I’ve been wondering: What do we do with disappointment as a Christian? How do we abide in the tension of lost dreams while celebrating peace & joy?
Disappointment does not take a vacation just because one decides to follow Jesus, so it is comforting to remember that God does not brush aside our concerns or cares. He understands. He sees. He comes alongside the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). We are not alone in our disappointment.
And we are not without hope. These verses keep ringing in my mind: “hope does not disappoint us” (Romans 5:5) and “hope as an anchor for the soul” (Hebrews 6:19) and “may you overflow with hope” (Romans 15:13).
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,O Holy Night
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Disappointment is real. But Jesus is more real. His promises are truer. His hope is forever. We acknowledge reality—in this world we will be disappointed (John 16:33)—but we don’t flounder there. We lift our eyes to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Every sorrow this side of heaven will not be fixed or wrapped in a pretty red bow, yet the promise of redemption is certain. God has been and is currently and will continue redeeming all things! He holds all things together by His powerful word (Colossians 1:17) and in Him we put our hope. And this hope will never disappoint us.
I think it’s helpful to allow the tension to be present. Acknowledge the difficult emotions, but delight in Jesus. Let yourself be sad as needed, but return always to the hope of the gospel. The peace and joy we celebrate in Christ are true and available to us, even in the midst of disappointment, because Jesus came! He came to make our hope secure.
Father, we confess that we are a people far too easily pleased. We don’t grasp what riches of glory You’ve purchased for us through redemption. Help us to treasure You, to find our joy with You, and to be satisfied in You. Forgive us when we long for what others have, as if You’ve forgotten us in our need. May we trust You for the path of life—for what is truly life—and know joy in Your presence alone . . . Amen.Emmanuel by Ruth Chou Simons
Perhaps a disappointment, difficulty or sorrow threatens to invade your heart with darkness. Remember, friend, there is always a Light. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4). Emmanuel. God with us. A truth we celebrate forever . . . because of Jesus!