Everybody has an answer. Everybody has some advice to offer. A lot of self-help, diy on YouTube out there but they end up deepening the discouragement. Although…
I recently did a search on the internet for how to deal with disappointment. Here’s the first option that came up:
Six steps to dealing with disappointment
- Believe in God’s plan. Our God is a miracle worker. …
- Grieve. Things have not gone the way you wanted. …
- Pray. You had to know this was coming, right? …
- Listen and wait. Big things happen when we pray. …
- Search for the good. …
- Believe in yourself.
6 steps sounds doable right? “…ok, I can do this.”
- Ok I believe in God’s plan…wait, what plan…oh yeah…Jeremiah 29:11 God has plans to prosper me…God did say that but He didn’t say it or promise it to you. That was to the children of Israel while they were living in exile in Babylon. (Jer 29:4-11)
- Grieve…I grieve way too much as it is…but ok…its good grief!
- Pray…yes, always pray. Good answer. (Matt 6:7)
- Listen and wait for something big? What did you pray for? Is this supposed to give me hope? Did God promise me something big if I prayed? No, he promises to answer our prayer according to His will. (John 14:13-14)
- Search for the good….well, that’s just it, I don’t see any good right now. Am I supposed to find the willpower to somehow see good? (Phil 2:13)
- Believe in yourself? Hmm…that’s a good one. Sounds like a Walt Disney movie.
All it takes is faith and trust
Believe you can, then you will
I’m being sarcastic, forgive me, but hopefully, you get the point. I started in step one believing in ‘God’s plan’ and ended focused on believing in myself. If I was to apply this to my life (as I once did), I’d be constantly defrauded by my image of God and my failure to overcome adversity. My who sense of existence would be on the rocks…all the time.
What’s wrong with this advice? It sounds great-think happy thoughts, right? That’s going to brighten up my day…for. a minute maybe-kinda like the meme did. This way of thinking as a means of getting help is deceptive and empty. It is powerless to rescue you. Ultimately, it’s really all up to you. And honestly, I am stubborn enough to try it just to show how I can do it myself. I still do this, even when I know better.
That’s not how we learned Christ. Christ took our shame, my sin debt and overcame. He stood up to disappointment, even by those closest to him who betrayed him and left him alone when He most needed care. Nobody was there, angelic beings had to come to his physical aid (Luke 22:43) yet He still looked to the Father and endured the cross because he came to overcome sin and everything it caused. He’s the reason I can sing in the face of adversity (Acts 16:19-25) because He did it for me.
We live in a fallen world today. It is cursed because of sin and that is why we see agony, pain, suffering and discouragement. No amount of positive thinking, habit changing, keto dieting is going to fix the world. No matter how hard I try to fix it, the reality we suffer today is due to the consequences of our sin. And Christ came and won! In fact, one day He will restore creation again.
The remedy is Christ because He took on sin and conquered! He conquered sin, therefore death no longer held him in the grave. The reality of every child of God is that our triumph is certain. We are united in Christ and what is true of Him is true of us. This means, just like He rose again, we too will rise again because we’ve overcome sin and therefore death, through Christ. This means death no longer reigns in the believer’s life. Fear by death no longer rules.
Jesus is savior and deliverer today of the discouraged and the downtrodden. He lives to make intercession for us before the Almighty sovereign of the universe who is in control of all things. This is not positive thinking, it’s a fact Jack! Moreover, it’s yours to claim and claim by faith you must (if you have believed in Christ as your personal Savior).
Faith is not wishful thinking, it is banking on the person of God who made promises in His word to us through Christ. Abraham learned this about faith.
and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.Romans 4:21
The object of Abraham’s faith was in God because he knew that God was able to perform the promises He had made. Abraham was not looking at his own ability (Rom 4:18), at his own wisdom (Rom 4:20) or at what was humanly possible (Rom 4:19). His faith was resting in God. That does not make Abraham a great man to try to be like, it means Abraham grew to trust the God of the Bible who keeps his promises. In fact, he saw the promised Messiah’s day through the eyes of faith. Gladness came as a result of where his faith was resting.
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”John 8:55
It’s not about our faith though, it’s where our faith is placed! If our faith is resting in 6 steps we must do and ultimately believe in ourselves, our faith is placed in a hopeless place! That is an object quite weak to deliver from the pits of despair. The Psalmist knew different when he penned these words…
Psa 130:1 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD.
Psa 130:2 Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications. –
Psa 130:3 If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
Psa 130:4 But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.
Psa 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.
Psa 130:6 My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
Psa 130:7 O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption.
Psa 130:8 And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities.
Notice the progression from the depths to O Israel, hope in the Lord! What made the difference was when he came back to the facts in verses 3 and 4. Faith upon God’s grace made the difference.
Jon 2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish,
Jon 2:2 and he said, “I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.
Jon 2:3 “For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me.
Jon 2:4 “So I said, ‘I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.’
Jon 2:5 “Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head.
Jon 2:6 “I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.
Jon 2:7 “While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple.
Jon 2:8 “Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness,
Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD.”
Jon 2:10 Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.
Jonah is not generally considered to be an example of one who trusted the Lord. In fact, he’s usually a perfect illustration of one who didn’t trust the Lord. Here, this once, we see Jonah distressed and going to the Lord for deliverance. I’m sure I would too if I was in the belly of.a fish with weeds wrapped around my head! Jonah understood the situation to be from the Lord, you cast me into the deep…your breakers and billows passed over me. So he calls out to the Lord and heard my voice. The Lord brought up my life from the pit…salvation is from the Lord. This chapter is Jonah giving thanks to God and a testimony of God’s faithfulness. Salvation (deliverance) belongs to the Lord!
What will deliver you out of the depths? Not what but Who. Abraham, David and Jonah’s faith was not on self but on God. The God who has spoken life into existence and promises of our future deliverance, He is able to perform! Will you rest in God and leave deliverance to the Lord?