Something hurt me recently . . .

My initial reaction was to experience disappointment, deep disappointment, dejection, rejection—you get the picture, and I asked God to protect my heart and to not let it discourage me.

And He did. I fell asleep with that prayer on my lips and I woke up much lighter of heart and genuinely carefree. I felt the victory of not succumbing to disappointment’s strong sway. The new and welcome lightness in my heart made me laugh aloud and I said to myself, “It is like there is a shield around me, and He is protecting my heart, I feel it! I shouldn’t feel this good after experiencing that kind of hurt, but I do feel good. I know this is the Lord meeting my need, encouraging me as only He can!”

How grateful I was for this answer to prayer! In the past I had not always won this battle over disappointment, but God was teaching me through each experience of disappointment, discouragement, and rejection that I should not let it stop me. I shouldn’t let these negative circumstances cause me to be defeated.

With each encounter I have learned a little bit more and I certainly know that it isn’t wise to let disappointment become a dark cloud that follows you around. Don’t let it become a repeating message in your mind like a broken record skipping over the same spot.

Maybe there are lessons to be learned from this disappointing experience, and maybe there is growth that needs to take place. Maybe it just isn’t time yet and expectations were placed on something happening before it was meant to be.

The important issue with disappointment is to not let it stop you. Don’t let it bruise your ego too much. Don’t let it make you doubt that you are capable.

There is some good that can come out of disappointment and that is looking deep inside ourselves and finding the will to go on anyway. Accept it and move forward. It also helps to realize, disappointment happens to all of us. Rising above disappointment is a valuable life lesson we all face at one time or another, and sometimes, many times over!

Will disappointment tear us down and wear us out until we quit trying in life? Or, will we become stronger through endurance and learn that disappointment is a life experience that helps us grow and mature, and very importantly, gain the value of overcoming a hardship that came into our life. Choosing to overcome disappointment will build strong character and strong hearts, bringing a healthy balance in our lives that will help us cope with all that life holds. When disappointment kicks you down, perseverance will pick you up—if you choose to endure.

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).

—submitted by Kathy Cheek, US