How to Handle Disappointment

Guest Post by Rebecca Barlow Jordan

Disappointment can knock on your door dressed in a variety of “costumes.”

A doctor’s report. An unexpected phone call. A tragic loss. 

I remember when I received the phone call about my father, and how it brought me to my knees. “He’s gone.” I never got to say goodbye.

Or when my gynecologist’s brow furrowed as he placed his stethoscope to my abdomen and frowned: “There’s no heartbeat.” And that’s only a few. We’ve all experienced our own.

I haven’t always responded the way I wanted to when disappointment arrived at my doorstep. But through the years, God has taught me some awesome things about His character and His activity in my life—and in all our lives.

What would your faithful Father tell you if you talked to Him about your disappointment? Does God really care about your concerns? Is He too busy to listen?

Throughout the Bible, God offers encouragement when disappointment tries to steal our hopes, joys, and dreams. How do respond at those times? As we turn to Him, based on His Word and His attributes, I wonder what our faithful heavenly Father might say to us personally. Here’s what I imagine Him saying to me.

“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.”

Here are only a few of the Bible verses in God’s Word that verify His care for us in times of disappointment:

Those who believe in him will never be disappointed. Romans 9:33 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

God’s Word reassures us and encourages us to respond in a way that draws us closer to Him. He is, after all, the only One who never disappointments.

You can read the way I want to always respond in my new book, Day-votions® with Your Faithful Father: 90 Days with the One Who Wants to Meet All Your Needs. In over 90 devotions you’ll find 90 days and 90 ways in which our heavenly Father wants to be involved in your life. He’s waiting for us to talk to Him about our needs—and for us to listen to what He has to say about His faithfulness and love for us.

Here’s a challenge for you today to help you plan your response the next time you face disappointment:

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


© 2022, Rebecca Barlow Jordan, adapted from Day-votions® with Your Faithful Father: 90 Days with the One Who Wants to Meet All Your Needs, All Rights Reserved. Parts of this blog post were first published at https://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/when-disappointment-comes/

Day-votions® with Your Faithful Father 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.)

More about Rebecca:

Rebecca Barlow Jordan is a day-voted follower of Jesus whose passion is helping others find intimacy with God. A bestselling CBA 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. With the pen of a poet and the heart of a disciple, Rebecca encourages others from years of Bible study and teaching experience, in over 2000 greeting cards, devotionals, online articles, and other inspirational books. Rebecca is a minister’s wife, has two children and four grandchildren, and lives in Texas. Connect with her on her website and encouraging blog at rebeccabarlowjordan.com, visited by guests in over 170 countries.

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