How To Handle Life’s Disappointments
“All things work together for the good of those who love
God and are called according to his purpose.”
How do you handle disappointments? For years, I handled 99% of my disappointments the very opposite way that Jesus wanted me to. Why? Because I didn’t understand exactly how He expected me to react when I faced a difficult situation, or a difficult person. Almost every time a disappointment happened, I would make poor choices that went against God’s Spirit in me, all because I felt like I knew better than Him. I didn’t trust His ways, completely.
The results from me living this way led me to living a frustrated, fearful, addicted, and codependent life—even after I was saved. The good news is, Jesus has no desire for us to live that way! He wants to teach us how to handle our disappointments the proper way, His way.
My friend, when Jesus walked this planet, He went about touching the lives of many disappointed people; people who had all but given up on life. And what did He do to change this?
HE GAVE THEM A BRAND NEW HOPE!
And that’s what Jesus does best! He gives us hope! Hope of a fresh start of brand new attitudes and actions that match up with His Spirit in us, every single day! Once we finally grasp the hope found in the life of Christ in us, only then can we grasp His grace, mercy, and love. After that comes confidence. God is expecting you to be confident in Him! The Bible says, “Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded!” (Hebrews 10:35).
God made you to be a confident person—in Christ! That confidence will then build up in you COURAGE! And courage will steer your life in the right direction all day long even when disappointing situations and people head your way!
This courage comes from allowing Jesus to live through you. No, it doesn’t come from becoming a religious nut, but instead, taking on the life of Christ! His strength, His forgiveness, His love, His enthusiasm—ALL OF IT!
Jesus was very courageous despite the disappointment of being thrown through a meat-grinder and then being tacked-up onto a giant cross! And Jesus wasn’t an enabler! He wasn’t codependent! So He did all of that for the right reasons!
He didn’t walk around saying, “Oh you poor thing. What can I do to help you?” NO! He told those who were caught in self-pity to “GET UP!” (See John 5:8). He said things like, “Do you even want to get well?! DO YOU WANT IT?!” (See John 5:6). On top of that, He wasn’t a blameful, negative, critical sour-puss!
HE WAS PERFECT! HE WAS THE CONFIDENCE OF GOD, PERSONIFIED! AND HE STILL IS!
I wanted that too. My life was not going in the right direction and I needed a desperate change. So if I’m created in His image (Genesis 1:27, Romans 6:6), then that confidence is mine to be had as well! I wanted to stop letting disappointments in my life control my life. Once I began to do this, God remolded me. Me, me, me, me, and…ME. Not people, not my circumstances, but only me. After I let Him do this, then everything changed, absolutely everything!
If you only knew me back then, you’d fully understand! I did not handle my disappointments how the Holy Spirit wanted me to! Although I’m still tempted to respond how I used to, I don’t, most of the time anyway. Instead, I now allow God’s Spirit to guide me, and little by little He’s taught me how to handle life’s difficulties the proper way.
I wish I knew this all along! Life is so much better! He wants to do the same for you! The people who disappoint you all the time, every unfair situation that arises, Jesus will personally give you the guidance needed to be able to respond through Him (see Galatians 5:22,23).
Before I began to allow Him to do this for me, my life was empty—even as a Christian. It was full of frustration, anxiety, blame, sinful anger, and worry, all because I kept trying to change things and people that I had no power to change! And that’s exactly what the devil wanted! I see that now! What a V8 moment! *BONK!*
If you are a Christian who ignores the devil and what he’s doing in your life, then you are like a sheep living in a lion’s den who ignores the lions around you.
The fact of the matter was I had no coping skills to handle any of my disappointments because I was ignoring God, so the devil had his way with me. I did not know how to handle the people and problems that I faced all the time, except with fear. Fear would then manifest itself in bad choices, rage, addiction, self-pity, and codependency.
My problem was this: Rather than face my fear head on through Christ, I accepted unacceptable behavior from myself and others all the time. And now, I’m simply not afraid any longer. I do my best to gracefully respond to disappointments in a manner that grows spiritual fruit in my life, and then I let the chips fall where they may. This mindset then gives me the attitude of, “I’m good! I know who goes before me! I know who makes all things new! I know who lives IN me!”
Nowadays, when the devil tries to control me with a person’s hate or an unfair circumstance, I don’t worry, I don’t flinch, and I don’t fret. Instead, I tell him, “Go ahead and knock yourself out dummy, I’m not going there. Not today, devil.”
My main problem was before not only did I not recognize the enemy, but also, I didn’t fully trust Jesus’ Spirit. I was running in circles, continually becoming discouraged each day, which resulted in me reacting with fear yet again!
GOD HAS A BETTER WAY TO LIVE! AND THAT WAY IS THROUGH CHRIST! This process happens little by little, day by day, as you make yourself available to Him in all situations. Little by little, day by day, it is a process, so be easy on yourself and keep going! (See Philippians 1:6).
So today, my friends, please do this: Don’t be like me. Don’t take so long to allow the Holy Spirit to live through you! Don’t wait…and wait…and wait for your disappointments to disappear because they won’t! More will head your way, but that’s fine because you’ll be ready! You and Jesus will always be ready!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father I want to thank you for waking me up today! What an amazing journey of life you’ve given each one of us! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. I ask that you begin to teach those who are constantly disappointed with their lives your Spirit’s way of handling things. Give us peace in knowing your grace deeper each and every day. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
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