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I’m disappointed.

Not at this very moment, but I have been. And I know that if you’re reading this, you have too. You and I, we’re alike in that way. Your university application was rejected. Your long-time crush doesn’t feel the same way about you. Things don’t quite go as planned. We’ve all been defeated in expectation or hope. We’ve all been there.

Every one of us has been plagued by disappointment at some point in our lives. And every one of us has, at one point or another, felt like we had been the cause of someone else’s disappointment. I have experienced both ends. And if you have also, then you are aware of the destructive affects that disappointment can have on people, dreams, circumstances and oneself.

I understand that life is messy. The reality is, things won’t always go the way we want them to. I can empathize, because I too, am human. I look back and I’m not bombarded with distant memories of disappointment, more than that, I am reminded of broken friendships, tension between family members, chasms of emptiness and dreams left behind. You see, disappointment’s ultimate motive is destruction. It strives off of your brokenness and your loss. Even long after the emotion fades away, the aftermath is what lingers and stings.

I’m not saying you aren’t ever going to be disappointed. What I am saying is that at the end of the day, you have a choice. This choice empowers you to make a decision. And this decision is powerful. When you give it permission to control you, lie to you and rob you of joy and hope, you suffer the repercussions.

Disappointment is an emotion many of us can relate to. After love and regret, it is the third most commonly experienced emotion. Most would argue that this makes disappointment powerful, but I beg to differ. I would in fact argue that it paints a picture of powerless people. This is a sad reality, because we were created far greater and far more powerful. God empowers us daily as He graciously gives us the freedom to make our own decisions. You do not have to allow disappointment to reign and rule your life.

We have to understand that with hope and expectation, there is the possibility of disappointment. With peace, chaos. With joy, sorrow. These opposites— disappointment, chaos and sorrow— have the ability to steal your joie de vivre. However, when you experience both— both the good and the bad— you learn to appreciate the good. You grow. You develop character, integrity and a deep gratitude for things that cannot be bought.

Let us be a people who choose to cultivate expectancy regardless of our circumstances. Let us be a people who are rooted in our identity and in Christ. Let us be a people who do not waver and shake whenever we are plagued with emotion, but stand firm in truth. Let us be a people who know His perfect, settling peace. Peace trumps disappointment any day.

Romans 8v28 tells the powerful truth of a good, good Father. Truth is, we have a good, good Father. One who works together relationships and circumstances for the good of those who love Him.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. | Romans 8:28

Do you truly believe this? Can you look back on your prior years of life and smile? Do you know that you are victorious and an overcomer?

Don’t waste away your life dwelling in an pond of disappointment and failure. Run into the ocean of Love. There, gifts await you. Gifts that will heal your heart and restore your hope. These gifts cannot be purchased, because they are freely given. Jesus is the generous giver. Love, hope, joy, peace and restoration are the promise. His heart is for you.

Expectation and hope are beautiful. Don’t let them go. Disappointment isn’t part of the promise, but we live in a world full of broken people and so disappointment is inevitable. But so is joy. The ball is in your court.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. | Philippians 4:6-7

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