Navigating Life to Thrive in Christ Despite Disappointments

Discouragement can affect us all and even our relationship with God. In this post, I’m sharing how to thrive in Christ despite disappointments.

Isn’t it easy to fight discouragement when you’re dealing with disappointments? Or even easy to get mad at God? Have you ever had a trial-laced-situation land in your lap that caused you to “miss out” on certain things or events in your life?

It’s when:

  • you’re a caregiver
  • you didn’t get the promotion you wanted
  • important events happen without you
  • your finances are sucked dry
  • you’re recovering from an accident

Those kinds of seasons make you feel as if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time and have missed out on something you would have enjoyed. 

Nobody likes to miss out on life’s great happenings. Nobody enjoys being unable to spend time with loved ones.

Unlikeable days like that have happened to me every time I was expecting one of my four children.

I was bedridden from severe morning sickness. I was an invalid instead of taking care of my family. During each of those times, I missed out on a lot. I even had to miss church for months at the beginning of each pregnancy.

They told me all about the fun events, how fabulous all the people looked, and how fantastic the decor was. I would sadly look at the photos and cry because I missed out.

The really bad part? It affected my relationship with God. I wasn’t thriving in Christ in the face of my disappointments.

Cheating on God

I was driving down the road, worship music playing, dressed nice, makeup on, hair fixed, and wearing a pleasant expression. If anyone in the next lane looked my way it would have appeared that nothing was wrong, but on the inside, my heart was in turmoil. I tried to engage my heart in worship, but God felt…distant.

My thoughts flashed back to a season I experienced as a very young adult when it was early in my full pursuit of Him, and He wooed me with His sweet presence. It was so gentle. He would answer me immediately on any question I wondered. His presence would meet me strongly at the very first minute of calling His name. I felt Him. I savored His goodness.

My heart began longing for that kind of season again. It had been months since I had felt Him, or received an immediate response to my inquiries. The inner turmoil made its way to being plainly seen on the outside as large teardrops slipped slowly down my cheek.

“God, why can’t we go back to that season?”

“Because you’re not ready yet,” He replied gently.

My heart sunk, but I knew He was right. I had run. Our relationship had suffered, and it was my fault.

I was mad with God because I missed out on “life.” I would never get those days back.

A case of adultery between a husband and wife that were eventually healed and reunited came to mind. A beautiful, yet raw story of how God can bring change. Before the reconciliation, there was a period of healing. God showed me that I wasn’t ready because I needed to heal.

Thrive in Christ Despite the Disappointments of Missing Out

“You’re not ready yet.”

The phrase swirled in my head. As I meditated on it I realized perceived hurt from Him blocked a true view of Him. I didn’t want anything to come between us, but the hurt was a hindrance.

I wondered how to get back to where I wanted to be with God. He showed me that I had stepped away—by choice—one little step at a time. I could step back to Him—by choice—one step at a time. It was going to take time to retrain my thinking and to rebuild healthy habits.

He needed to heal my heart and was there with arms wide open. He never stopped loving or pursuing me. I chose to step back toward Him and fell as a crumpled heap into His arms. He took my hand at the moment I made the choice to take one step at a time towards Him. He stood me up and breathed His breath of life on my heart.

Feast on These 5 Promises Despite Disappointments

What about you? Have you endured a long difficult season? Those letdowns make you feel like the life has been sucked right out of you. You don’t understand. It’s not fair. There’s turmoil knotted in your heart, and you wish it would all go away.

But it’s the Thief that comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came to bring life!

Thrive in Christ regardless of your disappointments by feasting on these five verses:

John 10:10 ESV

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Romans 8:28 NASB

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:37-38 NLT

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

Psalm 147:3 ESV

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Philippians 4:6-9 NLT

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me–everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Counsel Yourself

That last passage is like a counseling session in a nutshell. First, “pray about everything.” Pour out your heart. Dump it all on Him. Lay out every problem, hurt, and disappointment. Tell Him you need healing and then thank Him for it and everything else He’s working to your good.

Then exchange yokes. You’ve given Him the burden, now take on His instructions of a renewed mind. “Fix your thoughts” on all these better adjectives that sure beat disappointments and discouragement. Finally, choose to trust Him. Keep living this way and you’ll have His peace.

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Here is a prayer you can pray:

Father, thank You for never ceasing to love me no matter what I have gone through. I’m grateful that nothing is able to separate me from Your love. I have gone through a season in which “life” has been stolen from me. Jesus, You said You give abundant life. I give You every disappointment, hurt, and burden. Let Your Spirit come and breathe over this season with Your breath of life.

What I have endured can work together for my good because I love you, even if it is to reveal my need for more of You. Thank You for being fully present whenever I come to You. Cleanse me from any sin that has hindered a closeness with You. Heal my heart. Restore joy to my days as I renew my mind to Your truth. I trust You, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What kind of disappointment are you suffering? Do you think your healing with God has already begun? What verses from the rest of the post spoke to you most? What other Bible verses help us thrive in Christ despite disappointments of any kind?

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  1. MichieBoo says:

    Thank you Kelly for this timely message. It was the whisper of encouragement that I needed. God bless you and your ministry and I pray that it continues to bless others.
    Blessings in Christ always,

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      I’m glad to hear that! God bless you, MichieBoo

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this encouragement Kelly! God always speaks through our toughest challenges. A verse that has sustained me is Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      That’s been an anchor verse for me as well. Thanks for stopping by, Kim!

  3. Such an honest, vulnerable post, Kelly. Thank you for the encouragement and the beautiful prayer! It’s powerful.

    Peace and grace,

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thank you so much, Tammy, for your kind comment!

  4. Such a beautifully written post. Thank you for your encouraging words.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Julie!

  5. Yesterday I was wallowing in the disappointment that its been, “A long difficult season,” God isn’t moving fast enough and I need (want) immediate change …perhaps I’m not ready yet. Healing before reconciliation.

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