When Disappointment Steals Your Joy

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What happens when you don’t get what you really want? How does that disappointment affect your delight and joy in the Lord? 

There are plenty of times when circumstances don’t work out like we want them to. I’m sure you can think of something right now, possibly even a recent situation when you didn’t get what you really, really wanted: a new job, a relationship, a promotion, or maybe even just some gratitude or recognition for something kind you did or spent hours working on for someone else.

THE TRAP

It’s important to take time to evaluate your heart and determine whether or not you’ve moved from simply wanting something, to living for it. Many of us have fallen into the joy-killing trap that the fulfillment of our desires determines our level of satisfaction in the Lord. Although we might not say it out loud, that’s become the reality and standard by which we gauge joy in our relationship with Him.

Perhaps the Lord used to be your supreme delight—it was easy to feel satisfied in Him, but now you see the Lord as merely an obstacle to your happiness. What happened? How do we get back to delighting in Him?

  • KNOW THE JOY-KILLERS

The joy-killers are lies that most often come to us in the form of “if-only, then” statements. We believe that "if only I could have (blank), then I would be happy, satisfied, and fulfilled."

However, we need to recognize these are lies that aim to steal our joy. The truth is that apart from God, you will never be satisfied (Proverbs 27:20). In fact, even if you did get the thing you wanted, you would still want more or something else. This points us to the reality that we were made for greater fulfillment than people, possessions, or feelings can offer. Prepare for these times and confront these lies with the truth of God's Word—He is the true source of all joy and eternal satisfaction (Psalm 16:5; 11).

  • KNOW THE JOY-GIVER

In all of our disappointments and trials, a question is being asked and answered: what do you really believe about God? Do you know God according to His Word? Have you embraced Him? For example, if you really believed and embraced the truth that God is Sufficient, meaning, He is enough and is doing enough in relation to your life, would you strive so hard for approval in your relationships or worry so much about your circumstances? For every need you have, He is more than enough. He is the greatest good we will ever know. When your hurting, aching heart suffers and wants, know the Joy-Giver and the things of this world will grow strangely dim.


TO LIVE

It is important to remember that it's not necessarily bad for you to want the things you want (ex: affection or a new job or peace in your relationships). The problem comes when we turn from wanting those things, to living for them. If you're interested in going deeper with this topic, download our free 6-day study, How to Deal with Unmet Desires & Satisfy the Longings of Your Heart. We will closely examine desires and the ways they impact your life and relationships.