How to Handle Disappointment

Posted by on Apr 20, 2021 in Articles | 0 comments

And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? (Joshua 7:10)

Sometimes it seems no matter how hard we try, we face disappointment in life. What I find interesting in scripture is it seems God had little patience for those who held on to the feeling. When Samuel mourned for Saul being rejected as King, God instructed him to go anoint a son of Jesse (David) as future King. Both Joshua (Jos 7:10) and Samuel were basically told there is work to do and rather than give in and quit we are to move on and do what has to be done. In each of these cases, they obeyed and ultimately they, and the people, were blessed.

The one thing that these two incidents have in common is that someone else, outside of their control, had sinned and caused the issue that troubled these faithful men. The truth is, people will, from time to time, let us down and we can say we may not always do what others hope of us. Christ even dealt with this. In Mark 14 He had asked “couldst thou not watch one hour?”  That is why we truly must put our trust in God. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Another thing about disappointment is that it is often linked to prior actions. We sometimes can convince ourselves what we are doing will be okay if it doesn’t cause any problems in the present. In Joshua’s case, there had been a sin committed (Jos. 7:1) and same with Samuel (1 Sam. 15:20-23). While neither of the transgressors, Saul and Achan, faced immediate punishment, they were still in the wrong and eventually it caught up to them in a big way. Therefore, we must always do the right thing and we’ll never have anything to worry about.  

Which leads to this, always handle mistakes properly. Confessing our wrongs and admitting the mistake is the only way to ensure that we will be free from disappointment moving forward (1 John 1:9).

Lastly, disappointment stings the most when I have not held myself accountable. I recall an old friend at work who had injured himself. As he passed by me on his way to first aid, he held up his injured hand and said in a heavily Eastern European accent “never again will I cut myself so stupidly.” The injury was real but the pain came because of the disappointment of not doing what was right and, in this case, safe to begin with. 

Moving forward, I hope I can use any disappointment as a way to grow, in self discipline, patience with others, and trust in God and never allow it to cause me to become frustrated, lose hope or be idle. Let us all treat life experiences as chances to grow and be stronger moving forward.

By Jason Barger

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