And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us. Romans 5:4-5 (NCV)

Disappointment comes into our lives in a variety of ways. Our disappointments can be minor and only affect our lives for a few moments, or major disappointment can change the course of our lives forever.

How we handle disappointment depends on many factors such as our emotional well-being, the size of the disappointment and any physical or financial impact it can have on our lives.

The size of our disappointment and how we handle it is largely dependent on hope. Hope is based on expectations and desire. The more we cherish something the more we ‘hope’ to have it come true, last longer, or be a part of us. The size and effect of our disappointment is dependent on what we have our hope based on.

We can put our hope on a relationship, but relationships are made of people and people are human and humans fail.

We can place our hope on special interests or politics, but politics are as fickle as the people who make them up.

We can place our hope on money, but as many have found out lately, you can work your whole life to amass a nice retirement account and see it flitter away in the winds of health, economic disaster or divorce.

Some place their hope in religion, but religion is nothing more than a set of rules based on false hopes and expectations. Some have even placed their hope on God and been disappointed because he didn’t deliver as they ‘hoped’ he would.

Disappointment is a fact of life and no matter how you live you will encounter disappointment. How disappointment affects you isn’t dependent on what happened to cause the disappointment but on what you have your hopes based on. Base your hopes on anything other than the promises of God given through his son Jesus Christ and disappointment will be harsh and perhaps even fatal. Hope placed on God is hope based on someone who has never ever failed and knows what is best for us.

I don’t always understand why God does what he does. I’ve been disappointed countless times. Disappointed in myself, in others and in life’s circumstances. But when measured up against God’s promises those disappointments are easier to bear.

One other thing that makes disappointment easier to bear is patience. The Apostle Paul writes, “Patience produces character which produces in us a hope that will never leave us disappointed.” I am learning that if I patiently wait for God to do his work my hopes will be realized and my disappointments will be less severe. I can be patient when I hope in God because the outcome is no longer in my hands or the hands of others, but in a God of mercy, grace and power who is passionately in love with me.

PRAYER: Father God. Life seems to be on disappointment after another. Unanswered prayer, relational disaster, financial calamity, political and natural disasters seem rampant. Empower me with your Spirit to put my hope in you and patiently wait for you to do what needs to be done. Help me to trust you as my only hope and salvation. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.