Disappointment vs. Discouragement (how we keep going)

I have a good friend named Ashley.  In high school she was very athletic, enjoying full participation in several sports - basketball, cheer, softball... and a great player on the church volleyball team!  Then she blew her knee out.  It was bad.  I remember having conversations with Ashley, and while she had a lot of pain and disappointment, she seemed to never become totally discouraged.  Eventually, her knee healed up and she was able to be involved in athletics once more.

It's been several years since then, but the memory of Ashley's persistence in pushing through disappointment, and not falling prey to discouragement still awakens hope within me. 

Because, I'm a lot like you, I'd guess.  Disappointment happens.  Things don't go the way I expected.  People let me down.  I let people down.  Failure and frustration are a part of the journey.

Disappointment is to fail to fulfill one's expectations or wishes.  It happens.

I've known many people though, who, unlike my friend Ashley, become discouraged.  Literally, they lose the courage to continue with whatever path, relationship, event, whatever, that led to the disappointment.  Their knee blows out, and they quit.

Discouragement is akin to depression, despair and hopelessness.  It is being deprived of courage, of hope, or confidence. 

The reality is there will be disappointments in life.  The challenge is to not let disappointment become discouragement.  With failure, there is still hope!  With failed expectations, there is still courage and confidence to continue!

Where do you find this hope? ...this confidence?  Ultimately, I've had to find it outside of myself.  I have found that no matter what life throws at me and mine, there is One who is constant in hope.  A passage from the Bible writings of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 17:7) keep this hope in front of me: Blessed are those who trust in God, and have made God their hope and confidence.

For me, the key to facing disappointment, and not slipping into discouragement, is to trust in God.  No matter how good I think I am, or how amazing the team is that I have around me, disappointments will come.  Keeping my identity in Jesus, not in my abilities - no in the performance of others - keeps me filled with courage and hope!

How do you handle disappointment and keep from being discouraged?
Ashley encouraging others to keep going.


Unknown said…
I needed that read....miss ya!

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