We have all experienced disappointment, there’s nothing we can do to prevent it. We have had hopes, dreams, wishes and anticipation and then just as the excitement is building, the very thing we were waiting for is gone. What do we do with that?
I have spent years searching for the remedy for disappointment, simply because I don’t want to dwell in disappointment any longer than I need to. Let’s face it, it’s not enjoyable to live in the state of regret, remorse and confusion, and trying to analyze our losses doesn’t seem to help very much.
Many years ago, I came up with what I thought was a pretty great remedy, and that was to simply “respond in the opposite spirit”. In simple terms, when disappointment hit, I would combat the feelings with the opposite feelings which were…hmmmm, what is the opposite of disappointment? I came up with “unexpected pleasure”.
That has been my ammunition for many years, and although it sounds good in theory, it hasn’t been very empowering. How do you “get” unexpected pleasure? If you seek after something good, it isn’t very unexpected, and it involves effort. That seems counter-productive for “unexpected pleasure”!
Your greatest expectations have the potential to be your greatest disappointments.
As I was reading in Proverbs, I began meditating on this scripture and the revelation hit me:
The cravings of the wicked are only for evil, but righteousness is the core motivation for the lovers of God and it keeps them content and flourishing (Proverbs 12:12, The Passion Translation).
Bob: As lovers of God, righteousness is our core motivation, the very thing that energizes us, motivates us and moves us forward. The simple definition of righteousness is “as it should be”. Agreement with His character and nature. Agreement with our position in Him in heavenly places.
Audrey: Flourish sounds like an unexpected pleasure. So, I paid very close attention to the order. The lovers of God (you and us) don’t crave evil…no, we are motivated by righteousness (as it should be). And because of that, we are content (first) and then flourish! (second).
When it comes to disappointment, I have been hoping, waiting and wanting to flourish (unexpected pleasure), but contentment comes first. It’s my missing piece! When I am content…filled up, then I can flourish.
It’s like I wanted my cup to overflow (unexpected pleasure)
but it needs to be filled up first (contentment)
It’s like I wanted the icing on the cake (unexpected pleasure)
but I need the cake first (contentment)
This is empowering! Because you don’t have to wait for contentment, you can choose it right this moment. Igniting your faith to agree with everything God says about you, and your future and your family is your immediate transition into hope.
Involving His promises in your thoughts, actions and choices release the pleasures of heaven, that come as the reward of faith! And best of all, faith really pleases God and gives Him pleasure*.
Being content is being confident. Confident that any enemy that rises against you is powerless. Confident that any situation that presents itself against you is detoured and directed away from you before it even gets close.
Don’t wait another minute. Apply this remedy to any disappointment in your life. Instead of waiting for things to get better, circumstances to change, or that person to change, choose contentment. Contentment is simply “I agree” with everything God says. That act of faith satisfied your heart and fills you up. Then enjoy the overflow when it comes, because unexpected pleasures are coming your way!
When you live a life of abandoned love, surrendered before the awe of God, here’s what you’ll experience: Abundant life. Continual protection. Complete satisfaction. (Proverbs 19:23 The Passion Translation).
The lovers of God who chase after righteousness will find all their dreams come true: An abundant life drenched with favor and a fountain that overflows with satisfaction (Proverbs 21:21 The Passion Translation).
*Without faith it’s impossible to please God. (With faith, it’s impossible not to please Him!)