A Prayer for Disappointment
By Emily Rose Massey
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1, NKJV).
I was involved in a movement some years ago that would constantly boast in having “aggressive expectations” and equating that way of thinking to “having faith.” Aside from the vast misunderstanding of what faith in God means (to trust in Him no matter what happens) one of the problems with that ideology is that many times our expectations in this life are left unfulfilled or unmet completely. People fail us. Plans fall through. They went with a different candidate for the job. We experience month after month of negative pregnancy tests.
Since God’s plans and ways are so much greater than our own, often our expectations do not look anything like what God may have for our life. When the expectations that we have held onto so aggressively fall flat, it is very easy for us to slip into disappointment. Disappointment can then often lead to complaining and discontentment, something we are commanded by Scripture to guard our hearts against. We very quickly forget the truth of God’s sovereignty over all things when we believe we know what is best for our life.
When God allows for disappointment to happen in our life, we must remember that all things that come our way are meant to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in us and conform us to the image of Christ, whether we were expecting them to happen or not. When we are disappointed, we are given an appointment to praise God no matter what.
When our expectations are met, we should stop and praise God and bless His holy name; When our expectations are not met, we should still stop and praise God and bless His holy name. He is worthy of our praise and our thanksgiving. In His sovereign providence, we can trust that He works all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). Nothing with God is coincidence or happenstance; He is sovereign and in control of every detail in our life, guiding our every step. His work in our lives is providential through and through, and He causes all things to work out for our good and for His glory. Next time your expectations are not met, remember it is an opportunity to make an appointment to praise God for His goodness. We can trust that His plans for our lives are so much better!
I am struggling with disappointment. Help me to guard my heart against discouragement, discontentment, and complaining. Teach me how to find ways to praise You when my expectations are not met. I know I need to trust in Your sovereignty and lean upon Your ways over my own. Your grace is sufficient for me, and I thank You for always guiding me into truth and convicting my heart when I fall into the sin of grumbling and complaining, thinking that I know better than You. My lips long to praise Your great name. Thank You for Your love for me and for changing my heart to reflect Yours. I pray You would use these unmet expectations to transform me and strengthen my faith in You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/fizkes
Emily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written Word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.emilyrosemassey.com
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Originally published Wednesday, 30 November 2022.