Dealing with Disappointment

“Always continue to fear the Lord. You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.”  Proverbs 23:17-18

The anticipation was great! For one whole year I had waited to go on an elk hunting trip out west; finally, the time had come. Five days of hunting produced many elk sightings and several good but missed opportunities. Unfortunately, with each elk sighting, various circumstances prevented me from harvesting a bull elk. Each missed opportunity and every passing day brought more and more disappointment. How would I respond? It was clear that I needed to shift my focus off myself and onto the Lord. So, like the Psalmist, I asked a hypothetical question and got my answer. Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix your eyes on God – soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. Psalm 42:11 (MSG). A change of focus quickly put a damper on my disappointment. It led me to worship and see God in the beauty of His majestic creation and it led me to celebrate the success of others hunting with me.

Disappointment, in some shape or form, comes our way every day at work. For example; you didn’t complete your assignment on time, someone let you down, you didn’t get the sale, didn’t get recognized for hard work on a successful project or, worse, the promotion went to someone else. Disappointment and “what if” questions can lead to regret, blame or even bitterness towards others. What’s more, when disappointment dominates our thoughts our attitude will become negative and even grumpy.  What shall we do? Take captive disappointment and all those inappropriate thoughts to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:3-5). Don’t focus on what could have been but re-focus on what is. He is The God of Hope who loves us unconditionally. And, this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love (Romans 5:5).  We know that His hope will not disappoint!   

Your Worplace challenge: When disappointment comes your way at work don’t dwell on it. Rather, refocus your thoughts on the One who really matters. Consider all that you have; His approval and His unchanging, unconditional love. He will never let you down. Don’t be disappointed but be grateful in all things to the glory of God.