Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Posts tagged ‘hope’

Living Hopefully

hopefulIt’s just a little change in the word (and in thinking); but for me, this could be BIG!

Certain common phrases can pop into our minds regularly: “hopelessly lost,” “hopelessly behind,” “hopelessly chaotic,” “hopelessly delayed,”… etcetera… The list could go on, but you get the idea.  We often say or think such things without really hearing ourselves.

But what about hopefulness?  No one is hopelessly lost as long as we continue to hope to find or be found.

HopeFULLY behind means I’ll never give up on trying to catch up.  (And even if I don’t ever catch up, I’ll know that I have given my best effort).

HopeFULLY chaotic means joyfully busy!

HopeFULLY delayed (or injured, or ill, or limited, or challenged) means the human spirit + God’s spirit can conquer obstacles that men name ‘impossible,’ ‘improbable’ or ‘highly unlikely.’

Since we’ve been born again to a a living hope (I Peter 1:3), we are NEVER hopeless!

We may feel hopeless, but we have Christ in us, the hope of glory! (Col. 1:27)

Years ago, I bought a chapter book (about a pioneer girl facing challenges) for our daughter. The name of the book was “Be Ever Hopeful, Hannalee.”

We have every reason to be hopeful (Jeremiah 29:11). The Lord wants to give us a future and a hope!

It’s my new motto: “Be ever hopeful, Cindy B.”

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HOPE FROM GOD’S WORD

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Bible Verses on Hope

Hope of Eternal Life and Salvation

Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began

Titus 3:7 so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Hope from the Book of Romans

Romans 5:2-5 Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame (or, in some translations, this hope does not disappoint), because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Verses about Hope in the Midst of a Crisis

Psalm 27:4-5 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple. For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock.

Mark 5:35-36 While He was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Verses about the Reasons for our Hope

Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has he said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.

John 4:13-14 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-hope-20-uplifting-scripture-quotes/#ixzz2J1d5Bto3


Quotes about hope

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
Bil Keane

“God’s mercy and grace give me hope – for myself, and for our world.” – Billy Graham

“Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.”
Charles H. Spurgeon

“We should ask God to increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and raise it up when it is overthrown.”
John Calvin

“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Collected Poems and Translations

“Home was not a perfect place. But it was the only home they had and they could hope to make it better.”
Dean Koontz, Winter Moon

“Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.”
Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for?

“God can inject hope into a absolutely hopeless situation.”
Mark Evans

“In the Cross is salvation; in the Cross is life; in the Cross is protection against our enemies; in the Cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind; in the Cross is joy of spirit; in the Cross is excellence of virtue; in the Cross is perfection of holiness. There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross.”
Thomas à Kempis, The Inner Life

“…stooping very low, He engraves with care
His Name, indelible, upon our dust;
And from the ashes of our self-despair,
Kindles a flame of hope and humble trust.
He seeks no second site on which to build,
But on the old foundation, stone by stone,
Cementing sad experience with grace,
Fashions a stronger temple of His own.”
Patricia St. John, Patricia St. John Tells Her Own Story

“Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.”
George Iles

“Let the Lord your God be your hope – seek for nothing else from him, but let him himself be your hope. There are people who hope from him riches or perishable and transitory honours, in short they hope to get from God things which are not God himself.”
Saint Augustine of Hippo, Daily Readings with St. Augustine

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”
Bern Williams

“[God] loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. God’s love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked.

What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Christian hope frees us to act hopefully in the world. It enables us to act humbly and patiently, tackling visible injustices in the world around us without needing to be assured that our skill and our effort will somehow rid the world of injustice altogether. Christian hope, after all, does not need to see what it hopes for (Heb. 11:1); and neither does it require us to comprehend the end of history. Rather, it simply requires us to trust that even the most outwardly insignificant of faithful actions – the cup of cold water given to the child, the widow’s mite offered at the temple, the act of hospitality shown to the stranger, none of which has any overall strategic socio-political significance so far as we can now see – will nevertheless be made to contribute in some significant way to the construction of God’s kingdom by the action of God’s creative and sovereign grace.”
Craig M. Gay, Way of the (Modern) World

“Hope finds its fulfillment when nurtured through faith and shared with love.”
Mollie Marti

“If your hope disappoints you, it is the wrong kind of hope. You see, hope in God never disappoints, precisely because it is hope *in God.* This means that hope placed in any other thing will always end up disappointing.”
Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger Than You

The quotes above came primarily from http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/hope

“Lord, in a big, loud world — we hold on to Hope.
Hope for the impossible, hope for the unlikely, hope for the unexpected, hope for the improbable — because hope is nothing else but the spine of faith.
Hope is our bread, hope is the only way we keep living, hope is what we dance to, believing the music will someday soon begin.Hold on to hope
We dream hope again tonight, our rest steadied in the storm — for Hope in You is the the anchor of our soul (Hebrews 6:19).”  ~  Ann Voskamp
(quoted from a facebook photo caption for the photo at right)
https://www.facebook.com/#!/AnnVoskamp/photos/a.369461463066034.92483.324577877554393/876749695670539/?type=1&theater

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The scriptures and quotes above were compiled and edited by C. Boyd from the sources noted.  The thoughts about living hopefully at the beginning of this post were written by C. Boyd and were first published on our Family Song blog in the post, “Hopefully”.  On that blog, the scripture verses and quotes about hope are in a page called “Hope”.  See our Family Song blog @ http://www.familysong.wordpress.com

We have 5 additional posts that would be helpful to anyone looking for hope, encouragement, perseverance, a reminder of God’s great love for you, and help in dealing with disappointment. They are:

1. Our post about the eternal hope of Heaven, where we will fully know the infinite reality of God’s love for us @ To Infinity!………………… and far, Far, FAR beyond!

2. Our post about encouraging others and the importance of encouragement @ Encouragement

3. Our post about pressing on when you feel like giving up @ When You Feel Like giving up….

4. Our post about facing disappointment, dealing with it practically, spiritually, and emotionally, and choosing hope and trust @ Disappointment…and Grace

5. Our post about God’s great love for you @ You Are Greatly Loved!

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Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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When You Feel Like giving up….

Life can be very challenging.  We are constantly confronted with needs, attitudes, questions, problems, heartbreaks, ailments, issues, and an endless list of things that need to be done.  Sometimes, we feel as though we are pushing a giant boulder in circles and making no progress.  We feel like giving up the fight.  However, the simple fact that we are pushing is progress!  When the boulder of life’s burdens does not seem to budge or when you feel that any motion is either backwards or in circles, remember that the act of refusing to give up is always progress.  How many times have we given up too soon or been on the verge of a breakthrough when we decided to quit?  It’s impossible to know the impact of those past decisions.  It is not productive to focus on lost opportunities, but it is always good to consider the opportunities of this present moment and what we can do with them.  When God has placed a task in front of us or given us a vision for ministry or for utilizing the gifts that he has given in a way that maximizes our potential and brings glory to Him, we can visualize the victory that the completion of this task or the faithful performance of this task could bring, knowing that God’s vision is always greater than our own.  If we were to also visualize the barriers and challenges that will have to be overcome, the largest barrier by far would be the temptation to quit when we feel that our efforts have been in vain or that the task is too big or too hopeless to continue.

Quitting is the most effective form of breakthough and victory prevention.  When what we are doing or trying to do is a positive, healthy action that ultimately brings glory to God because it is wholesome and right, quitting and giving up the fight can rob us and the world of something that could be a blessing to many lives.  We may need to re-group and spend some time in prayer about how to proceed further.  We may need to share the vision that the Lord has given with others and ask for their help and prayer support.  We may need to re-focus priorities.  We may need to remind ourselves daily that quitting would prevent a breakthrough to victory which could be just around the corner.  Whatever it takes to keep going is what we need to do, unless God himself re-focuses our priorities in a different direction.

I must confess that the feeling of being overwhelmed in a task or with day to day living overtakes my mind frequently.  It is a battle that I must fight with more than my own resources in order to keep going.  I need the joy of the Lord that is my strength, and I must rely on Christ within me, the hope of glory.  If I am going to refuse to surrender to thoughts of futility, my encouragement is the joy that comes from knowing my Lord and knowing that His plans for my life are to give me a hope and a future.  If I am going to be able to push on past feelings of hopelessness and fears of failure, the sure knowledge that Christ has redeemed my life and will ultimately sanctify it fills me with the hope of fulfilling my purpose through God’s mercy, which will allow me to bring glory to God though His grace.   This battle of the will requires that we place our trust in the Lord.  We must trust that He will bring about good from our efforts and that He is at work in ways that we do not see.  Trust is the foundation for perseverance.   When we can trust the Lord with the results of our efforts and continue to strive onward because we know that God will use our obedience to strengthen His Kingdom in some way (even if that change occurs only in our own hearts). our determination to persevere is refined by hardship or a seeming lack of results rather than being extinguished like a wisp of fading hope.   Through this trust and faith, we seek goodness by obedience, growing in our knowledge of what God would have us to do as we continue to seek His ways.  Peter spoke of this sequence of spiritual growth in II Peter 1:2 – 9.

2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance   through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

3 His divine power  has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4 Through these He has given us his very great and precious promises,   so that through them you may participate in the divine nature,   having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control;   and to self-control, perseverance;   and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive   in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind,   forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. *

In the above passage, perseverance is listed as a quality that is necessary for becoming an effective and productive Christian (and, as a result, being effective and productive in our other life roles…parent, spouse, employee, friend, leader, communicator, encourager, helper…).  God considers perseverance to be an extension of our desire to know Him and to grow in the faith and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Because the goal of Christlikeness is of primary and eternal importance, we refuse to give up.  Because our trust is in Almighty God rather than in our own human efforts, we hold on and persevere.

Sometimes, when we feel like giving up, we just need someone to talk to.  Of course, prayer is always important.  God can speak to our hearts when we pour out our struggles honestly in prayer.  He can also speak to our hearts through the encouragement of others.  If you have a trusted friend or family member to whom you feel you can honestly share your feelings of being overwhelmed, or fear of failure, or loss of hope, it can be a good thing to just get these feelings out in the open and see them for what they are.  Hopefully, your loved one will point out to you the progress that has already been made and remind you of the necessity of perseverance and the importance of your task.  It could be that some human encouragement to go on will result in a fresh determination, to which the Lord will add His strength.

Hold on!  FROG!  (Fully Rely On God !)

If can be so difficult to keep going when we don’t know what the future holds and the circumstances don’t look good.  We don’t know the future, but we do know the Creator of all life and of time and space and everything that is.  Here’s what the Bible says about his plans for us in Jeremiah 29:11.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” *

 

God has great plans for your life and for my life.  He is at work even when we can’t see His hand.  Part of what he wants us to learn as we travel through life is to trust Him when we feel that all is lost.  We walk by faith, not by sight.  It’s almost like stumbling across a dark room in search of a light switch that we know is just beyond our reach.  We have to take a step of faith in order to get there.  When we reach the wall, it could seem to be an obstacle; but if we keep reaching, we’ll find the switch.  Suddenly, it will become clear that our effort was not in vain!

When it comes to the tasks that God has placed into your life, remember that He is the God of possibility even in the darkest of circumstances.  We don’t have to stumble blindly through life.  We have His life and light and power within us as we walk through the plains of sameness and climb the mountains of challenge and trial.  He is also beside us through the dark valleys.  Just as the seeker found in the illustration of the dark room, the light and power was available all along.  He just had to take a step of faith (which means a step toward persevering) in order to find it.

Galatians 6:9   “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  *

 

Prescription for Living

* New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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This post was written by C. Boyd

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Here are some additional posts that may be helpful to you:

You Have a Lot to Give!

Psalm 23 (scroll on to the Japanese version that begins, “The Lord is my Pace-setter…”)

Disappointment…and Grace

All of us experience disappointments in life.  These can be relatively minor circumstances (that sometimes come in bunches), disappointments that turn out to be merely a misunderstanding, devastating choices or circumstances that lead to major life upheavals, or even heart-breaking betrayals of trust.  I believe that every disappointment has the potential to change us in some way.  If we can learn to respond with grace to the disappointments that come our way, they can lead to growth and perhaps to eventual reconciliation where there is a need for that.  Many times, situations have consequences that reach far into the future, but that just makes it even more important to respond in a way that prevents bitterness from taking root and leaves an open door for God’s grace to bring good out of the pain of disappointment.

There are several types of disappointment that we need to consider.   First, there is what I’ll call a Circumstantial Disappointment.  Secondly, there are Relational Disappointments.  Third, we will deal with Regretful Disappointments.  Finally, we can sometimes feel disappointment with God when the answers to prayer are long in coming or seem not to be coming at all.  We’ll call that Spiritual Disappointment.  There are some general truths for dealing with all kinds of disappointment and some specific considerations for different types of disappointment.

Some people feel that the best way to avoid disappointment is by choosing not to expect too much.  I remember not long ago hearing some dialogue in which an individual took issue with the phrase, “Don’t get your hopes up.”   I don’t recall the source of the dialogue in question, but it may have been in a movie.  The response to being told, “Don’t get your hopes up!” went something like this:  “Why not?  Why wouldn’t I want my hopes to be up?  That’s a very good place for hopes to be.”   There’s a lot of truth in that.  It’s certainly much better to be hopeful  than hopeless.  Yes, we will sometimes be disappointed; but it’s still worthwhile to live hopefully.

Hope can bond the hearts of people and give individuals something to look forward to.  Hope can give us a reason to keep working and trying and overcoming.   Most importantly, hope can become a testimony of faith and trust, speaking to the world around us with a message that the life of Christ within brings us  “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.”   (lyrics from the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”)

KEY #1:  The first key to dealing with disappointment is to hold on to hope.

Our hopefulness is an indication the we are holding to our trust in God.  Even as we are trying to hold on, this truth holds us securely:  God is good, and He loves us.  When we know in the very depths of our souls that God is good and has our best interests on His heart, we can trust that whatever circumstance comes our way, God will use it to bring about good in our lives and in His Kingdom.  So, the first and most important key to dealing with disappointment is a choice We must choose to live hopefully.  We must choose to reject the negative thoughts that enter our mind when we have been disappointed.   Thoughts like “No one really cares about me” and “nothing ever works out in my life” are counter productive and depressing.  To counter these kinds of thoughts, you may have to sit down and make some lists.  Make a list of everyone who has been kind to you and demonstrated caring.  Make a list of the blessings in your life.  Make a list of the times when things have worked out well for you, and include times when something that seemed negative at first eventually turned into a positive.   If you are dealing with a disappoinment that involves relationship, list the good qualities of the other person(s) or positive things about the relationship(s).  Seeing these truths written in black and white can do a lot to help you choose hope.

Precious promises for you!

KEY #2:  Secondly, it is essential for us as Christians to look to scripture for help when we are dealing with disappointment.

*  Study the ways that Biblical characters such as Joseph dealt with disappointment and even betrayal.

*  Read the Psalms.  Here, you will find a desperate longing for God, and sometimes the broken-hearted pleas for God’s deliverance from trials.  No matter what the circumstance, the writers of the Psalms turned to God as their source of help and hope.

*  Another helpful thing to do is to fill your mind with the promises of God.  If you don’t have a little book of God’s promises from scripture, buy one and keep it on your nightstand.

  • Remember who God is!  He is mighty in power!  The very same God who re-wrote the story of our lives through the sacrificial life and death and the victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ is still changing lives, healing broken hearts, and mending fractured relationships today!  The circumstances of today are NOT the end of the story…. because He who created Heaven and Earth lives in you.

Or, go to websites such as these:

God’s promises arranged by topic:  http://www.smilegodlovesyou.org/promises.html
Daily scripture promise blog:  http://www.365promises.com/
God’s promises in every book of the Bible:  http://bible.org/article/selected-promises-god-each-book-bible
John Piper’s sermon on the promises of God:  http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/all-the-promises-of-god-are-yes-in-christ

New International Version (©1984)
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
II Corinthians 1:20

Romans, Chapter 5, NIV
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but wec also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

(Scripture references above are copied from the Online Parallel Bible)  http://bible.cc/

SPECIFIC TYPES OF DISAPPOINTMENT

Circumstantial disappointment

All of us face times in life when circumstances change in a way that we did not expect or that seems less desirable than what we had hoped.  These kind of circumstantial disappointments may involve something that didn’t happen as you had hoped.  Or, they may involve something that happened which seems contrary to everything you had hoped.  Sometimes these disappointments lead to eventually letting go of one dream for your life and grabbing hold of God’s promises and His new dream for you.  Circumstances will happen to disappoint us all, and each time we must choose to look at the positives in the situation.  The reactions we have to the disappointment of our hopes can range from mild irritation (having to re-arrange your schedule because a flight was cancelled, for example) to feeling absolutely devastated (the sale of your home fell through, or you were laid off, or you didn’t get admitted to the University of your choice).  No matter how strong our reaction may be, each disappointment results in the following choices:

1.  Choosing to continue to dwell on what has been lost even though nothing can be done about it  OR  eventually choosing to let it go and move on.

2.  Choosing to give up on a hope or dream  OR  seeking God’s direction about whether to allow Him to give you a new dream or to persevere in seeking this hope but perhaps through another avenue.

3.  Choosing to become bitter about what has been denied  OR  allowing God to use disappointment to refine our character.

4.  Choosing to become stuck in the past and our unfulfilled hope  OR  moving forward with trust and faith in God, knowing that He will work all things (even this disappointment) for our good.

5.  Feeling hopeless  OR  allowing God to restore our hope as time passes and the mental and spiritual adjustment is made not only to the reality that the disappointment has occurred, but to the possiblities of the future!

There is a grieving process with any disappointment, and it is necessary.  After all, it takes time to re-adjust your thinking to a new reality.  However, we must always be seeking God as the Source of our comfort, our transformation to the likeness of Christ, and ultimately, our hope.  God wants us to be honest with Him in prayer.  He knows we are devastated and disappointed, but He wants us to talk to Him about it.  His Spirit can only minister peace in a situation that has been turned over to Him.  A new dream can only be given when we choose to allow Him to turn our disappointment into possibilities that we’d never imagined.  Give yourself the grace of seeing each day as a new beginning, full of possibilities and promise as you release the disappointments of the past and surrender each moment to the Lord.  The reality of your disappointment can become a stepping stone to newness in your life and even to a reality more joyful or profound than anything you could have dreamed.  Hold on to your relationship with God through the grieving and adjustment period, and hold on to hope!

Relational Disappointment

Relational disappointment can be the most devastating type of disappointment.  Someone has let us down or even intentionally hurt us…often in a BIG way.  Broken hearts result from relational disappointment.  Here, we are not only dealing with our feelings about what has happened.  We are also dealing with the ongoing relationship.  When we have been badly hurt, anger is often our response.  However, the expression of anger can cause even more relational difficulty.  It’s good to keep in mind some considerations of the other person and the relationship you have to them.  As you work through the process of dealing with the disappointment and hurt that you feel, you can choose to show grace by valuing the person and the relationship more than your right to be angry and hurt.  Although the grieving and adjustment process for relational disappointment is the same as for any other type, the feelings and the potential relational consequences involved require careful consideration of a few additional factors.

First, remember that you, too, have at times disappointed someone.  None of us can perfectly meet the needs of another person.  We will all make mistakes, forget something important, or fail to handle a situation appropriately from time to time.  We all will have times when we need to apologize for disappointing someone else (as well as times when we need to forgive someone for disappointing us).

Secondly, we need to realize that what seems a big failure or disappointment may have been out of someone’s control or may have resulted from a miscommunication of some type.  Here, I will give an example of something that occurred at one of the churches where Travis had served.  There was a person who was a part-time employee in Music Ministry at the church, and this individual had been serving for a number of years.  Travis was new at the church and was still learning how things were done.  Procedures and policies very widely from church to church, and that fact would be brought home in this situation.  At the church Travis had left prior to coming to this new church, the Personnel Committee had always taken care of farewells and thank yous to those who were leaving a paid position in the church.  However, when this person was no longer employed by the church, nothing was done by that committee.  By the time that Travis realized that things were handled differently at the new church, the former employee was already very upset and feeling unappreciated.   Though he tried to correct the mistake he’d made by assuming procedures were similar, the attempts were rejected by the former employee.  Travis would have liked to have had the opportunity to show appreciation properly; but because of a misunderstanding and the resulting disappointment, that never happened as it should have.

Many times, relational disappointments do result from some sort of misunderstanding.   When there seems to have been a mess up or a large oversight that affects you, try not to automatically assume the worst and get all upset without knowing the facts.  There may be reasons why things happened as they did of which you are unaware.  Sometimes, knowing what happened can help and can even save a relationship.  Therefore, we all need to give each other the grace of refusing to jump to conclusions.  If you can talk to the person or persons who were involved in whatever led to your disappointment and tell them, “I really felt… (disappointed, betrayed, unappreciated…fill in the blank) because….”  (Keep it short and mention only one or two main factors, without detail.  Hopefully, this can come across without condemnation or anger.)  Then, ask for clarification, “I didn’t want to assume anything without giving you the opportunity to explain, so can you tell me what happened?”  Give the person some time to think and consider a response.  Just sit and wait without saying anything further.  It could be that there are real reasons for the way things happened that you never knew about.  The problem could even have resulted from something that you did or said that the other person did not know how to handle.  The truth could immediately make you feel better.  If so, you may have prevented permanent damage to a relationship by seeking understanding.  Or, the truthful answer could hurt at first.  It may be that the truth is a mirror, reflecting an area in your own life where some change needs to take place or just an outright failure or oversight by the other party.  Either way, these kinds of hurtful truths can be stepping stones to growth and to better understanding eventually if we keep the door of relationship open and work to have better understanding and resolve problems.   Regardless of the steps that need to be taken, forgiveness is always appropriate.  Even if something happened that was totally wrong, forgiveness will ultimately set you free from bitterness and from living in the past.  Ask God to give you an open heart to any changes that you need to make and grace for the other person, just as you have been shown grace and mercy.

When you think that you have someone figured out and that you are disappointed in who they are, remember that there may be many things that you do not know about this person or about their life.  Some of your asumptions may be totally wrong.  Give others the grace of forgiveness and a second chance.  You may be making yourself totally miserable by harboring negative feelings that are not even based upon fact.  Pray for this person, and allow God to work in them and in you.  You may be surprised at what He will do!

If a relationship proves to be totally unhealthy, seek counsel about what to do.  No one has to stay in an abusive situation.  You cannot change another person.  Change can only come when the other person desires to change, and a lot of changes require God’s help.

Regretful disappointment

Sometimes, our lives can become filled with regret if we dwell on past mistakes or on what we wish we had done in a situation.   These things are truly beyond our control.  They are in the past.  What matters is how we live NOW and what we do to make things better NOW.  Give yourself the grace of letting go.  Learn from past mistakes, fix what you can, and then remember Paul’s testimony and advice:

“It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already become perfect. But I keep pursuing it, hoping somehow to embrace it just as I have been embraced by the Messiah Jesus.  Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in the Messiah Jesus.”   – Phillippians 3;12 – 14  (International Standard Version)

The Serenity Prayer can also be helpful.

Spiritual disappointment

Spiritual disappointment can be extremely difficult.  As Christians, we know that God is good and that He is able to do anything and to meet our needs.  We feel that we should be content to trust His wisdom about the when and the how.  We often don’t feel that we can even talk to other Christians about our disappointment.  This kind of scenario can lead to feeling totally alone, as though one is abandoned by God but can’t talk about it because to do so would only lead to rejection from other believers who may want to comfort you but who actually fear the pain and loss you have experienced and want you to repeat phrases like “God is so good!’ or “His timing is perfect” for your good and for their comfort.   The Book of Job is about just such a struggle.   It’s a battle for Job between what he knows he should feel and what other believers are telling him to feel versus how he actually does feel.  At the beginning of the time of trial for Job, God expresses confidence in the faith of Job.  And yet, even for a mature believer, there is a process of sorting through thoughts, grieving loss, and finding that your faith still holds true.   Job wants to know why.  He knows that he has done nothing wrong to provoke God’s judgement in the form of the calamity that has come upon his household, and yet He acknowledges that God is sovereign over all.  God Himself speaks with Job, and the truths that come out of this conversation are that God does not have to reveal His reasons to us and yet, He wants us to come to Him with our questions.  There is no way that we could fully understand the interactions of every human heart and every circumstance as God does.  We don’t have the infinite understanding to fathom God’s reasoning, but God gives us the mercy and grace to allow us to question Him, to ask why, and to express our pain, our deep grief, our disappointment, and even our anger.  After we have asked out questions and cried out our pain, peace comes only when we finally choose to trust.  It is a process, and that process is part of the healing and growth.  So, the ultimate message about spiritual disappointment is that it will come to everyone, that we must take it to Him, and that He will teach and comfort us through the pain.

KEY #3:  Turning to God in our disappointment and being honest with Him in prayer is the third key for dealing with disappointment. 

In earlier paragraphs, I had stated that the other two keys are choosing to live hopefully, based upon your knowledge of God’s goodness and your desire to have a positive outlook, and then turning to scripture for help in coping with disappointment.  So, my friends, choose hopeSeek answers in God’s word, and turn to Him with all of your questions and hurts as you work through the process of moving forward in your life after you have been disappointed.  These three keys to coming through a disappointment and moving forward without bitterness are not a ‘quick fix’.  There is no easy answer and no quick solution.  Allow yourself the grace of processing all that has happened and thinking through what this means for the future.

God wants to bring possibility and promise out of this situation for you.  He wants to heal your heart and give you new hope.  He wants to communicate His love for you and renew your confidence in His goodness.  Blessings to you in the journey!

 

*  A  SONG  FOR  YOU  *  Here’s a link to a song that may be helpful to you:  http://soundcloud.com/travis-l-boyd/god-is-faithful-satb-choral

* HERE’S A BONUS *

Check out this excellent teaching about disappointment by TV host, author, and speaker Michelle McKinney Hammond on the 700 Club’s “Voices of Hope” series (segment #2) about facing life issues.  Here’s the link to the series.  (You will have to select and click on the Segment #2 link to see the video with the teaching about disappointment.):  http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/voiceofhope/

Interestingly, in the 700 club interview that allows her to explain her teaching on disappointment, Ms. Hammond also speaks of the need for demonstrating grace when facing disappointment, saying, “Don’t expect divinity from humanity.  Have grace for<em> people, </em>and place your expectations <em>on God</em>.”  Additionally, she also speaks of trusting God through the disappointment (as in our blog article), but she does state some of her teaching in some unique ways that will be helpful to anyone who is seeking additional insights to learn the lessons of disappointment while holding on to faith, preserving relationships, and dealing with pain.  Listen near the end of the interview for your assignment, when Ms. Hammond speaks of God’s plan in the disappointment and our corresponding job as the steward of the experience.

Here is a link to information about her book called How to Get Past Disappointment; (Note: I have not read the book, but I am recommending it based upon hearing the teaching in the above link, which is a portion of what is contained in the book.  – C. A. Boyd) Book info:  http://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Past-Disappointment-Finding/dp/0736937862

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This post was written by C. A. Boyd

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation. Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus. http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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