What does the Bible say about disappointment?
One thing that is true about all of us is that, we all face disappointments. In every area of our lives, whether it be in our relationships, marriage, business, ministry, work place, life situation, etc. there is always disappointments that we have to overcome.
Maybe you’re going through something at the moment. If so, my hope for you is that you allow these Scriptures to speak life into your current situation.
To be disappointed is to be discouraged or sad because of an unmet expectation regarding someone or something.
Christian quotes about feeling disappointed
“God’s plans will always be more beautiful and greater than all your disappointments.”
“Disappointments are God’s appointments.”
“Expectation is the root of all heartache.”
“When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be.”
“Losses and disappointments are the trials of our faith, our patience, and our obedience. When we are in the midst of prosperity, it is difficult to know whether we have a love for the Benefactor or only for His benefits. It is in the midst of adversity that our piety is put to the trial. Christ Precious.” John Fawcett
“You know how addiction works. It starts like this: There’s some kind of disappointment or distress in your life. As a result you choose to deal with that distress with an agent; it might be sex, it might be drugs, it might be alcohol. The agent promises transcendence. The agent promises freedom, a sense of being in control, a sense of being above all this, a sense of being liberated, a sense of escape. And so you do it. But when you do it, when you take the addicting agent as a way of dealing with life, the trap is set.” Tim Keller
“No soul can be really at rest until it has given up all dependence on everything else and has been forced to depend on the Lord alone. As long as our expectation is from other things, nothing but disappointment awaits us.” Hannah Whitall Smith
“Disappointment isn’t proof that God is withholding good things from us. It’s His way of leading us home.”
“Disappointment and failure are not signs that God has forsaken you or stopped loving you. The devil wants you to believe God no longer loves you, but it isn’t true. God’s love for us never fails.” BillyGraham
“In the middle of pain, disappointment, and suffering it is faith that whispers: This isn’t permanent.”
Disappointment can lead to despair.
Be very careful when you get discouraged and disappointed. This is a pivotal moment in regard to how you walk with the Lord in this specific season of your life. You can either dwell on the negative, which will cause you to stumble because your disappointment can easily zap the spiritual strength out of you, or you can focus on Christ. Keeping your mind on the Lord and the love of God will help your feet from stumbling. By doing so, you live in the light of eternity and you learn to trust in God’s will. What’s your response going to be? The next move you make after disappointment is crucial to your spiritual health.
1. Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
2. Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
3. 1 Peter 5:6-8 “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
4. Psalm 119:116 “Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees.”
Disappointment can reveal your true heart
What do you do when you get disappointed? Let me ask you again, what is your response to disappointment? Is it to revert back to old ways or is it to worship?
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you have been fasting and walking in obedience for God to answer a specific prayer, but God didn’t answer that prayer. Due to God not meeting your expectations you stop walking in obedience. Does this show someone who is serious? This shows someone who wanted to put on an act for God to answer. What was Job’s immediate reaction to his trials and tribulations? He worshipped!
This is so powerful. Here is a man who suffered dearly, but instead of being bitter towards the Lord, he worshipped. This should be our response. When David was fasting for his son, did he turn away from the Lord after finding out his son died? No, David worshipped! By worshipping you’re putting your trust in the Lord. You’re saying, I might not know why this happened, but I know that You are good.
5. Job 1:20-22 “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
6. Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”
7. 2 Samuel 12:19-20 “But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate.”
8. Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”
9. Psalm 34:1-7 “I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace. I will boast of all his kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart. Let us praise the Lord together and exalt his name. For I cried to him and he answered me! He freed me from all my fears. Others too were radiant at what he did for them. Theirs was no downcast look of rejection! This poor man cried to the Lord—and the Lord heard him and saved him out of his troubles. For the Angel of the Lord guards and rescues all who reverence him.”
Praying in times of disappointment
Be vulnerable before the Lord. God already knows how you feel. Don’t try to hide your emotions, but instead bring them to Him. I know first-hand that disappointment is painful. Disappointments in my life has led to many tears. It’s either your disappointment is going to drive you away from God or it is going to drive you to God. God understands how you feel. Talk to Him about your questions. Talk to Him about your doubts. Talk to Him about your confusion. He knows that you are struggling with these things and more. Be open and allow Him to encourage you, comfort you, guide you, and remind you of His sovereignty.
10. Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
11. Psalm 10:1 “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”
12. Psalm 61:1-4 “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.”
13. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
14. Psalm 13:1-6 “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”
15. Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.”
Don’t waste your disappointment
Why do I mean by this? Every trial that we go through in this life is an opportunity to grow. Every tear and unmet expectation in this life is an opportunity to look to Christ. If we’re not careful we can easily have the mindset of, “nothing never goes my way God doesn’t love me.” Have we forgotten that God’s great goal is to conform us into the image of His Son?
Your disappointment is doing something in you. You might not be able to see what your disappointment is doing, but who cares if you can’t see at the moment. You’re not asked to see, instead you’re told to trust in the Lord. Use your trial to see Christ in a way that you’ve never seen Him before. Allow God to use it to work in you and to guide you in the right direction.
16. Romans 5:3-5 “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 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.”
17. 2 Corinthians 4:17 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
18. Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us.”
19. James 1:2-4 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
God is in control
We have such minuscule plans for ourselves compared to God’s plans. God’s plan is better. This might sound cliché because we turned it into a cliché phrase, but this is the truth. When we are aligned towards the will of God we learn to appreciate God’s plan. I look back at my past disappointments and now I see how pitiful my plans were compared to what God wanted to do in me and around me.
Let go of trying to control the situation. Wait on the Lord and while you are waiting pour your heart out to Him daily. Learn to rest in Him and align your heart to His will. Be willing to listen to the voice of God. Don’t try to drown out His voice to pursue your own will. Sometimes disappointments happen because we fail to trust in His timing. Just because God doesn’t do something today doesn’t mean that He is not going to do it tomorrow. Always remember this, God sees what you can’t see and He knows what you don’t know. Trusting in His timing is crucial. His timing is always right on time!
20. Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
21. Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
22. Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”
23. Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
24. Lamentations 3:25 “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
25. Habakkuk 2:3 “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.“