We’ve all fallen down at one time or another—not just physically but emotionally. And picking yourself back up again is, unfortunately, easier said than done. It doesn't take any special talent to give up or lie down on the roadside of life and say, "I quit!" In fact, the road to chronic discouragement, hopelessness and despair often begins with an ordinary day that ends up piled high with simple disappointments. According to Webster, disappoint means "to fail to satisfy the hope, desire, or expectation of." In other words, when we set ourselves up to hope for something and that hope isn’t met, we get disappointed. We feel let down or betrayed.
Let's face it: None of us are ever going to get to the place in life where we have no more disappointments. We can't expect to be sheltered from every little thing. Disappointment is a fact of life—one that must be dealt with. If not, discouragement and devastation are never far away. Too often, people end up devastated and don't understand why. They seemed to be going along just fine, and now they've fallen by the roadside without knowing how or why. Many people don't realize that the problem could have started a long time ago with a simple disappointment that they failed to work through.
Deep hurt doesn't just come from huge disappointments, like when we fail to get the job or promotion we really wanted. Deep emotional hurt can come from a series of minor annoyances and frustrations. That's why we must know how to handle the small, daily disappointments and keep them in perspective. Otherwise, they can get out of hand and be blown out of proportion. For example, imagine starting your day behind schedule…you’re already frustrated. On your way to the office, unexpected traffic delays cause you to be even later. Then, when you finally get to work, you find out that someone on the job has been gossiping about you. You get some coffee to help you calm down but spill it all over yourself, making matters worse since you have an important meeting with the boss and no time to change clothes!
Facing each of those little things separately is just annoying, but when they pile up it becomes almost unbearable. Then, just about that time, you get a report from the doctor that wasn’t what you were hoping and praying for. And to top it all off, your fiancé calls and threatens to break off your engagement even though the wedding invitations have already been mailed! How will you respond? Will you be full of faith, or will you find yourself full of fear and on that road to disappointment and discouragement? All of those minor frustrations and disappointments with the traffic, the office gossip and the spilled coffee have set you up for a major calamity. And when you have to face some really serious problems like sickness or a failed relationship, you find that you aren’t prepared to deal with them. So you fall, plunging headfirst into hopelessness and despair.
What do you do when disappointment comes? When it weighs on you like a rock, you can either let it press you down until you become discouraged, even devastated, or you can use it as a stepping-stone to better things. Learn to adapt and adjust. You can do it! Face disappointment at its onset and be quick to make any adjustments required to remedy the situation. God has better things for you, and He will help you. He says in Hebrews 13:5, ...I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support...[I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down....
Instead of concentrating on your problems and getting discouraged, focus on God and meditate on His promises for you. You may have fallen down, but you don't have to stay down. God is ready, willing and able to pick you up.
Prayer request submitted.