How do you feel when you’re disappointed? How do you feel when you disappoint someone?

In “The In-Between,” Jeff Goins says this about disappointment:

“The word ‘disappointment’ comes from the idea of literally missing an appointment. It originally was used in the context of meetings and gatherings. If you disappointed someone, it meant you told someone you were going to do something and then didn’t keep your word. So what does it mean if we are disappointed with life? Did life make a promise to us that it didn’t keep? Did she promise to always meet our expectations or to keep us comfortable? Can we really be angry with God that things don’t turn out exactly the way we thought?”

Goins goes on to say that being confronted with disappointment can be a blessing or a curse depending on our perspective. So ask yourself, “When confronted with disappointment, do I forgive, learn from it and move on? Or do I let it fester and slowly destroy me?”

Hopefully, you at least want to forgive (often this means forgiving yourself), learn from it and move on. But how does that happen?

Disappointments and Thunderstorms

Disappointments definitely remind us that we live in a fallen world, but they hopefully also remind us of a God who doesn’t disappoint and instead “works all things for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28). To help understand how this happens, let’s explore how thunderstorms are like disappointments.

“Disappointments are to the soul what a thunderstorm is to the air.” (Johann Christoph Frederich von Schiller)

Thunderstorms benefit the Earth because they provide water, cool the planet, fertilize the soil and remove pollution (clean the air). In a very similar way, disappointments do the same for our souls as we allow the One who does not disappoint to work good in our lives.

In our loving Father’s hands, disappointments can…

  • Nourish
  • Give peace
  • Restore
  • Refresh
  • Renew

Scripture bears the truth of His activity in our lives in these ways. Though there are many more examples, mediate for a moment on what Matthew 11:28-30 says about how God works through the struggles in our lives.

Divine rest 2

Focus Determines Reality

The next time you experience disappointment, take time to consider your focus. Are you looking at the hurt caused and the wrong done? Or, are you looking at the One who can make good out of the struggle found in disappointment? Remember that just as thunderstorms bring great benefit to our world, focusing on God in our disappointments allows Him to do great work in and through our disappointment. Whichever focus you choose creates the reality you will experience.

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