It was Halloween and my young sons were already learning how to deal with disappointment.

After hours of trick or treating, they walked in with bags jammed with Halloween candy. I greeted them at the door and held out my hand. “Give them all to Mom.” I said faking a sinister grin.

“Why?” They all protested.

No need to give reasons. They knew why.

They’re desire was to devour as much as they could. But Mom had different plans—to ration and be selective when and how much they would eat.

Was I a mean Mom? Or just teaching them that in life, dealing with disappointment is as certain as masks in Halloween? Disappointments come in all areas—candy consumption, in desires, and disappointments in relationships. There are things that don’t turn out the way we expected. And there are even disappointments at the end of hard work. But to survive and thrive in life, there are ways to deal with disenchantments.

Here are five ways to face them and triumph in spite of them:

1. Disappointments always open a new direction where our strength, our wisdom and patience are sharpened.

2. Disappointments bring about a new perspective when emotions are not involved.

3. Disappointments might just be divine appointments with God to a better option, a greater outcome, and a brighter result.

4. Disappointments can build our faith if we choose to first trust God.

5. Disappointments we face don’t change God’s plans.

Disappointments, heartache, let downs and hard times are life’s weeds in the garden of God’s plans. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Father, when disappointments invade my peace, may I remember they don’t change what you mapped out for me, they don’t alter the future you designed, nor do they change the blessings you have waiting for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

• What disappointment has you down lately?

• Where do you find peace in the midst of disappointment?

• Are you confident in your ability of dealing with disappointments?

Janet P. Eckles

Coming soon Janet’s new book: Contagious Courage: Your 30-day guide to Triumph During Dark Times

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