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HOW TO HANDLE DISAPPOINTMENTS
by Joe Fauss

I said to a man one morning, "What's going on?" He answered me, "Oh, I'm just going around looking for the next disappointment." He was serious. For many, life has become one great big disappointment. We have hopes, dreams, and goals. We are sure that things are going to turn out just like we planned.and then.everything changes, and the result is a great, big disappointment.

Disappointment is the result of failure to meet an expectation, a hope, or a desire to reach a certain goal. It does not feel good and there are definite effects. In fact, disappointment is also a depressed emotional feeling which results in a loss of zeal, excitement, confidence, and self esteem.

I have found much disappointment in prison. A young man out on the streets thinks he's gotten away with his crime and suddenly the handcuffs go on and it's a door clanging shut, an appointment in court, and a trip to the state prison. Many times the disappointments continue with a "bad" letter from a wife who will not wait, a "set off" or a denial of parole, and a real personal understanding that disappointment causes much hurt and frustration. The parents had also hoped it wasn't true when the policemen had knocked on their door with a warrant for his arrest. They had hoped to hear, "Not Guilty".but instead their son is in prison,.

A young couple filled with excitement and anticipation of a future of bliss, joy, and happiness goes to get their marriage license. Yet, in so many cases, the same couple is back at the court house in the Domestic Relations Court seeking a judge who will say, "Divorce granted!" Marriage can become a great disappointment when it is built on a weak commitment and selfish motives. It cannot stand when trouble comes. Marriage can fail when the husband and wife stop dealing with the problems and let selfishness and unforgiveness come in and cause destruction to the family until once jointed together in love. People will disappoint you, but one of the hardest disappointments to deal with is Disappointment in Yourself.

A Christian has a desire to follow the Lord. He knows that he should be an example of one who leads a holy life. However, because of a wrong foundation, a stronghold of the devil, or not using the weapons of spiritual warfare, he is overcome by a fault and falls into defeat and failure. He is a disappointed man and feels hopeless and helpless. When you do not know how to handle is appointments, you react wrongly and take on a "continue to make mistake" syndrome with one failure after another. This results in continued depression. Jesus Christ can put hope back into the lives of disappointed people who will trust Him.

There is a correct way to handle disappointments. In I Samuel 18:5, "So David went out wherever Saul sent Him and behaved himself wisely." David had character. He was called a man after God's own heart. One time, as King Saul was trying to take his life, David was so tired of running, homesick, and thirsty and he gasped, "Oh! If I could only have a drink from the waters of Bethlehem." His loyal men heard his heart's plea and stole through enemy lines at night to bring him one cup of cool, refreshing water. He was appreciative but said, "How can I enjoy this when I have men who are fighting and risking their lives?" He poured it out on the ground as a drink offering unto the Lord. What a man of God !

However, as we follow David's victories and the beginning of his reign as king, he begins to make some serious mistakes. At the time of the year when kings go out to lead their armies into battle, he stays at home and sends Joab. "Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house." His men were out in battle but he was living an undisciplined life of leisure. An idle mind is the devil's workshop. "And from the roof he saw a beautiful woman bathing, and she was beautiful to behold." He made the first of a series of serious mistakes.He began to think wrong thoughts. Transgression is invented in the mind. So David sent and inquired about the woman. His second mistake was that He made a wrong decision. And someone said, "Is this not Bethsheba, the daughter of Uriah the Hittite?" That bit of information should have been enough but he made his third mistake.He began to have wrong actions. "Then David sent messengers and took her; and she came to him and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house."

A brief time of pleasure and it was all over.or was it? We know the divine law.What you sow is what you reap. There are rewards for right choices, but penalties and severe consequences for wrong decisions.

"And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, I am with child." He was sorry. He was disappointed. He was sorry that he had gotten caught, but was not ready to humble himself before God who had known every thought and was so grieved as He had seen David's adulterous act. David began to make more mistakes as he designed a plan of deceit to try to cover up his sin. He sent for Bethsheba's husband, Uriah, who was out fighting for the kind. After the disguise of his concern for the success of the forces on the battlefield, he was to go on down to his own house and get comfortable. He even sent some food from the king's house as a gift. "But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house." Kind David could not figure the man out. He said, "Did you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?" David thought that he had devised the perfect alibi.but it wasn't working. And Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing." My, what character ! Does this sound familiar? Who knows, but maybe Uriah had heard of David's sacrifice of the drink from Bethlehem. Perhaps he had purposed in his heart that he would react the same way if he ever had the opportunity. It is very possible for a leader to train others and then fall himself. This is the reason that Paul wrote, "But I discipline my body and bring it under subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified." (I Corinthians 9:17)

Bad thoughts, decisions, and actions were now being formed into bad habits. King David tried once more to get Uriah drunk.and even then he had enough character to not go down to his house. David was disappointed that his plan wasn't working and set out to devise a plan that would work. He sent him back to battle, and unknown to Uriah, with a letter to General Joab which was in fact, the orders for his execution. "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him that he may be struck down and die." David had lost his Godly character. His sinful actions and habits had now turned into perversion. He was doing things he never dreamed he would do. Uriah was killed. Bethseheba mourned.and she became the new bride of the king. But the thing that David had done had displeased the Lord. Be sure your sins will find you out. David made an excuse for his sin and thought that it was covered up, but because God loved David, He did not let him get by with his sin. The Prophet, Nathan, came to David and told him about a rich man and a poor man. The rich man had many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb and it was like a daughter to him A traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock to prepare a meal for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him. David became very angry and said, "As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die!" Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you more! Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have dispised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. For you did this thing secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun." David was disappointed. He knew he was a failure. He was disappointed in himself. He was filled with shame. Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan was sent by God to confront David about his sin. At this point the reality struck David's heart, and as he repented he learned how to handle his disappointments correctly. Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because of this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. The child also who is born to you shall surely die." Now an innocent child has to suffer for a grown man's sin. I believe that David was a disappoint4ed man. Oh God!.Surely not! I need to begin to start making right decisions. What can I do? Where do I start to make things right? The main lesson we much learn from David's sin is that even though he was a very disappointed man, he learned how to handle disappointments and he got his character back. Not only did he admit and get honest before God by saying, "I have sinned," but all of Psalm 51shows his earnest prayer of real repentance.

David knew that God had spoken that the baby would die, but he hoped it was only a warning. He went back home and sure enough, the baby got sick. He was disappointed in himself. He had no zeal for anything. His excitement was gone. He did not feel good. Could he ever have confidence again? He fell on his face before God. He fasted and lay all night on the ground. His servants tried to bring food to him and to raise him up from the ground, but he would not eat. Every hour of every day for six days, he pleaded with God for the child. "Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died and the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, 'Indeed while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!' When David saw his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, 'Is the child dead?' And they said, 'He is dead.' So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed clothes; and went into the house of the Lord and worshipped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate." My, what a change! He was reacting properly. He was making steps of progress. There was a dead child awaiting a funeral, and a father was sad, but not depressed.sorry for his sin, but a believer in God's mercy, disappointed.but handling it. Then his servants came to him, "What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food." So he said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, 'Who can tell me whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can *I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." David was putting the past behind him, accepting the present, and beginning to have faith for a new day.a future of climbing up the steps toward total restoration.

THERE ARE SEVEN STEPS TO HANDLING DISAPPOINTMENTS CORRECTLY:

1. Admit Reality. David said, "The child is dead."
2. Get right with God. There are many prayers of repentance as he lay on the ground for six days and nights. He went to the house of the Lord and worshipped.
3. Face the Consequences. He did not run away.he did not lie to himself or to anyone else.
4. Deal with the disappointment in yourself. He did all that he could do and he couldn't bring him back.
5. Get up and start over. "So David arose".My, what powerful words. He got back up.
6. Learn your lesson. Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
7. Rest in God's love. He pleaded with God, but anointed himself and accepted God's decision.

We can learn from our mistakes if we will get up and deal with disappointments correctly David wrote Psalm 101 and promised his faithfulness to the Lord. He says, "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will you come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me; I will not know wickedness. He who works deceit shall not dwell in my house."

I believe that David handled his failure and returned to a man after God's own heart. a man of Godly character.

TODAY YOUR WHOLE LIFE MIGHT BE ON THE VERGE OF TOTAL RUIN, BUT LOOK UP! JESUS CHRIST CAN PUT HOPE BACK INTO YOUR LIFE! NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS.DON'T GET BITTER.GET BETTER! FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE HURT YOU AND REALIZE THAT YOU CAN HAVE A FAILURE AND YET NOT BE A FAILURE. DON'T GIVE UP.GET UP!

Reference: II Samuel 11, 12 NKJ

   
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