Mike’s Musings …..
Disappointment or Discouragement?
Most likely, all of us have experienced both disappointment and discouragement. Most likely, all of us have considered them synonymous at times, or at least one leading to the other and neither welcome in heart of the otherwise happy and excited! Yet, both arrive and we deal with the facts.
Truthfully, these emotions are not synonymous. Disappointments are failures in realizing one’s hopes. Discouragement is the removal of courage. While discouragement is disappointing, the Christian doesn’t dwell on it because of his understanding of love (1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8; viz. verse 7 – “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”)
While disappointment frequently arrives in the temporal world, the Christian refuses to let it become discouragement, because his hope is an anchor of his soul (Hebrews 6:19). Therefore, the Christian learns to trust God’s promise of never leaving us (Hebrews 13:5-6) and take comfort from the example of God’s promise to Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)
For many, the confusion comes when we equate our EARTHLY hopes with SPIRITUAL hopes. Someone once said, “In matters of expectation, it’s always better to depend on God.” God simply does not disappoint! For example, we plan, (a nice word for “dream”) of various things to happen, and in those expectations, “get our hopes up” only to find that someone on the other end changes the plans, or refuses them all together, which then heaps tons of disappointment on our emotions, which in turn discourages us, which in turn, depresses us, which in turn either makes us sick or angry – or both! And it’s all because we put our expectations into something material, something personal, something that at best grants but momentary pleasure. God isn’t that way! He neither disappoints nor discourages! But then again, He ain’t human or materialistic – He’s divine, eternal, spiritual, and the Almighty!
I muse on such reality. Like you, disappointments are a frequent part of my life. Yes, I get discouraged from them, but not for long – it ain’t worth my time! It is then I muse on the unfaltering love of God that always comforts, always encourages, always directs in righteousness, always serves in my best SPIRITUAL interest. Yep, that’s why I love God more than mankind … and I’ll keep musing on that delight throughout this life and into the next!