Dealing with Disappointment


We all face serious let-downs and disappointments in life when things don’t work out like we plan. We thought things were going to go one way, and they turn out a different way. We had big hopes and dreams, only to find them crushed. Maybe you had big financial plans and they didn’t work out. Maybe you had plans to do something you thought was great, and it turned out to be a failure.

We fall short of the expectations we have for ourselves and we let ourselves down. We get disappointed by other people too. Other people let us down. People fall short. Sometimes they cancel. They don’t come through. They blow us off. They don’t do what they say. They disappoint us because they are ungrateful for what we do for them. They break their promises and commitments.

One of the secrets of success is learning how to deal with people who disappoint you.

Moses in the Old Testament knew how to deal with disappointment.

Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water. Exodus 15:22

The ABCs of Overcoming Disappointment

Adjust My Attitude

When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink. So they called the place Marah (which means “bitter”). Exodus 15:23

The people didn’t get what they expected and didn’t trust God to provide what they needed.

It’s easy to get a bitter attitude like they had. When we are disappointed, our choice is to get bitter or get better. We can give up hope, or we can adjust our attitude and get better.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Philippians 2:5

God wants you to be more like Jesus.

You have an aptitude (skills, abilities, knowledge) and an attitude (feelings, thoughts, opinions).

YOUR ATTITUDE DETERMINES YOUR ALTITUDE!

Bitterness is like a poison that can make you sick. Choose to have a new perspective on your disappointments.

Bless instead of Complaining.

Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded. Exodus 15:24

How do you respond when someone lets you down?

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Romans 12:14

Most of us want to get back at people who attack us or disappoint us.

What do you do when you get offended? When you start retaliating, God stops defending you. Who do you want to defend you? You or God?

Take the NO COMPLAINING CHALLENGE and refuse to complain and curse this week.

Cry out to God for help.

So Moses cried out to the Lord for help, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water, and this made the water good to drink. Exodus 15:25a

Moses cried out to the Lord. When you’re disappointed, don’t talk to other people who can’t help you with your situation. Talk to Jesus about it and give it to Him. He sees. He cares. And He can do something about what you’re going through.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

Discover that God is up to something greater.

It was there at Marah that the Lord set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to Him. Exodus 15:25b

Sometimes, we get disappointed by God because we don’t really understand what He’s up to.

Their character was revealed at Marah. Our character is seen in the daily disappointments of life. Will we trust God or not?

What does the way you respond to disappointment say about you?

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

God can turn your setback into a setup for your comeback!

Enjoy the benefits of doing what God says.

He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:26

Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. John 13:17

Marah was a place to visit, but they weren’t supposed to stay there.

After leaving Marah, the Israelites traveled on to the oasis of Elim, where they found twelve springs and seventy palm trees. They camped there beside the water. Exodus 15:27

They went from a place of disappointment and despair to a place of deliverance and delight.

Elim is only five miles from Marah.

We usually give up too soon. Don’t Quit! Don’t give up.

How do you get from disappointment to deliverance and delight? Keep moving forward in faith!

Maturity is living by your commitments, not your feelings. Keep on doing what you know is right.

For the Scriptures tell us that no one who believes in Christ will ever be disappointed. Romans 10:11 (TLB)

Jesus will never, ever let you down!

Cole Phillips

I’m a Connector, linking people with God and with others to experience the kind of life God has planned for them.

I am the founding and Lead Pastor of THE CONNECTION CHURCH in Buda, Texas. I previously served in churches around the state as youth pastor and as pastor before moving to Kyle in the Spring of 2004. I love to lead people to connect with God and those around them and thrive on changed lives. I earned a doctorate in missions and evangelism with an emphasis on church growth. My heart beats for helping people connect with God and connect with others in an authentic community of faith.

I love listening to and making music. I also enjoy hanging out with my family. Pam and I have been married since 1991 and we have two daughters, Makenzie and Bethanie. We are planting our lives in Hays County and allowing God to build a great church through us.