How to Overcome Disappointment

Disappointment is something we all deal with at some point in our lives. We all want certain things in life, and sometimes we get them and sometimes we don't. Feeling disappointment is perfectly normal, but we have to be careful how we deal with it. The Bible tells us a lot about how to overcome disappointment while keeping our eyes on God and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

Is Disappointment a Sin?

Feeling disappointment is not a sin.

We all have expectations of others and of ourselves, but sometimes those expectations are not fulfilled. it is what we do with that disappointment that can lead us into trouble. Disappointment can build up into anger if we let it. When we get too angry we stop trusting God. We stop turning to God, and eventually we just walk away from our faith. Disappointment is a valid feeling, but like any negative feeling, we have to deal with them appropriately.

Dealing with Disappointment

In order to avoid allowing disappointment to fester, there are things we can do to deal with the feeling before it festers and causes us greater separation from God:

  • Admit you're disappointed. Hiding the disappointment from the world keeps your thoughts and feelings bouncing around your head. Others may even have a direction or correction that can still allow you to meet your goals. Confessing your feelings to others or God can clear your head and open your heart.
  • Forgive those who disappoint you. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to give sometimes, but it is also very freeing. Not forgiving those who have disappointed you can keep you from your Christian walk and separate you from God.
  • Don't be rash in trying to fix things. Sometimes when we're disappointed we make rash decisions to create a "quick fix." Those types of decisions can lead to further disappointment and can keep us from seeing God's plan for our lives.
  • Try to see God's reasoning or purpose. Sometimes we face disappointment because we got too caught up in what we wanted, but it's not what God had planned for us. Looking back over a situation can sometimes allow us to see just why God didn't really give us what we wanted.
  • Turn it over to God. Even though we're Christian and supposed to always rely on God, we sometimes forget and rely on ourselves so much that we end up disappointed and blame God. Even if it's difficult, try to let situations go and give the control to God.

Biblical Examples of Overcoming Disappointments

There are great examples in the Bible of people who overcame initial disappointments to accomplish great things.

  • Joseph. Joseph spent years in jail. Imagine being him not knowing if he was ever going to be released, feeling the cold of a cell. Eventually his disappointment turned to joy when he was released and offered a prominent position. There was no way he could have known God's plan, but eventually he got his happy ending.
  • Mary (Lazarus' sister). Mary was not quiet in her disappointment when Jesus showed up after Lazarus had died. She expressed her feelings to Jesus, and He understood. He was so moved by her tears that he brought Lazarus back from the dead.
  • David. David was supposed to be king, but he was chased by Saul early on. David often expressed his disappointment. He also found himself torn morally at times. He didn't understand God's timing in things, and he faced doubt that God actually would one day give him the kingdom. Yet, the overcame the doubt, trusted in God, and eventually God gave him the kingdom.
  • The Disciples. What bigger disappointment could there be than to place all your trust in Jesus as your Messiah to watch Him die on a cross? They had such hopes that He would usher in a new age, and then Jesus ended up in a tomb. Yet, we know that Jesus overcame that doubt and disappointment by overcoming death itself.