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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Has this ever happened to you?
You’ve made your Kingdom destiny plans and begin to take precise steps to implement them. Progress is good, you might even say, successful. Feeling God smiling on your project when suddenly, something else becomes your priority and you become distracted. Sound familiar?
If you’re like me you never run out of challenging ideas! Because I tire myself out with all the ideas I want to share with you, should I assume they can’t be from the Holy Spirit?
How do I stay focused to accomplish my Kingdom destiny when I am constantly dreaming up new projects or ideas?
Maybe you’re more cautious or “disciplined” with idea generation to be sure you get it right. Do past failures keep you from trying something new because another “failure” is not an option? Are you waiting to hear from God before you step into something new?
What Are We to Do?
I just kept podcasting until I got too busy (and exhausted) with the ‘other ideas!’ Do you remember my Dare to Discover You Facebook Challenge and the launch of my group coaching membership called Coaching Your Kingdom Journey?
These good ideas sucked time and energy away from my podcast and caused an unplanned season break on my podcast, Your Kingdom Journey! But were they wrong to pursue?
One-on-one Christian Life Coaching is a valuable gift if you can prioritize the financial commitment together with the time, energy, and focus needed to deliberately pursue your aligned Kingdom destiny with God.
Every one of us has a desperate need to discover our identity as believers to navigate the hostile world we live in. Learning how to live as a victorious overcomer is a lifetime journey. It’s worth it.
Why I Podcast
This is why I podcast. Anyone can listen to a podcast anywhere. With almost 1,500 downloads I feel God’s pleasure! He is honoring my promise to Him to freely share what I’ve learned. Interviews with other Kingdom travelers give you valuable insights and experiences you won’t receive anywhere else.
Season 2 of Your Kingdom Journey will launch August 5 with a lineup of amazing Kingdom adventurers who will release overcoming strategies to inspire and motivate you on your own adventure! Here’s a preview:
- Susan–passionate to stop the Alzheimer’s destruction she witnessed with her mom led to an incredible connection and discovery;
- Melissa–followed God’s prompting to launch a women’s Kingdom movement that has reached over 40 countries in just 2 months;
- Niyi–a Nigerian immigrant, discovered how God is good in every situation and now encourages others through his YouTube channel;
- Gina–overcame paralyzing anxiety to lead others to the same freedom;
- Jessi– experienced God’s supernatural love and deliverance from a 7-year heroin addiction;
- and many others!
Even though my podcast is free and doesn’t produce income, I continue to invest in its production. Beyond what I currently spend for podcast hosting, syndication, and remote recording service, I’ve hired Melinda to help with editing and posting. You will meet Melinda and hear her story early in Season 2.
I am all in and fully committed to bringing inspiring podcast interviews!
How Would You Answer?
…But, still, these questions remain. How would you answer?
…Should I have pursued my unplanned ideas?
…Did God drop these ideas into my heart or were they just my own?
…Is it OK to let something drop to pursue the other? When?
…How will I know?
…How do I get passed past failures to go after the Holy Spirit ‘idea bomb’?
I can’t answer definitively for every person in every situation, but in my case, I followed the Holy Spirit’s lead. My e-course, Dare to Discover You!, was birthed out of the Facebook Challenge. Since creating this e-course, I’m already brainstorming the next one.
What about you?
How does the Holy Spirit partner with your Kingdom destiny?
What are some of your experiences as you follow your Kingdom destiny? I’d love to know!
Don’t forget to subscribe to Season 2 of Your Kingdom Journey wherever you listen, iTunes, Spotify, and Google. You won’t want to miss a single episode!
Because my podcast doesn’t generate any income, you can help to support my continuing efforts through the purchase of my incredible new e-Course, Dare to Discover You! Check it out here