by Amanda B. McKelroy | September 16, 2016
This morning I was reading Proverbs 14 and verse 26 jumped out at me… “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.” It’s a joyful thought that I can have strong confidence in God, that His promises are true, that He loves me and wants to shower my life with joy and blessings. Disappointment is hard to handle, that comes as no surprise. “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.” Proverbs 13:12 How can I have strong confidence in God to overcome my disappointments? You would think, as a Pastor’s daughter, I would have all the answers, but I found myself at a loss this morning. So I started studying my Bible to find answers, and I thought I would share what I have found. I know I’m not the only one who gets crushed by disappointments.
There are some days that I wish I could act like a two year old and just throw a full-out temper tantrum. Some days I wish I could sit down on the floor and cry and scream when life doesn’t turn out the way I had my heart set that it would. And sometimes, I wish I could escape the current reality of my life and pretend everything is okay: maybe run away and start fresh somewhere, maybe start driving with no destination and no cares, maybe make a blanket fort and color for a whole day. I suppose I could do all of these things, but when I finish them I’d be right back where I started, bitterly disappointed with no solution to overcome it.
Robert Frost once said “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” It’s true, time doesn’t stand still, life can’t be put on hold, responsibility doesn’t freeze, and your obligations don’t go away. Whether you fight it or roll with it, life will continue onward. The big question is will I let my disappointment spoil the next moments, hours, days, weeks, or months of my life or do I want to overcome it? Do I really want to have strong confidence in God to help me conquer this messy event? Do I really want to know what it would take to overcome my disappointment in a healthy way, in a way that will let me continue on in life joyfully instead of walking around shrouded by self pity?
Remember Your Purpose
As a Christian, our most basic purpose is given to us in Scriptures: to glorify God.
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31
Your purpose helps dictate what your career is or will be, where you live, how you spend your time, who your inner circle can be, and so much more. Focus on your purpose; remember why you do what you do, and are where you are, and marinate on what is needed to continue moving forward with your eye on the prize.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14
Keep It Between You and God
As a woman, the easiest “solution” to disappointment is to vent to my girlfriends and my mom. But it’s no better than building a blanket fort and coloring all day to avoid my reality – it doesn’t help overcome my disappointment, it doesn’t help me have strong confidence in God. In those times, I don’t need to share all around; I need to turn to God in prayer. I need to have strong confidence that He’s got my back.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.” James 5:13a
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?… Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31, 37-39
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me…for when I am weak, then am I strong.” II Corinthians 12:9,10b
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Read God’s Love Letter
The Bible is God’s love letter to me! He ensured that it would be preserved for all generations, that not one jot or tittle would be changed, all so I could read His words. I must allow His Word to comfort my heart, soak up His promises, and memorize Scriptures that will help me throughout my day. This is not doable if I do not spend time reading my Bible. I must have a daily time set aside to spend reading my love letter.
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” II Corinthians 4:16
“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalm 12:6-7
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” II Timothy 3:15-16
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Trust His Heart
God has a plan for your life, and if you are willing to follow His will for you He promises that in the end it will all work out the way it should.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Focus on God, and the absolute facts that He loves you, wants to bless you, wants you to have a joyful life, will never forsake you, and will never fail you.
“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” Isaiah 40:26
“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusteth in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” Psalm 18:2
Relinquish your fears and choose to put your faith in the One who loved you enough that He died for you. If He was willing to die for an imperfect sinner like me, then it stands to reason that He would stand behind his promises. Give Him a chance to come through for you. On a regular basis we extend trust to our fellow man without waiting for them to earn it, God has proven we can trust Him by laying down His life for us on the cross of Calvary. Give Him the chance to come through for you.
“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Psalm 56:3
“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Psalm 62:8
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and the he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:7
“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:4-5
Get Busy Serving Others
When I was a little girl, I remember well a lesson my mom went to great lengths to teach me: focusing on helping others takes your mind off yourself, and consequently off your disappointments.
“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Proverbs 16:3
Go out of your way to encourage someone else, to make them smile, to do something special for them. Plug into ministry, don’t miss a church service, and allow making other people smile help heal your heart.
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:4
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” Proverbs 12:25
Notice that in Proverbs 12:25, it doesn’t say receiving a good word makes your heart glad, it just said a good word… it just may be that being the one to give the good word to someone else will make your own heart glad. At any rate, it’s not going to hurt.
A Final Note
The world does not revolve around you. See the big picture! My God-given purpose in life is to glorify Him, and my commission as a child of Christ is to spread the Gospel. The devil doesn’t need me to screw my life up to be successful in his scheme to thwart the Gospel being spread; he just needs me to throw in the towel, to stop moving forward for the cause of Christ. I can’t let him be successful.
“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:20-21
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” I Peter 5:8
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13