Facing Up to Disappointment — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Facing Up to Disappointment — Morning Devotions

There is that famous saying that you can get bitter or you can get better. It is important to process disappointment, but then there's the next step.

By Chris WittsTuesday 4 Apr 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Jim Moore wrote an interesting book called ‘You Can Get Bitter or Better’. What a great title for a book! He said, “When trouble comes, when disappointment breaks your heart. When sorrow grips your heart, you’ve got a choice. You can get bitter or you can get better.”

Now thinking about it. We can say something like, “you can wallow in your own disappointment, or you can do something about it and begin to get well to experience the joy and peace of life.” Once again, it’s your choice. Of course, you’re not going to handle disappointment perfectly. No one does.

We struggle sometimes to find our way through the great disappointments of our lives. And yes, we have to watch letting extreme guilt become a second burden in the midst of this disappointment. But there comes a time when we have to decide whether we’re going to wallow in our disappointment or move on. Every one of us has got a choice in the midst of our disappointment. We can wallow in saying, “Oh, if only” or we can move on.

Or we can reach out to God and to other people and receive the help that can move us forward and upward.

We can have that sense of sadness, or we can look for the blessings of joy and life that remain in spite of our deep disappointment. How would you feel when I say disappointment can make us wiser and stronger? Put it this way. Disappointments in life, once we’ve worked through them and move beyond them, have a lot to teach us about life, ourselves and about how we can handle other disappointments that will come in our life.

Why do we parents allow our Children to face disappointment? Why do we let them face risks and maybe certain decisions, knowing that they are going to be disappointed or even hurt? It’s because we know it will make them stronger. In the end, we know they’ll be mature. They’ll be better people.

And because we get so focused on our own lives, on our own problems, we sometimes think no one cares or we can decide that life’s too heavy a load to dump on others, and we try to bear our burdens alone. Many people become introspective, which can lead to confusion and panic. But did you know that God says to us, “Turn your worries over to me? I understand how you feel. It could seem that all hope is gone, but there are always other alternatives and other options.”

God won’t always remove the burdens, but he will give us the strength to accept them, to learn and grow from them. It’s a wonderful truth that God is a forgiving God. But we don’t always feel like we can be forgiven. We could doubt his unconditional love in spite of his promises and reassurance.

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God accepts us completely.

You might feel defeated today. Maybe your perception is narrowed by a tunnel vision. You could tend to focus only on your problems, and that can cause you to interpret life as meaningless. I can’t go on. Have you ever felt like that?

But with trust in God, we can move beyond futility. We can hope in God and be content regardless of the circumstances. Now I know that’s easy for me to sit here and say that, but the Bible is full of promises to back up what I’m saying. We do live in a troubled, fearful world where there is conflict and confusion.

But in the midst of our trials, Jesus promises us peace. I leave with you my peace I give to you not as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled. And don’t be afraid. I think disappointments are the biggest hurdle that many of us have to overcome. We may disappoint ourselves, perhaps with poor decisions or bad actions. Or sometimes we feel disappointed because God hasn’t responded to us in the way we had hoped.

And there is, of course, a difference between big and little disappointments. Like the rain spoils your day. No, I’m talking about someone who may have betrayed your confidence or your wife’s health. Seriously declines or someone has made a promise to you that they’re not going to keep – they’re some of the big disappointments. But I think what matters is this.

Can you move on from a disappointment?

Don’t let that disappointment keep you down. God always has a Plan B because nothing takes God by surprise. As you’re going through that disappointment. God is putting together a comeback plan so don’t get trapped in the past. He is merciful. He will have mercy on you. And don’t allow your past disappointment to be a hang up on your advancement. For you can overcome disappointments.

Heavenly Father, facing up to disappointment, that can be hard. We feel hurt and betrayed. But I’m assured, Lord, that we can always trust you. We will never feel disappointed when we let go of the reins of our lives and hand everything over to you, amen.