Hope Does Not Disappoint!
Are you disappointed by the loss of something, or a choice you made that resulted in a negative outcome, or a hurtful word spoken to a friend which causes you to be disappointed with yourself? Hope does not disappoint, so, keep reading to step into His hope for you.
We all experience daily disappointments in one form or another, but they don’t have to lead to discouragement. They shouldn’t lead to discouragement because you have power over the outcome. Let me tell you how.
What is Disappointment?
What is disappointment? I think the simple answer is it’s the feeling that comes as a result of unmet expectations. I think you can agree with me that disappointment is inevitable! Right?
The degrees of disappointment can range from trivial, like not finding the size of those super cute red shoes on sale that you really wanted – to dramatic like being fired from your job, or when you or someone you love is recently diagnosed with a crippling disease. If I asked each of you to share your disappointments, the list would be endless.
Let’s look closer at the possibility that unmet expectations are the real cause of disappointment.
Some expectations are good. If you’ve decided to start running again after a long hiatus by training for a 5K race, you probably start with the expectation that you will follow your training schedule and finish the race. Accomplishing one or both of those steps would be cause for celebration. But if you expect to come in first, you might be disappointed. In your disappointment, you’d deny yourself the celebration you deserved. This simple example illustrates how an unrealistic expectation can set you up for disappointment.
But who of you expects to have their spouse diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, as I recently have. This has revealed in me a subtle life-long expectation that as a devoted God-lover and follower of Jesus, somehow nothing bad would happen to my family or me. Now, what do I do?
Deny my hope in God’s solution, or deny my disappointment? Get mad at God, or trust him?
I could even choose to avoid disappointment by not hoping for anything positive, as many people do, rather than risking disappointment by believing in something better. Where does that view lead you? Well, nowhere really, because it will steal your motivation and willingness to step into the unknown future when God asks you to follow him.
Take the Pain Away!
In trials and tribulations, most of us will ask God to remove the pain or struggle to return us to our ideal of a pain-free normal. But what happens when the answer doesn’t come as we expect?
The key lies in how we handle disappointment when, not if, it comes.
How do we keep disappointments from growing into discouragement?
Discouragement is the loss of courage for the outcome you desire. It’s the loss of hope. It’s the loss of grace for the endurance to fulfill your Heavenly calling. Grace is more than the unmerited gift of salvation; it is the strength to fulfill the Kingdom of Heaven’s call for your life. We must be willing to step up to God’s call for our lives.
But, experiencing disappointment can leave you at a crossroads of sorts. What you choose to do with disappointment will impact your emotions, and your emotions will impact whether or not you live a life of sustainable joy. Disappointment left unchecked becomes a target of the liar. Our adversary, the devil, will gladly lead you into the hopelessness of discouragement, which will steal your joy faster than anything. And Joy is the fruit of being with Jesus.
How does that happen?
Deny God Access?
By denying God access to your feelings of disappointment, you have left yourself vulnerable to attack. Worse, God has not been invited in to work out his good in the situation. Remember his promise that he will cause all things to work for good to those who are called according to his purpose.
Allow me to read from The Passion Translation the words that Paul wrote in Romans 5:1-5
“Our faith in Jesus transfers God’s righteousness to us, and he now declares us flawless in his eyes. This means we can now enjoy true and lasting peace with God, all because of what our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, has done for us. Our faith guarantees us permanent access to this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory!
But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble, we have joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!”
You see, God knows we will experience tribulations, disappointments, and hardships. None of us are immune. But God’s purpose is to let disappointments create in you something we call perseverance, that is, the ability to patiently endure to the end, because as we do that, God will produce more Godly character in us. By the way, what is a Godly character? Simply, it’s the fruit of the Spirit. When we see the fruit of the Spirit flowing out of us, then we know we have the character of God because He is the Fruit of the Spirit.
Godly Character Produces Hope!
Guess what Godly character produces in you? Hope! If you have hope, you will not be discouraged; you can’t be because discouragement is the loss of hope. As I mentioned in the previous episode: it’s when we give up hoping that our heart becomes sick.
So here’s the promise from God: Hope does not disappoint! Period.
No matter the outcome in our natural world, we won’t become disappointed and discouraged if we hold onto His hope.
Repeating what Paul said in Romans 5:5
“And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!”
Have You Written God’s Outcome Script?
Yet, I know many beautiful, faith-filled, believing Christians who have become discouraged.
It’s almost always because they have placed their hope into an outcome of their desire. It’s as though they have written a script for God to prove his love for them by defining what the ‘acceptable’ outcome needs to be. Then anything shy of that produces discouragement.
How do you align your expectation with God’s?
Stop writing a script for Him to fulfill.
Instead, let God’s outcome be your hope. Let him use your trial or disappointment to produce enduring patience as you joyfully wait for God’s expectation of good. As you do this, you will grow in His character. You will see the fruit of His very own Spirit manifest more completely in your life. You will be able to step in and embrace His HOPE that will never disappoint you like your own script of unfulfilled expectations.
So choose to hope in God’s expectations, and you will never be disappointed.
Until next time, may the God of hope fill you with encouragement as you wait with eager expectation for His Divine good in your life!
Need some help overcoming past disappointments that turned into discouragement? Let’s explore how I can help you: Free 15-Minute Discovery Session
Leave Disappointment in the Dust!
What do you do when what you hoped for doesn’t turn out the way you expected? We can blame ourselves, we can blame others, or we can blame God. We can choose to agree with our failure or loss as helpless victims, or we can take steps to leave disappointment behind. Today on Your Kingdom Journey, we will explore how to leave disappointment in the dust.
At this very moment, I’m experiencing some disappointment. It literally feels like the wind in my sails has died, and I’m afloat without any direction. Can anyone else relate? If you haven’t read my previous posts about disappointment and discouragement, click here
Leave Disappointment in the Dust!
Dwelling in the Loss of Disappointment
Worse, as I dwell in the loss that brought disappointment, I have discovered that it’s robbing me of joy. It’s also stealing from my relationships which became quite obvious today when my husband asked why I was mad at him after snapping at something he said. Of course, it had absolutely nothing to do with him. I was dwelling on my disappointment.
I think God’s timing is interesting, don’t you, that as I started to talk about joy stealers, I’m literally experiencing a loss of joy in real-time. So, in order to help us return to Joy through Jesus, let’s say, “bye, bye disappointment” and leave disappointment in the dust!
3 Losses of Disappointment
There are 3 losses in disappointment that I’ll share with you, along with the one step that leads you back to joy.
1. Disappointment steals joy.
2. It creates a sense of defeat and hopelessness.
3. It causes you to question God’s goodness.
Just 1 Step Called Reevaluation!
These 3 losses can be resolved through one step called REEVALUATION.
Reevaluating led up to the disappointment can be easy, quick, and revealing.
Start with writing out what happened with a clear, unbiased perspective. In other words, not through the lens of disappointment but from an objective point of view. Step outside of it and look in. What happened? Who was involved? What did each person do or not do? What did you do?
Then ask yourself what your own role was? What clues did you follow? What did you miss? What did you ignore?
Usually, disappointment is a direct result of unmet expectations so evaluate your expectations? Were they reasonable based on all of the parties involved? In other words, can you expect the outcome you hoped for knowing everyone’s abilities, including your own?
When you do this but still discover everything lined up correctly and the expected result should have been possible, then what do you do?
You conduct a more subjective reevaluation.
What did God say? What were you hoping for? Did it line up with the Word of God and His expectation for you? What is his promise of all things working together for your good? What does that really look like? Were your expectations in sync with possibilities?
This process applies to both relationships with people in your family unit, as well as business. It also applies to things, projects and events.
Don’t forget, some things are just out of your control. You can’t help an unexpected freak downpour on your mid-summer art festival!
Steps Back to Joy
Now armed with some objective and subjective information, you can begin your steps back to joy.
Since joy is a feeling you get when someone is happy to be with you, the first step back to joy after disappointment is to turn your heart toward God: Jesus, Father, or Holy Spirit, or all three.
Is Disappointment a Wedge?
Here’s a common problem I’ve seen with believers: Disappointment becomes a wedge separating us from God, the very person we need to go to when disappointment happens.
Why? Because maybe you believe that if God loved you, the very thing you hoped for would have happened. Somehow, we make it a requirement for our relationship with Him.
Or, we question if we really heard from him in the first place?
Or, we declare that we followed him and did what he said, but what we believed would be the outcome didn’t happen, so, therefore, God cannot be trusted.
And just like that, we have separated ourselves from the very ONE we need on our way back to JOY.
Hope is Gone. Now What?
Let’s say everyone and everything lines up perfectly in your reevaluation process, but the thing you hoped for just didn’t happen, and now Hope is gone. What do you do?
In last week’s episode, I shared Proverbs 13:12 and suggested that it’s when we give up Hope that we become heartsick. It’s critical we stay in Hope, but how?
I have spent much of my life able to find another way around the “disappointment” hurdle by finding another thing beyond that I can begin to hope for. That’s not a bad strategy because, in my case, it pulls me up and out of hopelessness almost instantly. But what do you do when that cycle ends? Or maybe that’s just a way of kicking disappointment down the road? What happens when every Hope is dashed? What then?
Jesus is our Hope. He is the Hope of mankind. He is all we need.
1 Peter 1:3-6 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Beloved, don’t try to resolve disappointment in your own strength, as I have on many past occasions. Instead, immediately go to Jesus. He is our living Hope. He is our inheritance to the imperishable. The disappointments and trials of this world are nothing compared to the greatness of his glory and love.
Hold fast to Jesus. He will never disappoint.
Don’t Lose Heart!
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
If you don’t own The Passion Translation, click here to consider this beautiful, large print version
I can help you Leave Disappointment in the Dust!
Sometimes, we need a little help to see Heaven’s perspective in our life in order to return to Joy. If you’d like to explore what that might look like with me, request a free 15-minute Discovery Session.
Is Discouragement Stealing Your Joy?
If Joy is the feeling you experience when someone is happy to see you, that means you have to be in a relationship to feel joy. Whatever is hurting your relationships may be stealing your joy. Is Discouragement stealing your joy?
Discouragement is a Thief. How to stop the rip-off!
Today, let’s explore the joy stealers in your relationship with Jesus. Watch the video here https://youtu.be/fs24O6MPnKk
Joy is the feeling we get when someone is happy to see us. It’s the short, intense feeling that when genuine, is followed up with the feeling of peace. Jesus is our peace and joy. It’s the benefit of being in a relationship with him. If you’re not experiencing joy and peace it may be because something is keeping you from Him.
Let’s explore if discouragement is stealing your joy. I’ve learned the signs on my own Kingdom Journey and from many clients over years of ministry and coaching other followers of Jesus.
Discouragement is a Joy Thief!
The first Joy Steeler I’d like to start with is Discouragement. Discouragement means to be deprived of courage. Disheartened. Hope that has been removed or taken away. Often times experiencing a failure or repeated failures brings discouragement. Discouragement will blind you to the promise of your future. It can cloud the clarity of Hearing God’s voice in your life. Let me explain.
You’ve heard the scripture of Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it’s a tree of life. Do you believe it means that when your dream, hope, or desire takes a long time to be fulfilled, it will make your heart sick? Most people do. But I hold a different view. I believe your heart gets sick when you stop hoping for the thing or desire. As long as you hold onto hope for healing, or a breakthrough, or a spouse, or getting pregnant, or your business idea to succeed, or your finances to be restored, or whatever it is …you’ll remain hopeful. It’s when you STOP hoping or believing that your heart becomes sick.
Holding onto courage and hope can be a fight. Often it’s for a season, sometimes multiple seasons, but regardless, it’s about holding on until God moves. It’s not so much about how much it weighs, but how long you’re willing to carry it.
Hope Replaces Discouragement
I know this personally because once, I gave up hope for a situation to change. I literally became depressed and it lasted 3 days. My natural personality is to remain hope-filled, full of hope. I had never really experienced true depression before. How did I turn it around? I spent time with the Lord, got his idea, or so I thought and ran with it. Once I started moving again, the Lord course-corrected my route and everything worked out.
Sometimes you need help to carry the burden while you’re waiting for God to move on your behalf. Sometimes he’s waiting for your cooperation with his plan to resolve. You’ve heard the story about a woman stranded on the roof of her home during a flood. Someone comes by in a rowboat to rescue her but the stranded lonely woman refuses because she is waiting for God to show up. Next comes a speed boat with the same offer and again the same answer. Finally, a helicopter drops a bucket and the reluctant victim allows herself to be rescued all the while complaining that God never showed up. Who has God sent to help you?
Are You Blaming God?
Here’s the thing…Once you become discouraged about the situation or you have lost hope in it, do you start blaming God? It’s more common than you think. You may not even realize that’s what you’re doing, but it could be true.
There seems to be a certain expectation that if God loved you and me then bad things just won’t happen. I know for most of my adult life as a Christian I held onto that belief. But what happens when a tragedy hits you? Even without a big whammy or tragedy, you might hold an expectation that you will be blessed and prospered because after all that is the promise of scripture. How do you process when it doesn’t happen? What belief have you formed when you experience difficulty? Hardship? Loss? Pain? Betrayal?
For many of us, it’s easier to blame God than to look too deep inside because it’s easier to be a victim than to be responsible.
God, If You Love Me…
Have you ever thought something like this: “God, if you love me you will bring me a husband, restore my relationship, heal my body! or God why did you let my friend betray me? or you would intervene to prevent the car from hitting us, or you would not let violence, happen, or …
The fruit of this belief or reaction is avoidance, isolation. Like Adam and Eve when they ate the apple, immediately they hid from God. They wanted to avoid him. They felt shame. But when God asked what happened, you know the story, Adam blamed Eve. It’s always easier to be the victim than to admit to being responsible.
So what do you do if you find yourself agreeing with this possibility?
Time for a Do-Over!
Spend a few moments with Jesus. Imagine yourself in your favorite, peaceful place. Let yourself see Jesus with you in your mind’s eye. Tell him what you’ve been believing. Repent of it ask sin against him. He is not the author of anything bad. He is always good. Ask him to reveal where you began to blame him. Tell him you’re sorry. Ask for a do-over. He’s longing to be in an intimate relationship with you and will gladly let you start over again. Sometimes we need help to overcome discouragement. If you want someone to walk with you to overcome discouragement and disappointment, check out my coaching packages or send an email to email@example.com.
Kick Discouragement Out!
It’s good to write down and speak out loud some declarations of what the truth is.
God, you are always good.
You are my father and best friend
You think good thoughts of me
You are my provider
You are my peace
You are my healer
I hope this helps you stop letting discouragement steal your joy! Next week we’ll tackle Disappointment!
Also, let me know some of the joy stealers you’re struggling with so we can explore them in future posts.
What do you think?
Let me know how you feel about this post.
Get Your Peace of Joy
You can Get Your Peace of Joy because Peace and Joy are intricately connected. You can’t have one without the other. Today, I’ll show you how to find Peace that surpasses your understanding.
The counterpart to Joy is Peace. Jesus is our Peace. So connecting with Him is the way to both Peace and Joy! You can watch the video here.
I hope you’ve been reading since the beginning of this journey to find sustainable joy. Today you’re going to learn about the flip side of joy, which is peace, and how you can’t have one without the other. You can watch the video here
Joy and Peace are Very Different Experiences
Joy is that exhilarating but brief moment of a deep feeling that’s been triggered when you’re with someone who’s happy to be with you. JOY is an emotion that never lasts continually. I think that confuses people when the high of joy disappears and peace comes in its place. You may be tempted to believe, as I did, that somehow I was doing something wrong when joy left so quickly. Joy comes and goes as you experience it in brief encounters for brief moments. Peace follows. Peace is what remains.
What is Peace?
Peace. Simply uttering the word seems to illicit a deep breath and a slowing of my heartbeat. It’s the cry of my soul to have it. Do you feel it? Peace is the natural flow of emotion that remains when JOY is finished.
Joy is the high-energy feeling of shared excitement. Peace is the low-energy feeling of contentment. It is the feeling of being safe, calm, and connected.
Joy is the key to emotional capacity. But to understand it fully, you must realize that it is always the rhythm of joy and rest, that includes peace and contentment. Joy should always end in rest. If you’re out with friends participating in a fun activity, that joyful time should lead to a time of quiet later on. The high joy followed by the low-level quiet creates a complete experience that grows your capacity for more joy.
Can I Choose Joy?
Joy is a feeling, not a choice, that takes place in your joy-center, the right hemisphere of the brain. But, while you can’t choose to feel joy, you can choose to do things that make joy more likely. Choosing to spend some time with Jesus to initiate a 2-way free-flowing conversation with Him is the perfect setup to find Joy and Peace. The choice to do that is made in the left hemisphere, the part that’s so good at problem-solving. So when you’re not feeling very joyful, you can choose to do something that you know will produce the feeling of joy! Then to see the cycle complete itself, make sure it ends in peace which is the quiet, calm time that followed the high-energy joy. One way I experience the cycle of joy and peace is when I’m actively participating in worship and praise of the Lord during Sunday service. Singing along with the music, and watching dancers and artists create a joyful experience for me. I often say ‘worship is like a contact sport for me” because I love to clap and dance around, and really lose myself in unrestrained expressions of love to the Lord. It can be very high energy. But, sometimes, I will sit down in the middle of it to rest and connect with His Peace, His presence. It happens naturally. I’m not even aware I’m experiencing the cycle of joy.
Get Your Peace of Joy
Thinking about my favorite verse, (it’s so hard to declare a favorite isn’t it?), but I do so love Eph 2:14 which says, “He Himself is our Peace.” During worship, I allow myself to picture Jesus in the room. Sometimes He is standing with me as I look in my mind’s eye, receiving my love or even dancing around the room with me. Sometimes, he’s seated high above the stage on his Heavenly throne. But regardless of how I see him, I begin to experience His Peace. While Jesus releases peace to us, He Is Our Peace, which means when we are with him, we have peace. According to this scripture, he has broken down the middle wall of division between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in an ordinance so as to create in himself one new man from the two thus making peace, That he might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross thereby putting to death the enmity. Because through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Because Jesus broke down the division between man and God through his body, he became Peace. So spending time with Peace, Jesus, is a perfect way to live the cycle of joy and peace.
Quieting is the Natural Way to Peace
Peace is also the natural way of quieting ourselves. Brain scientists have observed that when babies experience high-energy joyful encounters, they will turn away and quiet themselves briefly before they reengage with the stimulation that is producing joy.
This cycle produces and grows capacity in the brains of babies. The same thing can grow in us. The more easily we experience high-energy joy followed by the quiet and rest of peace, we are growing our own capacity for emotional resilience.
Practice the Presence of Peace
Here’s a little exercise you can deliberately do to experience peace with Jesus.
- Sit in a quiet, undistracted place. Ask Jesus for a peaceful memory.
- Let yourself relive that memory.
- Make note of the details of the scene. Enjoy reliving the peace you experienced then.
- Ask Jesus what does he wants you to know right now that would give you peace?
- Then ask Jesus, how would you like to increase my peace right now?
- Make note of what difference it will make to you when you do what he suggested? What effect does it have on your mind and body?
- This process integrates the experience with learning because your left brain can realize that actually stopping to ask God how to get peace does make a difference. Then you realize that you can choose to do that again anytime you want!
I hope this brief journey to find joy followed by peace was helpful to you. Let me know what you experienced.
You might be surprised to find out that I am not a brain scientist! Much of what I’ve learned about Joy and Peace is from Marcus Warner’s book, Building Bounce: how to grow emotional resilience from Deeper Walk International and Jim Wilder of Life Model Work: Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You. I use much of their discoveries in all of my coaching and heart-healing sessions. Click on the links to purchase.
You Can Get Your Peace of Joy
Don’t forget, I can lead you in a private Heart Healing Encounter Session. You can book one by clicking here
I hope you have begun to experience a moment or two of the cycle of joy and peace and can now put into practice the choice of returning to it whenever you want.
Until next week, may the Lord lead you to find the cycle of Joy and Peace that will lead you to the source of Sustainable Joy, Jesus!