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Summary: How to survive disappointment

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I. Introduction

A. In Paul Harvey’s “For What It’s Worth Department” there was a story about a man named Speedy Morris. Speedy was a basketball coach for LaSalle University. He was shaving one day when his wife called out to tell him he was wanted on the phone by Sports Illustrated. Speedy Morris was so excited by the prospect of national recognition that he nicked himself with his razor and ran –with a mixture of blood and lather on his face—down the hall promptly falling down the stairs. Limping and in some physical distress he finally got to the phone and the voice on the other line said: “For just seventy five cents an issue you can get a one year trial subscription….” (from Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations and Quotes, 2000, pg. 222).

B. The pain of disappointment, (slight pause) a pain each of us is all too familiar with. Disappointment because a loved one has let us down, disappointment in grades, our children, employers, or in our selves. The word-disappoint sounds benign, uneventful, and insignificant. That is until it becomes personal, personal like the pain of newspaper editor from a few years ago.

1. One of his top reports had phoned in a breaking story. The story was about an empty truck that had blown a tire and then rolled down a hill and smashed into a home. The editor was unimpressed and when the reporter came into his office he told him he wasn’t going to run the story because it wasn’t big enough or important enough to bother with. “I’m glad you’re taking this so calmly,” the reporter said, “Because it was your house the truck smashed into!”

2. When disappointment comes, no matter what it entails, it doesn’t seem so small or unimportant. It’s personal and it hurts whether its being dumped by the girl or guy you like in High School, being rejected by a college or employer, being disappointed in a friend who let you down, disappointed with your salary or job, your mother or father, sister or brother. Disappointment is more than a benign word. It is an emotional upheaval that brings the daily events of life crashing down driving us into depression, worry, bouts of anxiety and frustration.

C. But we are Christians, aren’t we? I mean we have the greatest reason for hope. We aren’t supposed to be sad, depressed or disappointed. We are supposed to rely on God in our times of despair and that takes care of it, doesn’t it? (pause)

1. If it were only so easy! I think that’s why I like the Psalms. For they don’t just paint this lovely, unrealistic ideal of life in Christ. For while the author is after God’s heart, a man who is truly seeking to follow God. He is also a man who sometimes feels no matter what he does he just can’t get ahead, he just can’t get a handle on life. That his enemy, the Enemy of disappointment, despair and death is always just around the corner trying to sabotage him.

2. God understands those feelings. He knows there are times in all of our lives when life just seems to get the better of us. That’s why he has given us His Word, not to say, “get a stiff upper lip”—“grow up” “poke those lip in before you trip over them”, but to realistically guide us through pain to the comfort of his eternal peace.


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