Last week was a well-timed kickoff of my online virtual Zoom study for Discovering Jesus…
When life disappoints you and expectations go unmet, what can you do? Where do you turn? Is there a secret to handling disappointment?
From Pam: I asked my friend, author, Rebecca Barlow Jordan, to share a part of her own marriage journey to give all of us HOPE and the encouragement that God sees, cares and is moved to help us in our relationships and life:
When Life Disappoints You in Your Marriage Relationship
Years ago, following a marriage retreat, my husband and I were traveling through the Arizona desert on our way to a private getaway in San Diego, California. My hands trembled as I fumbled through my purse and pulled out the questions that I had written and designed (probably with us in mind) for the previous marriage weekend. Orchestrating the earlier marriage event had left no time for our own discussion.
Now that I had a captive audience, I started firing the questions at Larry. His knuckles turned white on the steering wheel, and his eyes suddenly glazed over as the west sun blazed through the front windshield. I can only imagine how uncomfortable that experience made him feel, like a prisoner inside his own vehicle.
He told me later that those questions only emphasized our drastic need for communication—and some major intervention. After futile attempts at discussion, I stuffed the sheet of questions deep into my purse, like the buried hopes in my heart. Maybe another time.
Thankfully, that time came. (That’s another story!) After some major bumps in the road, we discovered the real secret of handling disappointments and unmet expectations, not only in marriage, but in life. It begins with discovering your faithful Father’s Heart: The One Who Never Disappoints.
Where do you turn when life disappoints you? How do you handle unfulfilled hopes and dreams?
When Life Disappoints You, Does God Care?
What would your faithful Father tell you if you talked to Him about it? Does God really care about your disappointments and unmet expectations? In marriage and in life?
Throughout the Bible, God offers encouragement for those times when disappointment comes and tries to steal our hopes, joys, and dreams. As we turn to Him, based on His Word and His attributes, I can only imagine what He might say to us personally. He wants us to know the truth about Himself: The One Who Never Disappointments.
When Disappointment Comes –The One Who Never Disappoints
Those who believe in him will never be disappointed. Romans 9:33 TLB
FROM YOUR FAITHFUL FATHER’S HEART
“My child, disappointment can creep into your life like an unseen enemy. Just like in a marriage or a family, when you hold on to misplaced expectations, you will meet frustration head-on. Imperfect people will let you down; circumstances will cloud your perspective, and life will disappoint you. Sometimes you even get angry with Me if My answers are not what you expected or if I don’t come through like you thought I would. But I will never withhold My love or anything good from My children. I am the One who never disappoints. And I always know what’s best for you. How you choose to respond is up to you. But instead of giving up, try giving your discontentment to Me. Are you afraid that I will disappoint you if you place your life and circumstances in My hands? I’ve always been faithful. My Holy Spirit has flooded your heart with My love and security. When you open your heart to Me, placing your hopes and expectations in Me, I have promised you a wonderful love relationship with Me—the One who never disappoints.”
When Disappointment Comes, How Will You Respond?
God’s Word reassures us and encourages us to respond in a way that draws us closer to Him. Here’s my grateful prayer response to His word, whether in my marriage relationship or in other life situations:
FROM A GRATEFUL HEART
“Lord, You’ve never been the source of my disappointment. I recognize my misplaced blame and the power of Your name and character. At times I’ve let my fear be a stumbling stone that keeps me from the joy and peace You’ve planned for me. I can so easily base my faith on past experiences: broken relationships, unfulfilled hopes, or unrealized dreams. Like so many, I ignore the truth, trusting instead in myself or others as if that will smooth my path and bring the needed answers I want. But that’s not what I desire. I know You are the only way to a hope-filled life. If I stumble, let me stumble into Your arms. You are the One who never disappoints, and You will never disappoint me.”
After reflecting on His Words, my heart will rest on this truth:
Disappointment is only an appointment to trust God more.
Helps from God’s Word about Disappointment
Here are only a few of the Bible verses in God’s Word that verify His care for us in times when life disappoints us.
We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us. 1 John 4:18 TLB
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5 NLT
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NLT
Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer. Psalm 94:19 TLB
When Disappointment Comes, Try This Challenge
Write down any recent disappointments you’ve experienced. How did you react? Do you see any misplaced expectations? One by one, turn them over to God and ask Him to renew your life with joy. How would you like to respond to disappointments the next time you encounter them?¹
¹Adapted from the blog post by Rebecca Barlow Jordan, 2/04/2022, “When Disappointment Comes,” Originating from Rebecca’s book: (2022) Rebecca Barlow Jordan, Day-votions® with Your Faithful Father: 90 Days with the One Who Wants to Meet All Your Needs, All Rights Reserved.
Would You Like to Discover More about Your Faithful Father’s Heart?
What if your needs were God’s personal invitation to experience His faithfulness in a greater way? Try reading through Day-votions® with Your Faithful Father as a couple, sharing thoughts, honest prayers, and reflecting on the Scripture passages. Couples face so many challenges and needs. Discover your faithful Father’s heart together!
Endorsed by many leaders, including Pam Farrel, Day-votions® with Your Faithful Father: 90 Days with the One Who Wants to Meet All Your Needs, is a 90-day spiritual and devotional encounter based on God’s attributes and activity that will help you renew your hope, joy, peace, and trust in the One who is faithful and unchangeable—the One who wants to meet all your needs. Through intimate prayer conversations with your heavenly Father, focused Bible verses, powerful truths, reflective Bible study questions, and even journal pages, this book will guide you to see your needs as an invitation to experience God’s faithfulness in a greater way and to deepen your relationship with Him. Use it as a devotional, prayer book, personal or small group Bible study, or a devotional prayer journal. You’ll never know how faithful God is until you experience Him for yourself. (See Day-votions® with Your Faithful Father on Amazon.)
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is a day-voted follower of Jesus whose passion is helping others find joy and
purposeful living through deeper intimacy with God. A CBA bestselling, inspirational author, she has written 13 books, including Day-votions® with Your Faithful Father: 90 Days with the One Who Wants to Meet All Your Needs and Day-votions® for Mothers, winner of the Serious Writer 2021 Book of the Decade. She has also written over 2000 greeting cards, devotions, articles, and contributed to over 20 other books. From years of Bible study and teaching, she continues to paint encouragement on the hearts of others through her blog and website at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com. Rebecca is a minister’s wife, has two children and four grandchildren, and makes her home in Texas.