As believers, how do we cope with this feeling? How do we deal with the feeling of being let down? Some people say a “coping mechanism” is to expect nothing; one can never be disappointed if he never had expectations. I however find this statement filled with loopholes especially for a Christian…don’t worry, you’ll soon find out why I said so.
First off, we must note that disappointment is an emotion, a feeling. Romans 8:14 says “For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Our ability to allow and keep subjecting ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit and not just our feelings is proof that we are truly the children of The Most-High God. Therefore, we must not let disappointment rule us.
“In dealing with disappointment, you’d need to have your emotions in check, through the truth of God’s written word.”
Subject your feelings/emotions to what God is saying. Put that feeling of loneliness and disappointment that came with your recent heartbreak under the Scripture that says “I will never leave you nor forsake you…” and the Scriptures that state that God has your best interest at heart. Jeremiah 29:11; Hebrews 13:5; Ephesians 3:20.
What happens when you keep reading Scriptures and it feels like they are taunting you rather than uplifting you? Remember that even when the Lord told Abraham about Sarah’s conception she laughed in disbelief because she had probably heard those words too many times…she was already used to disappointment Genesis 18:1-15). Regardless, the promise came into fulfillment (Genesis 21:1-3). Sometimes it takes a short time, almost at the speed of light for God’s promises to manifest, and other times it takes what we could call “forever” but it remains sure that His promises never fail… God’s word never ever falls to the ground.
“To deal with disappointment, you would need to keep confessing the promises of God written in the Scriptures.”
Yes, God is faithful to His promise but do you trust Him enough to fulfill it? I remember staring at my result that day with teary eyes. I was so disappointed in what I was seeing. In the moment of asking myself the “how’s” and “whys”, the tears began to flow uncontrollably. I wanted to thank God for the result anyway but I could not bring myself to do it because I was seriously let down by that result. So, I resulted to trust (no pun intended). I started to confess instead that “I trust you, God”. It was hard but slowly, the tears stopped coming, I was starting to feel reassured that “all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord, who walk according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. And then, I prayed one simple prayer “Lord, help my default to be trust in you”. I did not want to panic first before remembering to trust God, I wanted to my reflex to be to be trust in God.
What then is “my” solution to disappointment? Well, I won’t give you false hopes by telling you that “you will not face disappointment, you would… because it’s part of life. But what I advise is that you make trusting in God your default (trust God before panicking). The way you see things should be in the direction of “this didn’t go as planned but I trust God that something good is coming out of this” …“I’m not impressed by this but I know God is somewhere working this out for my good”. This way of thinking prevents us from losing faith, from disconnecting ourselves from God.
A perfect example from the Scriptures is Joseph. Joseph was someone who was very and probably over-familiar with disappointment but from what we can understand, we see he kept the “trust in God always” mentality as well. Joseph did not see the full picture…I’m sure he may have wanted to doubt the vision God gave him but he kept trusting, his faith was tested; each trial was more serious than the other. Nevertheless, he trusted till the end. Joseph had to be sold to slavery so he could work in Potiphar’s house, get imprisoned, meet the cup-bearer there, wait another 2 years for his day of exaltation so he could later save his family and people. It was a picture he himself did not see until it was fully drawn. Genesis chapters 37-50.
Also, we can’t see the full picture yet, the Word of God says that “...we see in part, and we know in part…” 1 Corinthians 13:9-12 (paraphrased).
It’s like a “connect-the-dots puzzle” and we’re still connecting the dots. Right now, the disappointments do not make any sense and it seems like a useless image is being formed but if we can trust God just a little more, just a little longer, we would get to see the full picture soon enough.
To have no expectations is to have no trust. Expectations and trust go hand in hand. Let me cite an example… the reason why I would not call my mechanic before I start my car’s engine is because I expect that once I start the ignition, the car would start because I trust the car to do so. Therefore, when we have no expectations in God or in His written Words, we show distrust in Him.
We handle our disappointment better when we have a default of trusting in God. We can always trust in God’s plans; we can always bank on His promises.