Disappointment: How to Turn a Test into Triumph

“Attention. This is a test. How you respond will reveal your heart.”

My husband recorded our children one night when they were very young. Unaware they were being recorded, they openly whined over having to go to bed instead of going out for ice cream.

Later, when we listened to the recording together, they giggled at themselves. Larry had fun replaying certain particularly pathetic sounding pleas.

By: Alberto G.That made me think about how I respond to disappointment. If I knew my heavenly Father was recording how I handle downers, would I alter my reactions?

What about you? If you knew your actions revealed what’s hidden in your heart, would you censor them? Those thoughts helped me with a recent letdown.

Every holiday season, I wish I had more room around our dining room table. With our home addition complete, we have room for a longer table this year. In early October, I found one on a website I thought would work. The sales representative told me it would arrive in their showroom in December.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving I learned it had arrived just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas! This would make the holiday season more fun for everyone.

My daughter Ginny rode with me to check it out. We liked it. But I wanted Larry to be happy with it too. He couldn’t make the three and a half hour round trip to see the table until Friday afternoon.

When I called to alert the sales woman that he was coming, her words stunned me. “If you’d called yesterday you could have had the table. It’s being loaded as we speak. A customer in Florida just bought it.”

This couldn’t be happening.

That week, I’d taught a group on the importance of entering God’s rest today. That means now instead of waiting until when I see resolution or when I understand why something happened.

The Scriptures talk about God testing Israel and us. Was this a test? Did I believe God’s timing was perfect? Would I trust Him in my disappointment? Was I putting conditions on my faith?

I could walk by faith or by sight. To bolster my faith, I looked up Scriptures on the purpose of tests. See what I found below:

  • My reactions under pressure reveal my respect for God’s authority. God was “…testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2, NASB).
  • My response to disappointment reveals my love for God. “The Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:3, NASB).
  • God uses tests for my ultimate benefit. “In the wilderness He fed you manna…that He might test you, to do good for you in the end” (Deuteronomy 13:8, NASB).
  • God allows tests for my personal growth and character. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-3, NASB).

Renewing my perspective calmed my nagging “what ifs.” Like brushing my teeth, my mind needs regular renewing to walk in faith.

What about you? Is some disappointment, frustration, or regret eroding your rest? May these verses encourage you as they did me.

Question: What trait of God best helps you trust Him with disappointment? Click here to comment.


Email: LighthouseMinistries@mac.com


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  1. Ann

    A very timely reminder for me to pay attention – all the time – to my responses to what’s happening in my life and to be more concerned with “passing the test” and pleasing God than with the outcome. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Ann. I feel a little silly sharing my reactions to such insignificant challenges in light of life’s bigger issues. But I know in reality that if I live there so do others. Even in the midst of a bigger crisis, it is often the smaller disappointments that can eat at us.

  2. Earle Finley

    His Sovereignty

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Earle. I hold on to that one!

  3. Dianne Cochran

    My God is all knowing and that trait helps me to rest in Him. I don’t have to fret or worry, because He has a plan for me. Whatever happens in my life, God has allowed it to first pass through His fingers!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Dianne. What a comfort.

  4. stephanie sudano

    Simply His trustworthiness. I am so assured by the knowledge of God’s promises combined with the fact that I KNOW He will keep them no matter how it appears from a human perspective. Promises to love me unconditionally, to work all things for my good (Romans 8:28), to never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). The list goes on:) Thank you Debbie for reminding us of how important our responses are to everything – they are an indicator of how we respond to other things.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Stephanie, Romans 8:28 has been an anchor for me. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Marilyn Couch

    “…You prepare a table before me…..” Psalm 23:5

    • Debbie Wilson

      Marilyn, that’s the best table!


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