After preaching a sermon on disappointment, several men and women approached me with the same reaction: “I desperately needed to hear those words.” Countless people feel defeated and let down by disappointing situations. But our response 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 direction, even if it isn’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 finally, 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 is only one healthy method for dealing with letdown—pursue the Lord’s way and His will. 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.