After I preached a sermon on disappointment, several men and women approached me with the same reaction: “I desperately needed to hear those words.” Many people feel defeated and let down by their circumstances. But the way a person responds can make all the difference. Frustrations can be either an opportunity for spiritual growth or a destructive blow.
A right response to disappointment begins with resisting the natural tendency toward bitterness. If someone else was involved in the situation, don’t be quick to judge his or her conduct. We can’t fully understand what is going on in others’ lives or what motivates them to act as they do. Our second step should be to ask the Lord, “How am I to respond?” God can guide us to a wise and righteous reaction because He has all the facts.
Third, follow His directions, even if they aren’t what you want to do. Oftentimes the Lord’s way contradicts our own desires and the advice of friends. However, His plan is the one that will bring about growth and result in our greatest good.
And fourth, keep your focus on God and His higher purpose in your life. People are prone to dwell on their hurts and the harm that comes to them, which is what makes disappointment so destructive.
There are many methods for dealing with being let down, but pursuing the Lord’s will is the only one that satisfies. Though human plans can be derailed, nothing alters God’s purpose. No matter how deep your hurt goes, He will shepherd you through setbacks and sorrows while growing your faith.
Bible in One Year: Job 35-38