“When you feel that all is lost, sometimes the greatest gain is ready to be yours.”
Thomas a Kempis
All of us experience disappointments in life. The greater the desire or expectation, the greater the possibility is for disappointment. Some people try and ward off their disappointments by being pessimistic or negative all the time. This is a way they try to protect their hearts. Instead of thinking something grand will happen, they figure nothing will happen, which prevents disappointment. Disappointment is a “defeat or failure of expectation, hope, wish, desire or intention; miscarriage of design or plan.”
Months ago, I wept over disappointments, while I poured out my heart to the Lord in prayer. As I waited for God to answer my prayers, He comforted me with these instructions. In the meantime, in between now and when I answer your requests, be thankful.
It’s necessary to grieve our disappointments and loss. But in the midst of grief, it’s equally important to give God a sacrifice of praise. We’re encouraged in Psalm 50:14 to “sacrifice thank offerings to God.” When we do this we are honoring God. (Ps. 50:23) Giving thanks while we’re disappointed is a sacrifice; it costs us something.
The Lord went on with these words of encouragement: As you thank Me, the hurt, loss, and sadness will fade away. Offering a sacrifice of praise is one of the most powerful acts one can choose to take. For as you are thankful, healing takes place within your heart and mind. It lifts you up and takes you to a higher plane. As you think of all the disappointments, it’s like a heavy weight crushing your heart, taking you lower and lower. But giving thanks is like stepping into an elevator which only goes up. Having a thankful heart elevates your heart, up and out of the pit.
We give God permission to be the Protector of our hearts when we submit to His sovereignty and control. Giving thanks is an act of our will that says to God, “Use this disappointment for my good and Your glory. Take the hurt and loss from it and make me look more like Jesus as a result.” (Romans 8:28-29)
When disappointments come, and they will come, grieve the loss and at the same time, “offer to God a sacrifice of praise.” (Hebrews 13:15) Watch how God lifts up our countenance as we present to Him a sacrificial thank offering.
“When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship-when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us.”
1. What current disappointments are you struggling with?
2. Take time to grieve your loss and to pour your heart out to the Lord. (Psalm 142:1-2, 62:8)
3. Present to God a sacrificial thank offering and observe how your countenance changes.