It’s the sinking feeling in the bottom of your stomach when you don’t see your name on the final roster.
It’s the searing pain when you drop to the ground and realize something isn’t right with your knee.
It’s the call you don’t want to receive when your job has been on the line all season.
Let down disappoints.
Disappointment cuts deep.
In one instant, dreams collapse and reality looks so different, so foreign.
What do we do in these moments where there doesn’t seem to be a way forward?
God wants you to know He is right there with you when it doesn’t feel good and your heart is heavy with unmet hopes and disbanded dreams.
It’s an upside-down way of thinking, but the hurts in our lives are working on our behalf. God uses all things for good, and this includes a burst bubble, injuries and even rejection.
God is more interested in the shape of our character than the status of our situation.
If we allow Him access to the places inside of us that hurt and listen to what He might be whispering to us through them, growth takes place.
A deep growth. A lasting growth. A pruning growth. God uses our disappointments to make way for fruit in our lives that point to the God of all good things who gives us purpose and life.
His desire is that we bear fruit for the benefit of others and for our own personal relationship with Him. In John 15, Jesus paints the picture of vines and branches, gardeners and fruit, abiding and relationship.
“’My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.’” (John 15:8)
As an ongoing and personal relationship with Jesus produces spiritual fruit in our lives, enduring through disappointment produces perseverance, which grows our character.
Ultimately, God gives us the hope we need to endure disappointment and fix our eyes forward. And in that process, He grows good fruit in us.
Our disappointments can lead us to produce:
Godly characteristics can be produced no matter the circumstance—good or bad. God is intentional about creating a refining faith that shapes us more and more into the image of His Son Jesus. Good, bad and in between, nothing is wasted in our development, and we get to experience more of God’s character in ways we never would have otherwise had we not gone through the trials.
“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:2–3)
As you grow into these godly characteristics, they don’t only benefit you, but they can help others. Who around you needs a listening ear, a wise word or a heart that points them to Jesus? People will know we know Jesus by the way we care, and as God develops the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, it can’t help but overflow toward others.
“So that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)
This fruit isn’t just for a quick fix. Godly characteristics can be produced consistently and have a long-term impact on those around you. Our end goal is Christlikeness, and this is a steady consistency that holds us steady, plants us deep in God’s Word, and produces wisdom, grace and peace that lasts.
“He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams
that bears its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)
God wants us to draw near to Him and abide in His love. If we naturally stay close, we can’t help but receive the fruit God offers to us. As hard as it is, disappointment plays a role in our spiritual development. We see God in deep ways through disappointment, and He strengthens us so we can become a source of comfort to others when they face their own struggles.
Pain points us to Jesus, who has bigger plans for our wellbeing that can develop into greater strength for His glory and our good.
While people, sports and situations may disappoint us, Jesus never will.
LIVE IT OUT:
“’He must increase, but I must decrease.’” -John 3:30
Question: How do you handle disappointment? How can you face disappointment knowing it can help shape your character?
Challenge: Share a Bible verse about God helping in disappointment with someone who is going through a challenge.
Read the rest of the article to learn how to handle disappointment.