Today is filled with opportunities for great things to happen! But it’s also filled with opportunities for negative things to happen. For example, you will probably have a few opportunities to be disappointed and discouraged. We can’t stop these opportunities - but we don’t have to indulge in them. If we learn how to deal with disappointment and discouragement we will lessen its blow on us and we will stand strong in spite of the opportunities that are trying to take us down.
Disappointment is something we’re all familiar with. You’ve invested a lot of time and money into an employee (grooming them for greater responsibility) and then they resign. Or you were expecting a business deal to go a certain way and it didn’t, or you were trusting for healing or a miracle which didn’t come. Disappointment is pretty much the same product with a different story: you expected something to happen in a certain way, and it didn’t. You were hopeful and your hopes were dashed.
“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”
Proverbs 13:12 KJV
When you expect something and it doesn’t happen, you set yourself up for disappointment. It’s good and necessary to have hope and be expectant - but if our hopes are not in the Lord and His promises, we set ourselves up for disappointment. If our expectations are unrealistic, we set ourselves up for disappointment. For example, we all want to be blessed and have an abundance so that we can be a blessing, but there are no overnight successes. There is a natural course to growth.
“The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.”
Mark 4:28 ESV
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”
Zechariah 4:10 NLT
We often expect to be at step 100 even though we’ve just taken step 1. It’s important to remember that things take time to grow, and those healthy things grow. So focus on the health of something rather than the fruitfulness because fruitfulness is a by-product of health.
“When hope is crushed, the heart is crushed, but a wish come true fills you with joy.”
Proverbs 13:12 GNB
Unmet expectations can crush your heart; it’ll make your heart (emotionally) sick or weak. It’s important that your heart is strong because a weak or discouraged heart cannot flow strongly in the blessing and power of God.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 NASB
From your heart flow all the issues of your life (decision-making, what you say, your desires, your actions, and even your health) and so it’s important that you keep watch and guard over what you allow into your heart. You need to protect your heart and keep it healthy. Jesus said that your heart determines what your mouth speaks (Luke 6:45) and Proverbs shows us that the power of life and death are in what we say (Proverbs 18:21). If you heart isn’t healthy then what you say won’t be healthy, and if you are speaking death then you’re also fuelling death in your life.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
3 John 2:1 KJV
You prosper on the outside in proportion to the degree that your soul, or heart, is prospering. True prosperity flow from a healthy, happy heart. Watch over your heart and keep it healthy by having healthy expectations and learning to deal with disappointments. Choose to place your hope in the Lord because then you will never be put to shame.
“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 NLT
Recommended scripture for meditation: Psalm 62