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