How to Deal with Dashed Hopes and Disappointments
- Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Have you ever found yourself extremely heartbroken and discouraged over a desire that wasn’t fulfilled or a prayer that wasn’t answered? As much as I would like to say that I’m a strong faith-filled woman and that God has answered all of my prayers, that simply isn’t the case. I have prayed for and believed for certain things in my life that I was sure were God’s will, yet somehow it felt as if my prayers fell on deaf ears. I know God always listens to me, cares about my desires, and has an amazing plan for my life, but the silence of unanswered prayers and unfulfilled desires can be devastating enough for me to forget what I know to be true about God and His love for me. The anguish has literally caused physical pain within me. And I find myself starting to question “why?” - afraid to hope for new things because I simply didn't want to be let down again. I’ve wondered why God would let me get my hopes up for something if He knew it wasn't going to happen. To be honest, I’ve at times felt like giving up on faith.
Can you relate?
We are all human and I think we’ve all had feelings like these. It’s not wrong to temporarily feel things like this, as long as we don’t act on those feelings. So there we stand: sad, disappointed, crushed and perhaps angry, yet we are told that God is still good and loves us more than we know. And somehow we must reconcile the two: how we feel with what is truth. The truth is:
God is for us (Rom 8:31).
God’s plans for us are wonderful (Jer 29:11).
He makes all things work for our good (Rom 8:28).
So how do we get past the negativity that swells up in our minds and hearts when we experience an unfulfilled desire? Here are a few things that can help ease the heartache.
Be Thankful (1st Thess 5:18)
When the blow of not getting what you desire hurts the worst, it’s a pretty good indicator that whatever that thing was, it had a large hold on you. When you are believing God for, and desiring something, it has the propensity to overtake your thoughts and mind making you forget about all the other things God has blessed you with. Conversely, when you start meditating on all that God has done for you (namely saving you to start with), then the thing you are wishing and hoping for is brought back into perspective.
So many times we get into the mindset that this one thing is going to complete us and make our life so much better, when in reality, only God is our true source and joy. Instead of giving into our (sometimes) toddler-like demands, He leads us back into hoping in Him alone, as He is the only sure thing we have in this world. In the midst of struggling with this myself, I’ve written the following to God: “All I want is relief from these circumstances, and answers to my questions and a plan to bank on! What’s that God, are you laughing?” (God has a sense of humor with me. Especially when I realize how ridiculous my request looks written out.) To answer, I felt as if God showed me that I need to be at rest in the midst of the unknown, content without getting what I want and so thankful for everything I have that I honestly don’t care if I get anything else. So true, yet easier said than done. It’s something I wish I could make happen, yet I know it’s a process and I need to submit to that process. And when I struggle, I need to learn to lean on God because He’s the one that can actually change me.
Realize that Things Aren’t Always as they Appear (2nd Cor 5:7)
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