When you hope for something to happen, and it doesn’t, what do you do? Does disappointment send you into a tail spin where you find yourself getting depressed and losing hope?
I do not get depressed easily, but the quickest way to that point is through disappointment. Hoping for something to happen, that just doesn’t can be a very tough thing for me to deal with emotionally and spiritually.
If you encounter a situation in your life that causes you disappointment or discouragement it is your responsibility to look to Jesus and step through that to the other side.
David encouraged Himself in the Lord when his family and possessions were taken.
…but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God -I Samuel 30:6
Make a decision to encourage yourself
You first have to decide that you don’t want to stay disappointed or discouraged. Not deciding to move on will almost ensure that you get depressed and possibly enter into some self pity.
As a believer, you have the right to be hurt, but not stay wounded. -Graham Cook
Making the decision not to encourage yourself is often the hardest part of the process. But once you do decide, it releases the Lord to move on your heart and bring healing.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. – Psalms 100:4
When David lived, the author of Psalm 100, the Lord dwelt in the ark of the covenant that was surrounded by gates and had a court in the beginning. This serves as a model to New Testament believers since we are now His tabernacle.
The quickest way to experience the presence of the Lord is to give Him thanks and praise. So no matter how bad the disappointment or discouragement, find something to be thankful for and give the Lord thanks.
Begin to praise
Disappointment and discouragement gets your eyes focused on you. Praise helps you shift your focus to Jesus and gives Him the opportunity to saturate you with His presence.
…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. -Hebrews 12:2
Jesus endured the cross because He loves you and desires an intimate relationship with you and that was so great He was willing to suffer unimaginable pain. Fixing your eyes on Jesus will help you see the how much greater He is than your situation.
Praise is simply telling Jesus how much you love Him and how great He is. There are as many ways to praise Him as there are people, but here are a few suggesstions.
- Turn on some worship music and sing along
- Play or sing a worship song to Him
- And my personal favorite, read passages from the Book of Psalms out loud
You will notice that your heart starts becoming a little happier and joyful. Your heart and soul will begin to experience the joy of the Lord.
Just be honest
Disappointment hurts. It is a painful experience. The Lord is gracious and compassionate and wants you to express your feelings to Him as if you are a friend, son, daughter, or bride.
Just be honest with the Lord about how you feel. My conversation is something along the lines of “this really sucks and I’m hurting right now because…”
Even expressing disappointment with the Lord is okay, as long as you are respectful and give Him a chance to respond.
Be still little one
Essentially, you have turned your eyes towards Heaven and opened your heart to the working of Holy Spirit. So now, let Him work.
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! -Psalm 46:10
You could say, “cease your striving son/daughter and trust me, recognize my authority and ability to move in your situation”.
Literally, be still and listen. He has something to say to you. Let His presence saturate you and heal any broken places.
Make your request known to God
By this point, you should have some peace in your heart even if you are still disappointed. If not, rinse and repeat!
Let Him know the desires of your Heart and ask Him to move in the situation. Pray that He will show you how to walk with the Mind of Christ and be led by Holy Spirit even in your prayers.
I encourage you to keep a log of your prayer requests so you can see his answers to your prayers.
Meditate on the Scripture
Filling your mind and heart with the written Word of God will help to encourage you greatly. I like to find a scripture that is relevant to the situation, but here are a few that I like:
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. -Psalms 23
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to…to bind up the brokenhearted -Isaiah 61:1-4
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
- Decide to encourage yourself
- Enter His presence with thanksgiving
- Get your eyes focused on Him through praise
- Be honest with your Heavenly Father on what hurts and why
- Be still and let Him saturate you with His presence and speak to your heart
- Make your request in this situation known to Him
- Meditate on a scripture