I have been harassed by disappointment, felt the misery it inflicts upon one’s life, endured the fatigue it can produce upon both the soul and body, and yet refused to shrink beneath its weight and allow it to destroy me. Because I have also experienced and known first hand the comfort of the Holy Ghost, the unwavering faith that is produced by the power of God’s Word and have been strengthened by God’s might in my inner man (see Acts 9:31; Romans 4:20-21; Ephesians 3:16).
Disappointment and discouragement are enemies of yours and mine that we must battle against relentlessly. They are very wicked and tormenting things that we must not allow to defeat us.
And just like you, I have experienced disappointment on many occasions which could have led to deep discouragement. For example, anyone who deals with people will be disappointed by them eventually. However, I am personally convinced that a pastor of a local church, because of the flightiness of people and their failure to keep their promises, has to face disappointment on steroids!
I really hate it that I have to put this in writing, but some church people can be the biggest liars on the planet. It doesn’t bother them in the least to shake the pastor’s hand and look him in the eye, promising all sorts of things, especially financial support for a project for example, and then never give a red cent towards it at all. And sometimes these pronouncements are public, so the rest of the congregation thinks that a project is now taken care of, for example, and that all of the necessary funds are in place to complete it. The pastor is then placed in a position to either openly disclose the fact that the brother or sister who made the public pledge never kept their word, or to simply bear the burden of those expenses himself alone. To think that this doesn’t produce a dark cloud of disappointment for the pastor is just not true.
Perhaps a few more Ananias and Sapphira events in our local churches would stop this kind of activity (see Acts 5:1-11).
Yes, people can be disappointing, especially if they had been people you were once able to have confidence in. But I know that some who are reading this have experienced far worse, including the disappointment that comes from the abandonment of a cheating spouse, or the untimely death of a loved one. Others have experience business failures and critical loss of income, or any number of things. And these deep-seated disappointments can usher in a wave of discouragement so deep that you feel as though you are drowning.
But I want to assure you today that God’s Word never fails!
The fact of the matter is, everyone faces the hard places of life. No one is exempt from them. But disappointment and discouragement are used by the devil to bring us to a stand-still, and to keep us from advancing and moving forward to take ground for the Kingdom of God. So, that is why we must battle against them, and gain victory over them in the Name of Jesus!
So, what do you do when you are drowning in disappointment and discouragement?
First and foremost, get back into the Word again, and completely saturate yourself with it. I’m talking total saturation. Not just a swallow here and a swallow there. Dive in like never before.
“Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16 NASU
When you are under water with discouragement, you must battle back to the surface by spending time in the Word, even if you don’t want to do it. Especially if you don’t want to do it. Because God’s holy Word has the life, the joy, the direction, the wisdom, and all the answers you will need to overcome your darkest hour.
Next, do not disconnect or separate yourself from your pastor and your church family. In fact, get to absolutely everything your church is doing. Every service. Every special event. Every prayer meeting. Every work day. Everything! Because when you are discouraged, I know that you will want to pull away, but never, ever do this. It’s a ploy of the enemy to separate you from the flock, and to become easy prey for him to take down. Remember, he is seeking for those he can devour (see 1 Peter 5:8), so make sure you aren’t available to him.
Then you need to turn the knob on your prayer and praise life up to max. Through constant communication with the Lord through prayer, as well as times of praise and worship throughout the day, you will break through and get your head above water again.
“6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NASU
Do what it takes to defeat disappointment and discouragement. Refuse to give up and be carried out to sea by their crushing waves which are trying to snuff out your life. Instead, do the things described above, along with other things the Lord speaks to you to do as you feed on His Word, and you will come out of this dark time and back into His marvelous light.