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. I didn’t trust His ways or myself, just yet.
The results from me doing this led me to live a frustrated, fearful, addicted, codependent life—even after I was saved. The good news is, Jesus had no desire for me to live like that! 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. What did He do to change this? He gave them a brand new hope! That’s what He does best! He gives us hope! Hope of a fresh start of brand new attitudes and actions which 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. Afterwards comes confidence! God is expecting you to be confident in Him, as well as in your true self! 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! This authentic confidence builds up your courage! Courage will steer your life in the right direction all day long even when disappointing situations and people head your way! Your confidence and courage comes from allowing Jesus to live through you! It doesn’t come from being a religious nut, but instead, by simply being who you truly are inside!
Who are you? A child of God! (See John 1:12). You have strength, forgiveness, love, and enthusiasm! You have the actual Spirit of God in you–the Spirit of Christ Himself! (See 1 Corinthians 6:19). Jesus was very courageous despite the disappointment of being thrown through a meat-grinder and then tacked-up onto a giant cross!
Further, Jesus wasn’t an enabler! He wasn’t codependent! So He did everything for the right reasons! He didn’t walk around saying to people, “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–so neither are we! He lives in us!
Because I didn’t realize these truths, my life was not going in the right direction and I needed a desperate change. If I’ve been re-created in His image (see Romans 6:6-7, 2 Corinthians 5:17), then courage and confidence was mine to be had! 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 began to let Him change my thought processes and choices into who I really was, then everything changed–in my mind. Which is what matters the most!
If you only knew me back then you’d fully understand! I did not handle my disappointments how the Holy Spirit wanted me to–or even how I wanted to! My old stinking thinking and the enemy acted as if they were still in charge, and they weren’t! Yes, I’m still tempted to respond how I used to, but I don’t–most of the time anyway. Instead, I now allow God’s Spirit to guide me and by doing so little by little He’s taught me how to handle life’s disappointments properly–how a saint is supposed to! Every believer in Christ is a saint! (See Colossians 1:22, 1 Corinthians 1:2).
I wish I knew this all along because 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’ Spirit will give you the guidance needed to be able to respond organically (see Galatians 5:22-23).
Before I began to allow Him to lead 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 in which 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’re a Christian who ignores the devil and what he’s doing in your life, then you’re the same as 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 kept ignoring God, as well as my true self. Therefore, the devil easily had his way with me.
I’m not saying stay focused on the enemy, I’m saying recognize his work. When you don’t, you will live in fear. I didn’t know how to handle the people and problems I faced all the time, except with fear. Fear would then manifest itself in bad choices, rage, addiction, self-pity, and codependency–just to name a few things it brought on.
My problem was this: rather than face my fears head on through Christ, I accepted unacceptable behavior from myself and other people all the time. Now, I’m not afraid any longer. I simply respond to disappointments in a manner that grows good spiritual fruit in my life–then I let the chips fall where they may.
This positive mindset is natural as a child of God–it’s not forced! It’s having 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 and THROUGH me!”
So now, 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.”
Before I knew about his tactics–which is to attack my mind–not only did I not recognize my enemy, but I didn’t fully trust Jesus or myself. I was running in circles discouraged each day, which resulted in me reacting with fear yet again. God has a better way for us to live! That way is through Christ! That way is through being our true selves! This is a process which happens day by day, year by year, so be easy on yourself! (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 to live out who you really are! Don’t wait…and wait…and wait for your disappointments to disappear because they won’t! When they leave more will head your way, but that’s fine because you’ll be ready! You and Jesus will always be ready! So simply be who He has made you to be–a confident saint who handles your disappointments properly!
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 them peace in knowing your grace deeper each and every day. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!