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Finding Hope in Unexpected Disappointment

Published on March 16, 2020



It can be a crushing blow that spins us into confusion, incredulity, and concern for what is next.

This wasn’t what we planned: the season that is suddenly stripped away, the injury that sidelines us for months. Even the chance to prove ourselves worthy of our coaching job that we find we are unable to fulfill.

What do we do when the unexpected happens and we find ourselves in the middle of so much loss?

1. It's OK to be Disappointed and Sad

inside-disappointmentWe can express our grief, uncertainty, disappointment, and other emotions. We’re human. We’re wired to feel. The Psalms are full of lament and honesty that aren’t afraid of God’s response. God is bigger than we are, and He can take our feelings. He tunes His ear to the cries of His children.

Lord, how long will You forget me? Forever?
    How long will You look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
    with sorrow in my heart every day?
    How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

  -Psalm 13:2

But when I am afraid,

    I will put my trust in You.
I praise God for what He has promised.
    I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?  

- Psalm 56:3-4

2. Look Outside Yourself

We have teammates, family, friends, and church members who also experience loss and struggle. We are not alone in our circumstances. Find your community and stick with them! It’s important we encourage one another, and build up the hope that is found in God’s goodness and remind each other of it.

How wonderful and pleasant it is
    when brothers live together in harmony!

    - Psalm 133:1

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

    - Acts 2:42

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  

- 2 Corinthians 13:14

3. Remember God's Goodness

When deep in the middle of the unexpected, it’s easy to become wrapped up in a “why-me?” mentality. When it doesn’t feel great, that’s where our faith gets going and we stand on the truth of scripture. God’s character never changes, and if we look back on all the ways He has shown Himself good and faithful in our lives, we find opportunities to grow our faith as He takes us through the furnace of trials. What we walk through may not feel the best, but we can be assured that God has our best in mind.  

Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and unfailing love,
    which You have shown from long ages past.

                - Psalm 25:6

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.

Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. 

   - Psalm 27:13-14

The Lord is good,
    a strong refuge when trouble comes.
    He is close to those who trust in Him.

    - Nahum 1:7

4. Seek God's Peace

Anchored in the sovereignty of God, even though the world may crumble around us, we are honored with the chance to hold tight to the hope we confess, believing God’s faithfulness and surrendering to Him the things that are out of our control. He has everything perfectly in place, and longs for us to look to Him amid our turmoil so He can be our rescue and safe place.

For You are my hiding place;
    You protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory.

   - Psalm 32:7

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.  

-1 Peter 5:7

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.   

- Hebrews 10:23


This may be a challenging time where questions swirl, but we can take heart, knowing Jesus has overcome the world and its problems, and has promised to never leave or forsake us.


When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.

For I am the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

   -Isaiah 43:2-3


We’re Better Together

It’s good to process through your feelings, just as it’s important for us to build each other up in truth and hope in God’s goodness and sovereignty. Reach out to a pastor, coach, coaching staff, FCA staff person, spiritual mentor, or friend to talk through your disappointment, and be rooted in the truth that God’s love for you never stops, even in the midst of unexpected circumstances.