Tag Archives: disappointed

Encourage And Build


If your spirit has ever been broken, you know how hard it is to get through the day. It’s hard to even wake up, let alone face people. Worry consumes your mind. You question everyone’s intentions, and your energy gets depleted. It’s tough to be stuck in that phase. If you’ve ever been through it, then you can empathize with others who are going through it. They need your support and encouragement more than your advice in those times.

Proverbs 15:13 says, “A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day” (MSG). When you see someone whose spirit has been crushed and they’re struggling to make it through the day, offer words that will encourage them to continue going. Chances are that it was words that put them in that state and its our words that can bring them out of it. If only we had the courage to speak them.

If you’ve ever watched an action movie, chances are that there is a scene where one person is hanging off a cliff or the side of a building and another person grabs them with one arm. They then use all their strength to pull that person back to safety. That’s what our words have the power to do. They can pull back someone who has been pushed over the edge and is barely hanging on. We have the power and strength to save someone’s life simply by encouraging them.

I Thessalonians 5:11 says, “So encourage each other and build each other up” (NLT). Paul’s words are a reminder to us as Christians that we are to constantly be encouraging, strengthening, edifying, and building each other up. We are to find a way to a cheerful heart. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing” (AMP). You can help heal someone’s brokenness today if only you will open your mouth to offer encouragement instead of correction or direction. You have the power, use it.

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When you travel as much as I do, you’re bound to have days like I had yesterday. I left Mobile, AL early to get to New Orleans, LA for a noon flight. When it was time to board the plane, they said there was a short delay. Twenty minutes later, the incoming flight landed and deplaned. As soon as the announcer said we had to wait due to weather, the pilot walked up and said to let us board. Once we were on board, plans changed. The weather got bad again in Atlanta, GA where we were heading. We had a 45 minute delay on the plane now.

When the 45 minute delay was up, they came on and said it would be longer. People, like me, started to wonder about our connecting flights. The flight attendant got on the intercom and addressed our concerns. Not only were flights not being let into Atlanta, flights weren’t being let out either. So most of us should make our connections. When we finally got to Atlanta, the airport was crazy. Crowds of people were packed around each gate. People were frantically running. People were on their phones explaining to others what was happening. Above all, they were upset.

Aside from getting to my intended destination several hours later than I planned, there were no real hiccups. It looked like most of us were in the same boat. We were going to get to our destination, just not at the time we had hoped for or anticipated. I’ve learned (am learning!) not to get worked up when things don’t happen according to my time table. God is in control and this is a reminder of that.

If God had intended for me to get to my destination at the time I had planned and prepared for, He would have made a way. Who knows what all is going on behind the scenes that I can’t see? God could cause a delay to make sure I crossed paths with someone, open a door of communication to share His love with someone that wouldn’t have been there otherwise or to save a life from a disaster that could have occurred. The truth is, we may never know why we are delayed by traffic, weather or whatever so there’s no sense in getting upset and angry over something out of our control.

Delays aren’t a surprise to God. He knew when I got up yesterday what time I would arrive at my destination. The delay was built into His plan for my life. Getting upset and angry over it could put me on the opposite side of the argument from God. That’s not where I want to be. I’m sure that’s not where you want to be either. Learning to trust God through delays is something we all have room to improve on. Trusting Him when His answers are delayed takes even more faith.

How do you respond when you are delayed? Is there room for improvement? How do you react when the “deadline” passes and God hasn’t answered yet? Do you feel angry? Disappointed? Hurt? We may not understand now why we are delayed or why God delays in answering us, but we can trust in the fact that He is in control and we are not. He knows what is best for us even when we can’t see it. Trust Him through your delays and watch your faith grow. You’ll be a happier person because of it.


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Handling Disappointment

How do you handle disappointment? Think of a time recently when you were really wanting something and then it didn’t happen. Did you cross your arms, stick your bottom lip out and stomp around? I know that’s how kids handle disappointment, but are we really that different when we grow up? We still like to have our pity parties when things don’t happen the way we think they should. We may not be stomping around on the outside, but we are on the inside!

Jonah is a prime example of how a lot of us handle things. When God was able to get him to obey and to go to Nineveh, he was hoping they wouldn’t repent. When they did and God showed mercy on them, he was furious and threw a temper tantrum. In Jonah 4:5 it says, “He went out of the city to the east and sat down in a sulk.” While he was sulking, God arranged for a leafed tree to grow up to provide him with shade from the blistering sun.

That night, God sent a worm to eat the leaves. The next day was hot. With the shade gone, Jonah sulked even more and said he was better off dead. I love verses 10-11. God said, “How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about a mere shade tree that you did nothing to get? You neither planted it or watered it.” When I read that, it made think, “Do I really have a reason to let my disappointment turn to anger?”

Disappointment is a part of life. What you do with it is your choice. You can choose to sulk, stomp around, be depressed about it or you can learn from the situation, see it from a different perspective and move forward. Some of the greatest people in history faced huge disappointments. It was how they handled it that made the difference. They took the opportunity to learn from the situation rather than to be upset.

While we cannot control the circumstances around us, our attitude is our choice. We choose whether to stomp off like Jonah or to say, “God, that isn’t how I saw that happening. I’m not happy how it happened. What can you show me in this situation to help me in the future?” It’s ok to not be happy that things didn’t go according to plan. It’s not ok to throw a pity party and think that life is over because it didn’t.

God sees your life beyond today. He sees the path ahead of you and often allows things to happen in our lives to help us get to the destination of His choice, not ours. When our plan doesn’t match His, disappointment is the result. The good news is that God still loves us when we are disappointed or even disappoint Him. He still has a plan for us and uses those times to shape us into who He wants us to become. So, again, how do you handle disappointment?


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