One of the most important keys to living your best life, as well as moving forward into the great future God has for you, is learning how to overcome the disappointments in life. Because disappointments can pose such formidable obstacles to letting go of the past, you need to be sure you have dealt with this area before taking the next step to living at your full potential.
Let’s be honest, all of us face disappointments from time to time. No matter how much faith you have or how good of a person you are, sooner or later, something (or somebody!) will shake your faith to its foundations. It may be something simple, such as not getting that promotion you really hoped for; not closing the big sale that you worked on so hard; not qualifying for a loan to buy that house that you really wanted. Or, it may be something more serious: a marriage relationship falling apart, the death of loved one, or an incurable, debilitating illness. Whatever it is, that disappointment possesses the potential to derail you and wreck your faith. That’s why it is vital that you recognize in advance that disappointments will come, and that you learn how to stay on track and deal with them when they do.
Often, defeating disappointments and letting go of the past are the flip sides of the same coin, especially when you are disappointed in yourself. When you do something wrong, don’t hold on to it and beat yourself up about it. Admit it, seek forgiveness, and move on. Be quick to let go of your mistakes and failures, hurts, pains, and sins.
The disappointments that disturb us the most, however, are usually those caused by other people. Many individuals who have been hurt by others are missing out on their new beginnings because they keep reopening the old wounds. But no matter what we have gone through, no matter how unfair it was, or how disappointed we were, we must release it and let it go.
Somebody may walked out on you. Somebody may have done you a great wrong. You may have prayed fervently for a loved one’s life to be saved, yet your loved one died. Leave that with God and go on with your life. The Scripture says, “The secret things belong to God.” (Deuteronomy 29:29) Leave them there.
Disappointments almost always accompany setbacks. When you suffer loss, of course you will feel strong emotions. Nobody expects you to be an impenetrable rock or an inaccessible island in the sea. Not even God expects you to be so tough that you simply ignore the disappointments in life, shrugging them off as though you are impervious to pain. No, when we experience failure or loss, it’s natural to feel remorse or sorrow. That’s the way God made us. If you lose your job, most likely you are going to experience a strong sense of disappointment. If you go through a broken relationship, that’s going to hurt. If you’ve ever lost a loved one, there’s a time of grieving, a time of sorrow. That is normal and to be expected.
But if you are still grieving and feeling sorrow over a disappoint that took place a year or more ago, something is wrong! You are hindering your future. You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, “I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”
The enemy loves to deceive us into wallowing in self-pity, fretting, feeling sorry for ourselves, or having a chip on shoulders. “Why did this happen to me? God must not love me. He doesn’t answer my prayers. Why did my marriage end in divorce? Why did my business not succeed? Why did I lose my loved one? Why didn’t things work out in my life?”
Such questions may be valid, and may even be helpful to consider for a season, but after that, quit wasting your time trying to figure out something that you can’t change. You can’t unscramble eggs. What’s done is done. Let the past be the past and go on. So you’ve suffered some setbacks; you didn’t get what you were praying about; things didn’t go your way. Friend, you are not alone. Many fine, upstanding individuals have experienced something similar.