesus.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13 “Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep in death, so that you will not grieve for them as the others do who have no hope.” AMP
- Be Thankful – We have so much to be thankful for, and it is important to remember, especially when we are feeling disappointed.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” This is an amazing verse! It basically tells us exactly how God wants us to live our lives, joyful, always praying (communion with Him), and always thankful, no matter what is going on in our lives. Thanks before resolution is faith. Thanks after resolution is gratefulness.
If you walk away with anything, remember that God has a plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). He will cause everything to work out for your good (Romans 8:28) and he will never disappoint you (Romans 10:11).
My hope is that these steps will help you in dealing with disappointment. We are all different, and if at any time you feel your disappointment is out of control, or has escalated to depression, please seek professional help.
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