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Online Articles

Conquering Difficulties & Disappointments

    Well, who said that life would be easy? It is often filled with various trials and tribulations that can test our faith.  Our parents, teachers, friends, family, and mentors are who we may look to when trying to overcome our feelings of frustration and disappointment when things don’t go the way we wished.  Our behavior and attitudes are challenged at these difficult times.  Who doesn’t want to be liked, appreciated, successful, prosperous, accepted, part of the group, chosen, or promoted?  We spend so much of our “growing up” time learning how to find happiness and contentment.  We love it when things are going our way and filling us with satisfaction.  But, unfortunately, life isn’t perfect.  Learning how to deal with difficulties and disappointments is all too familiar to us.  I have always been told that we are a product of our upbringing.  How our parents handled their misfortunes or setbacks gave us the experience in how to cope or deal with adversity.  Hopefully, for you, their faith is what aided you during troublesome times.  The determination to conquer these situations takes strength and courage.

    How many of us have observed someone navigating their way through hardships?  In the business world, I have heard many successful people say that they learned greatly from their mistakes or misfortunes.  They felt empowered by the difficulties that eventually led to them to a greater understanding of what was required of them to be who they are today.

    The Bible forewarns us that as Christians we will be faced with various trying times.  However, it provides the template of how to overcome them.  It’s hard to be disciplined in our continual struggle to please or to be pleased.  But, with the right attitude and desire to increase our faith, God has promised us that He is always there.  Psalm 23 3-4 tells us, “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

    Some of our disappointments are when we don’t feel like we have measured up to the standards set by others.  We may feel like a failure when they are not met.  When there is so much promise with so little gained, frustration sets in.  Did you have expectations that were too high, or were you misguided?  Did not measuring up cause you to be humiliated or embarrassed?  Did you have feelings of sadness?  This is the time to have self-perspective and try to understand the big picture and to meet the challenges set forth by God.  Be obedient.  Love what is right and good, and seek His advice.  Let God be your guide because He has the standard.  He is always encouraging you to have the proper attitude in your time on this earth. “And let us not become weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9).  In essence, perseverance is the key!

    Nothing is more poignant in regard to dealing with difficulties and disappointments as our current situation with the pandemic.  It has been everything but peaceful.  We have been bombarded with too many lies, speculations, conjectures, mistrust and misleading from our nation’s leaders, as well as  physicians who just don’t know the answers.  Our lives have been further complicated not just by strangers, but by those we love.  There are those who have tremendous fear in fellowshipping with one another, shaking hands, embracing or essentially having any social contact because they are afraid of the virus.  Then there are others who have a laissez-faire attitude. Then there are those who fall somewhere in-between these two attitudes.  This I know – I don’t know the answers.  Guess what?  None of us do! There are too many questions with no right answers.  It’s like we are reliving the history of yellow fever or the great influenza of 1918. Despite modern medicine, we are still, as we say, learning in progress. Only time will tell.    

    This is a time when we are called to embrace one another and shower each other with love and respect despite our different circumstances. Everyone we meet is dealing with a struggle that we often know nothing about.  We are obligated to have the determination to do what’s right.  In a world that is not peaceful, we must seek peace. I implore you to ask for guidance from God.  He understands who we are.  He knows when we are faced with difficulties and disappointments.  He has the answers.  It is written in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.  Let all that you do be done with love.”

    Attitude is always a key ingredient.  Just remember that when you are experiencing something that could be a defining moment in your life – look to God.  He cares.