You didn’t get the job you wanted. Somebody you love let you down. Whatever the circumstances, it didn’t turn out how you expected, and now you’re disappointed.
You prayed about it, meditated on scriptures, sought Godly counsel, and things still didn’t work out for you. You wonder what happened to “ask and you shall receive.”
You’re left paralyzed, wondering how to pick up the pieces and make your next move.
To say it’s painful is an understatement—no matter the magnitude of the disappointment. If you don’t tend to those feelings, it can cause you to spiral into deep depression and despair.
Disappointment is a hard pill to swallow. Nobody likes it, but it’s something we will face throughout our lifetime.
If you stop and think about, the Bible is full of disappointed people—John, Moses, David, Jacob, Hannah, etc.
Even Jesus experienced disappointment on many levels during His life: when people didn’t heed the Good News, when His disciples didn’t believe, when He encountered the ritualistic mindsets of the Pharisees—to name a few. Perhaps His greatest disappointment was when God didn’t save Him from the cross.
The good thing is that those biblical characters all overcame disappointment to accomplish their goals and do great things. We all know Jesus overcame the greatest disappointment for us.
We will face disappointment again and again in our lives, but how we respond to it should change over time.
We shouldn’t go on the emotional roller coaster every time we don’t get what we want or what we expected.
It should become less about what we desire and more about what God desires for us. As Jesus prayed when He asked God to spare Him the suffering He knew He would face on the cross, “yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
It’s also important to remember that God didn’t disappoint you—life’s circumstances and people disappointed you. When something bad happens in life, it’s not a time to blame God, it’s a time to run to him.
Since disappointment is something we’ll all experience, it’s important to be able to respond to it in a positive manner.
Here are three healthy ways to deal with disappointment:
1. Mourn, then release your disappointment to God
You experienced a loss, so it’s natural to mourn. Have a period where you feel sad about the situation, then pick yourself up.
It might take time, but you must make a decision to move past the disappointment. Don’t run from it—face it and release it.
Pray about it, being honest with God about how you feel. But don’t let disappointment be a shadow over your life.
2. Evaluate and adjust your expectations
There is another side to disappointment. It can be crippling, but it also can be humbling, since it is a way to examine where and in whom we place our hope.
Misplaced hope ultimately leads to disappointment. Assessing that disappointment can be a starting point in readjusting our expectations about the things we want in life.
It’s natural and normal to want things and to want to excel, but issues arise when we begin to believe our happiness is based on achieving that goal or being with that person.
What happens when you lose that job you love? Where do you turn when that person walks out of your life? You become deflated, hopeless.
Learn to place your hope solely in God. That truly is the most secure place for it to be.
3. Get moving
Don’t wallow in your disappointment. Wallowing is not productive and can actually be harmful.
Get your mind off your circuitousness and get active. Pick up a new hobby, visit friends or volunteer at an organization that inspires you. Reach beyond yourself and help somebody in need or help someone achieve their goals.
Disappointment can also be a time of renewed resourcefulness. Try something else, go in a different direction or maybe approach things a new way. If one dream dies, pick up another one and keep moving forward in life.
We will all face disappointment many times in our life. We were never promised everything we want or an easy life. We live in a broken world and that is not possible. In fact, Psalms tells us “the righteous person may have many troubles” (Psalm 34:19).
However, you can rest assured that even though you didn’t get what you wanted, God is with you and will never forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). In fact, He will still use that disappointing situation for your good (Romans 8:28).