7 Pieces of Wisdom for the Disappointments of Life

I have the opportunity to sit with many people who are experiencing disappointment in life. Many times, even when we are doing the best we know how, we find ourselves disappointed with where we find ourselves in life at the time…

  • We don’t get the job…
  • The ministry doesn’t appear to be working…
  • The marriage unravels…
  • The children go astray…
  • The business fails…
  • The spouse cheats…

Having faced disappointment many times in life, I’ve learned a few things about handling these times.

Here are 7 pieces of wisdom for the disappointments of life:

Keep your heart close to God during times of disappointment. God is most likely at work in ways you cannot presently see or understand. Often disappointment ushers in some of the greatest seasons of God for your life.  Don’t miss it by not listening to Him.

Wait for your emotions to heal before you make major decisions. We tend to make irrational decisions immediately following times of disappointment.  Let some time pass and make sure you are thinking rational again before you implement major changes in your life.

Don’t quit until the next thing comes.  While you shouldn’t make major changes, an equally dangerous tendency to give up or stall until the next opportunity arrives or lives gets “easier”.  You may need a resting period, but keep your mind and hands busy doing what there is to do today.  It will help protect your heart and mind from the attack of fears and doubts.

Don’t allow a disappointment to determine your sense of self-worth. Let God and the people who know you best help determine that.   You don’t have to be defined by your disappointment.

You are not alone, even though it may feel that way. Disappointments are a part of everyone’s experience.  There is likely someone who has experienced the same type disappointment.  Don’t be afraid to find them and let them walk through this period with you.

Learn everything you can from this period. We learn some of life’s best lessons during times of failure and disappointment.  Don’t miss the value of experience.  (For more on this thought, read THIS POST.)

Move forward when the next opportunity presents itself. Too many people become paralyzed after a period of disappointment, refusing to ever move forward again.  Living an abundant life requires risk-taking.  You will have to walk by faith again if you ever hope to escape the moment of disappointment.

Learning how to handle disappointments will make your life better and help you grow during these times.

What wisdom have you gleaned from times of disappointment?

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24 thoughts on “7 Pieces of Wisdom for the Disappointments of Life

  1. Great distilation of wisdom related to these times. I also am along side folks during these times. The one that stood out to me during this read was "Wait for your emotions to heal before you make major decisions." Sometimes this is a hard message to pass on to someone who is already struggling but is a serious need from their more objective friends. Thanks for sharing.

  2. "Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him…" In "Plan B", Pete Wilson tells the story of a woman whose world came crashing down on her, but that Sunday found her in church, her hands held high in worship of the One who allowed the pain to touch her life. When I'm feeling the way I feel today, I "force" myself worship God for who He is. It doesn't always make me feel better, but it protects my heart and puts the focus on Him instead of me and my pain. But I suppose this is just an example of your first point…

  3. I agree, Michael – by nature I'm pretty good at being my own worst critic, especially after something goes South. Thanks, Ron, for the encouragement!

  4. Don’t allow a disappointment to determine your sense of self-worth.

    I loved that point. It is so easy to beat yourself up after something goes the opposite that we had figured. Me personally this has resulted of running the situation over and over in my head to the point that I get sick.

    This is very encouraging.

  5. Ron,

    The link you mentioned on Point #6 (Learn all you can…) didn't come through. I'd love to read your thoughts on this.

    • Amen. And when that hits begin to exercise no matter how you feel. It can be as simple as walking 100 yards each day. But get out and move. (can you tell I know this from experience,ha)

    • After the most heart breaking disappointment in church leadership almost four years ago I have been blessed to miss being majorly depressed. I took counseling offered from the local clinic on the approach to leaving the church. It helped but what has helped most is understanding the grace of God. I am blessed in so many ways and the impact of the loss of direction, although affecting me spiritually and emotionally, hasn't brought on the deep seated depression that can sadly affect some. I put this down to learning, growing, and knowing who I am in Christ. This has not meant that my feelings of inadequacy, frustration, and hurt have been any less. What it does mean is that it is all in the perspective of God's amazing grace. I look forward with hope in the most irrational way imaginable to mankind because I still believe that through it all God is faithful.