At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2Timothy 4:16-18;
What happens to you after a disappointment is entirely determined by no other but you! Bad enough youíve been disappointed, what follows that painful experience however, largely depends on how you choose to respond to the situations. Disappointments, if not properly handled, may leave devastating effects upon a manís life. As a result of failure to handle disappointments properly, many people have had their lives broken into pieces, while only very few ones, who responded with the right attitude and decided to see beyond the situations, have risen through the challenges to a brighter and better life.
Disappointments usually come when the outcomes fail to match expectations. In life, itís normal for everyone to have expectations, but while keeping high hopes or expectations, itís also important to prepare oneís mind just in case things donít work out the way expected. From the passage above, personal experience of Apostle Paul, as narrated to Timothy his son in the Lord, reveals that one can meet with disappointments anywhere - both in the world and even in the Church! Apostle Paul, in the course of preaching the gospel, went through a lot; in fact at the time he was writing this and many other epistles, he was in the prison with his feet in chains and bounds. Under the circumstance, Paulís expectation was that the brethren and his close associates would rally round to encourage him in the trials he was going through, but alas, this never happened, those brethren he placed his expectations on disappointed him completely!
At one point or the other in the journey of life, each and every one of us is bound to experience disappointments in one form or the other! Many things can lead to disappointments; no matter how bright and high the chances may appear to be, you should realize that disappointment is always a possibility when youíre dealing with fellow human beings. Ranging from little disappointments arising from breaking of simple promises, to more serious ones like being jilted by a lover, the harsh reality no one can deny is that disappointments will continue to be inseparable part of life! With this understanding at the back of our minds, itís not out of place to prepare oneís mind ahead. In case things donít work out the way expected, itís important we learn how to properly handle disappointments ever before they come our ways.
Thereís no argument about the fact that disappointment is a painful experience, but it must be emphasized that the situation that brings about disappointment in your life is not as material as what you choose to do with it. Common effects produced by disappointments in peopleís lives include anger, self pity, bitterness, resentments, discouragement, confusions, depressions, and in extreme case, suicide, but all of these are avoidable provided the right attitude is maintained in the midst of the situations. It had been said that what happens around a man is not as important as what happens within him! This is very true considering the fact that what will sustain you after a disappointment is drawn right from the inside of you, and not from the outside!
Looking at the way Apostle Paul responded to the disappointments he experienced in ministry from close associates and confidants, itís clear that there was no single spot of anger, bitterness, resentments or unforgiveness in his heart against everyone who disappointed him. From his statement ĎI pray God that it may not be laid to their chargeí, itís clearly evident that Paul decided to look beyond the people or the situation. When disappointments come, one of the ways many people mess things up is by resorting to resentments, bitterness and unforgiveness which are capable of tearing their lives apart. After experiencing disappointment from someone, harbouring bitterness and unforgiveness in your heart, is like doing double damages to yourself. Apart from the initial pain caused by the disappointment, bitterness and unforgiveness stored up in your heart are capable of causing permanent emotional injuries to you. Besides, anger, unforgiveness, resentments and bitterness buried in your heart will constitute serious barrier between you and God. If you wish to live emotional stress-free life and make it to heaven ultimately, one important decision you must make in advance is to forgive and never harbour bitterness or unforgiveness in your heart, no matter who disappoints you.
After a disappointment, itís also important you remain calm and sensitive to Holy Spirit. Most times when disappointment comes, youíre confused and may have no clue about what to do next; of course this is not unexpected as a result of the fact that your initial plans have crumbled. Notwithstanding, in the process of remaining calm and sensitive to the Holy Spirit, you will receive divine direction on the next line of action to take. Isaiah 30:15a says: ĎFor thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strengthí. It must be emphasized that the best time to make a decision or take a step is not when your heart is raging with confusions, remember itís not possible to hear the silent beat of your heart in the midst of noisy wind, you must be calm to receive divine instructions!
Moment of disappointments might also be an opportunity for God to reorder your life. God has many ways of working out His divine purpose for our lives, and these include making our own plans not to work out! Itís important you always look out for Godís purpose during moments of disappointments. Romans 8:28 says: ĎAnd we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purposeí. Disappointments may actually be blessings in disguise because under close scrutiny, most of us will be shocked to discover that the very things we are busy pursuing, are totally contrary to the will of God for our lives. Of course if youíre traveling in the wrong direction, you canít expect God to ride with you! So anytime you meet with disappointment on a particular path, an opportunity comes for you to reconsider your ways and look out for the purpose God wants to achieve through the situations.
One major thing you must never fail to do during moments of disappointments is to praise God. Irrespective of what happens to you, always remember that God is eternally good. Praising God has a way of creating an atmosphere of peace and turning around your situations. Rather than complaining or being angry, just try to praise God. It may not be easy though, but if you genuinely praise God in moments of pains, heaven is bound to respond and turn your situations around for good. 1Thessalonians 5:18 says: ĎIn every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Sometimes also, disappointment may be a way of God testing us, to know the basis of our commitment to Him. Unfortunately, many people usually fail this test because they find it extremely difficult to praise God; in fact some may even go as far as being embittered towards God! As Godís children, the only way we can demonstrate our commitment, is to praise Him irrespective of what happens. When disappointment comes, the quickest way to recover from pains is to give thanks to God! Amen.
Finally, the fact that youíve been terribly disappointed at one time or the other does not mean you should remain grounded, you need to make progress! Itís sad that after experiencing disappointments, many people become discouraged and lose the eagerness to move forward. No matter what you feel youíve lost as a result of disappointments, truth is you canít afford to spend the rest of your life weeping over the past, you must have to put the pasts behind and move forward. The most crucial step in the journey of life of everyone is always the next one! Irrespective of what has happened to you in the past, what you do with your life now is more important because the step you take now can make or mar your destiny! The time youíve spent nursing your wounds is enough, arise and move forward!
Dearly beloved, have you been disappointed and it seems youíre never going to make it again in life? Disappointment is not final, thereís hope for you! Job 14:7-9 says ĎFor there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plantí. While many never rise after a disappointment, disappointments have become springboards for some to climb and fly high in life, the choice is yours! The story was told of a wise old man whose wisdom was difficult for anyone to fault within his community. One day, an intelligent young boy who had heard about the wise old manís wisdom, boasted to his friends that he could make a fool of the man, so they led him straightway to the old manís house. Before getting to the old wise man, the young boy had kept in between his palm a live sparrow, so he asked the wise old man to tell whether the bird was alive or dead. The boyís intention was to gently squeeze the small creature to death should the wise old man say it was alive, and open his palm for the bird to escape, should he say the bird was dead! After about two minutes of deep thought, the old wise man answered the young boy Ďyou determine ití! How true! Whatever happens to you after a disappointment, you determine it!