Disappointment- A feeling of dissatisfaction that results when your expectations are not realized. wordnetweb.com
Unfortunately, many of us will find ourselves in a place of disappointment from time to time. It's inevitable, but ever so painful. What do you do when you have misplaced your hopes or have mismatched your hopes? By mismatching I mean putting your hopes in something that cannot within itself produce the desired result. Yes I admit I am as guilty as the next person about putting my hopes into things, ideas or plans that more than likely will fail. I don't think we should deny the effects of disappointment or teach people that they should NEVER be disappointed. I mean disappointment can have a positive effect. Take for example the fact that Thomas Edison was disappointed 9,999 times before developing the light bulb. But instead of yielding to the discouragement he only let the failures teach him what he was doing wrong. So, with each failed attempt he was accurately assessing what DID NOT work.
Isn't that how life can be sometimes? It seems like everyday we get to add another mark on our 'failure' list. Another failed relationship, financial flop, or ministry catastrophe. Sometimes it would be so easy to call it quits. That's exactly what our enemy wants us to do. Give up. Quit. Who cares? What difference are we making anyway, right? I am sure Joseph felt that way when he had all but taken up residence in prison because he had been falsely accused. Or maybe David felt that way when, for the 100th time, Saul was yet again chasing him, seeking to destroy the very life of his most loyal subject. What about Paul-I am sure he thoroughly enjoyed being beaten, flogged, stoned etc, and all by the people he was trying to help. I wonder how many times all of these Biblical figures felt like everything they had done was in vain and they were a complete failure. They were people just like us.......full of faith AND fear. Doing their very best with what little information they had been given.
Sometimes the only word we receive from the Lord is, "Go", or "Do" but we don't exactly know how or when. The only way we can achieve it is by taking small steps day by day in the direction He said to move. Phillipians 2:13 says, "for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."
Might I suggest the following steps on dealing with disappointment:
1) Listen for the voice of God. Jesus said His sheep would hear and know His voice. If the words you are hearing are not from God, then they are either your flesh talking or the enemy. If they are your flesh, you may just need some rest or a break. If it's the voice of the enemy...well you know what to do
2) Ask yourself, "What could I learn or take from this situation that can help me next time around?" That may not be the approach you want to take, but if you will de-personalize the situation and realize that there could be something the Lord wants you to learn, it can make the experience less painful.
3) Realize YOU can't make it happen! We are not the miracle workers, Christ is!! Don't stress out over things you cannot control. The stress can be blocking the answer. Pray about it in faith, not fear, and leave it at Christ's feet to deal with.
4) Have faith! Seriously, it's that simple. Our fight is the Fight of Faith. Our job is not to win the battle, Jesus already did that. We are to stand on His victory and wait for His direction in our lives.
If you are experiencing disappointment, it may be that you have given up to soon to see the dream fulfilled. There is nothing more tragic than that.......it's almost like a still born baby! All of that time developing, growing, laboring only to quit too soon! Thomas Edison was asked after 9000 failed attempts with the electric light bulb whether felt like a failure. However, it was the 10,000th attempt that was a success!! Praise God He didn't give up.