10 Reassuring Bible Verses for When You're Facing Disappointment
- Whitney Hopler Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2022 11 Mar
Do you feel disappointed by a situation or person in your life, or even disappointed with God? When your expectations for something or someone aren’t met, it’s natural to feel disappointment. However, you don’t have to get stuck in that emotion. The Bible includes guidance on what to do when you feel disappointed, so you can emerge with peace and stronger faith. Here’s what the Bible says about disappointment, and 10 reassuring Bible verses about disappointment.
Does the Bible Talk about Disappointment?
Many people in the Bible struggle with disappointment as they face challenges. Throughout the entire Bible, you can find stories of individuals dealing with situations that didn’t go the way they expected or desired. God says in Isaiah 55:8-9: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” God has an unlimited perspective, but humans have a limited perspective. Only God knows all the factors that are involved in disappointing situations.
The good news is that you can count on Jesus to help you deal with disappointment. Jesus addresses disappointment in John 16:33. He warns, “In this world you will have trouble.” Jesus guarantees that we will all sometimes be disappointed in this fallen world, where we can’t avoid trouble. However, in that same verse, Jesus also declares, “in me you may have peace” and encourages us to “take heart” because “I have overcome the world”. By trusting Jesus to help us when we’re disappointed, we can access the power we need to move through disappointment to peace – even in the most challenging circumstances.
10 Reassuring Bible Verses about Disappointment
Here are 10 key Bible verses about disappointment that you can turn to for reassurance, and ways you can apply them:
1. “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” – Psalm 62:8. God will serve as a refuge for you to pour out your feelings of disappointment. You can always trust God to be there for you.
2. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6. Deciding to trust God, even when you don’t understand why God has allowed something disappointing to happen, will welcome God’s power into your life. You can submit disappointing situations to God and trust his guidance for what to do while you’re dealing with them.
3. “… those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31. If you place your hope in God, he will renew your strength, so disappointing situations won’t exhaust you.
4. “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.” – Psalm 40:1-3. God will hear you when you cry. God cares about the pain of your disappointment, and he will give you the help you need to move forward with strength.
5. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28. God will do everything for the benefit of people who have relationships with him, in order to accomplish good purposes. So, if you love God, you can rely on him working out all circumstances in your life – even the disappointing ones – for the best.
6. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” – Luke 22:42. Here, Jesus prays about aligning his will with his heavenly Father’s will, as he faces the ultimate challenging situation: Going to the Cross to sacrifice himself for humanity’s sins. You can overcome disappointment by choosing to align your will with God’s will.
7. “ At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” – Job 1:20-22. This verse describes Job’s response to heartbreakingly disappointing news he had just learned about personal losses, including the deaths of all his sons and daughters. Rather than blaming God, whom Job knew to be completely good, Job chose to worship while dealing with his pain. Worship can help you notice God’s presence with you, even in the most difficult situations.
8. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. The apostle Paul had prayed three times for God to take away his suffering. God answered in a way that disappointed Paul, because God didn’t give Paul what he wanted. However, God surprised Paul with something even better, by empowering Paul to be strong even in his weakness. God can empower you as you deal with your own disappointment.
9. “… I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” – Philippians 4:11-12. In this verse, the apostle Paul explains that during any type of circumstances – including disappointing ones – it is possible to be content.
10. “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” – Psalm 34:1-5. You can celebrate the fact that God will deliver you from disappointment after you seek his help dealing with it.
How to Handle Disappointment as a Christian
Handling disappointment is much easier in a relationship with Jesus than it is apart from him. When you’re walking through your days with trust in Jesus, you’re welcoming his power to flow into your life. That will give you the spiritual strength you need to deal with disappointment well. Be honest about the disappointment you feel. It’s not a sin to feel disappointed and to express that emotion. God understands that all humans go through disappointment, and God won’t condemn you for feeling disappointed – even if you’re disappointed in him because he didn’t answer your prayers the way you expected.
Just as Jesus wasn’t afraid to fully express disappointment during his earthly life, you don’t need to be afraid to do so, either. Jesus cried in several disappointing situations, including when he was disappointed by the lack of faith among people in Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-42) and when he was disappointed by the death of his friend Lazarus (John 11:35). Crying can help you release your disappointment in ways that help you heal from the pain of it. My book Wake Up to Wonder explains research that shows a myriad of well-being benefits from crying, including relieving stress and pain, improving mood, and releasing chemical toxins from the body.
After you honestly express your disappointment, you can embrace the hope that Jesus offers you by receiving his peace and choosing to trust him. You can always ask for more spiritual strength as you journey with Jesus through disappointing circumstances. He will be there for you all along the way, helping you with whatever you need.
You may encounter disappointing situations anytime in this fallen world: missed opportunities, broken relationships, painful losses, and more. While you can’t avoid disappointment during your earthly life, you can rely on God to help you through it well. Bible verses about disappointment show that the more you trust God, the more you can overcome disappointment through the power of God’s love for you.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/AntonioGuillem
Whitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on Twitter.