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Summary: Faith in Christ can help us overcome disappointments that we face in life.

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Series: Moving Forward In Life

OVERCOMING LIFE’S DISAPPOINTMENTS

Text: 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

"We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed." (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NCV)

Objective: To help the listener learn to turn their focus on Christ during times of disappointment.

Introduction:

Everyday brings many opportunities of disappointments. We can all look back and reflect upon some disappointment we have experienced in life. To say that we have all face a few disappointments in our life would be an undisputable fact.

But what does it mean to be disappointed? Webster defines disappoint as, failing to meet the expectation of or hope of something. It is being frustrated with an event in your life. To be disappointed is to be defeated in expectation. So, when we say that something is disappointing what we are saying is that it failed to meet our expectations. Disappointment can also be summed up in the word “defeat.”

Illustration: After five years of therapy the psychiatrist told his patient that they seldom used the term “cure,” but he was please to pronounce her completely cured. To his surprise the patient became obviously disappointed. The doctor asked, “What’s wrong? I thought you would be thrilled to know that your were cured.” The woman replied, “Doctor, look at it from my point of view. Five years ago I was Joan of Arc. Now I’m nobody.”1

Here is a woman who was disappointed because she expected to be someone she wasn’t. This is why so many people today face disappointments, they have wrong expectations. As a result, they face recurring disappointments and do not really know how to deal with them.

In our society today, we respond to disappointments in a disproportionate manner. Let me give you some examples:

1. Someone pulls out in front of an individual who is running late for work. The response is “road rage” which often brings tragedy.

2. A malfunction in some piece of modern equipment. This test our patience and many people become overly angry.

3. An individuals food order is wrong. The waiter gets chewed up.

4. Disappoints in marriage end in divorce.

There is a vast difference between disappointment and difficulties, or even disasters. As expectations rise so do disappointments: new technology, faster services, etc.

While it is true that we face disappointments we must learn to handle these disappointments:

1. In a mature manner

2. With a Christian attitude.

Disappointment is the trigger to destruction. Follow this cycle:

disappointment leades to discouragement which leads to disobedience which leads to destruction.

It’s not just a matter of handling our disappointments, or our defeats, it is avoiding future disasters.

When faced with disappointments in life, the best way to deal with them is to go to God with all your disappointments. Make them a matter of prayer. Research God’s Word. God has an answer to handling disappointments. How can we utilize God’s Word and His guidance to help us overcome the disappointments that we face in life.

I. REALIZE THE DISAPPOINTMENT (OR DEFEAT) IS NOT AS BAD AS YOU PERCEIVE IT.

A. You need to see it from God’s perspective. "Each time he said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me." (2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT)

1. You get God’s perspective from His Word.

2. You get God’s perspective in prayer.

3. You get God’s perspective in a growing personal relationship with Him.

B. Disappointment is only temporary. Don’t let it lead to greater problems.

C. If you want to be distressed, look within.

If you want to be defeated, look back.

If you want to be distracted, look around.

If you want to be dismayed, look ahead.

If you want to be delivered, look to Christ.

If you want to be delighted, look up!2

II. RESPOND TO THE DISAPPOINTMENT (OR DEFEAT) WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE.

A. Disappointments are a tool to measure your level of self discipline and self control.

1. Often disappointments are the result of a lack of self-discipline.

2. Often disappointments are the result of a lack of self-control.

B. Disappointments reveal the nature of your heart by the manner in which you respond.

C. The right attitude. "Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good." (Romans 12:21, NLT)

1. Refuse to act irrational.

2. Refuse to become discouraged.

3. Refuse to become angry.

4. Refuse to become bitter.

5. Refuse to become fearful.

6. Refuse to hate.

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