When the coronavirus brought the whole world to a screeching halt, you likely found yourself disappointed about your life, or perhaps the lack thereof.
Maybe you had to cancel a trip, a birthday party or even a wedding. If you’re a high school senior, maybe you’re mourning the graduation walk you waited 18 years to participate in. Perhaps you’re anxious about your income, worried about your loved ones or just miss your freedom.
Whatever you’re disappointed about, here are six things you can do to handle your disappointment in a healthy way.
It’s healthy to grieve. It’s unhealthy to not acknowledge the truth and shove feelings aside. Be honest with yourself, God and others. Use the reality of your newfound disappointments to draw you into God’s presence and depend on Him. “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, New International Version).
As the virus throws a wrench into your daily life, you may realize how much you enjoy controlling your plans, ambitions and desires. As a believer, you have to realize that it’s not all about you, and your life is not your own.
Could it be that God is using this time to draw people nearer to Him and asking you to stop clinging to worthless idols? Is God asking you to believe that He alone is your portion? That He is enough?
This could be a time to reset your priorities and focus your eyes on God. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV). If you expect things to go your way, then you are setting yourself up for failure. But if you give God control, then you’ll thrive even in the hard times.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV). There is still a lot to be thankful for — your family, God’s creation, His promises — even in the midst of the fear and chaos.
If you’re still healthy, if you still have a job and still have food in your house you can be thankful. Do not be like the Israelites, who complained about a lack of variety in food and scenery when they had just been spared from deadly plagues and freed after 400 years of slavery (Exodus 16:3).
Even if you don’t have those things, you can rejoice and be thankful knowing God’s purpose will prevail in everything. You can be thankful even if it’s only because He is purifying you and drawing your heart near to His.
Regardless of how you feel or what you’re going through, you can make the choice to trust God. The more you know Him and His promises, the easier it will be to make a fact-based decision to trust Him and let His love carry you through hard times. You can read Bible verses about trusting God and about God’s love for a start.
Jonah and the whale, Noah and the ark, Jesus and the tomb. Throughout the Bible, there was always a greater purpose on the other side of tragedy. The Bible says “all things work together for the good of those who love God” (Romans 8:28, New Living Translation). As producer and preacher DeVon Franklin says, “Though we may feel we are in a coffin at this moment, we are like a butterfly in a cocoon.”
We must remember: God is sovereign. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, He is still in complete control. After all, God promises His children, “I know the plans I have for you ... to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
The Book of Revelation mentions that many troubles, including plagues and pestilence, will be coming in the last days (Revelation 6:8). Jesus said in Matthew 24:7-8 (New King James Version), “There will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Jesus never instructs you to fear the difficulties that are coming but tells you to have peace: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Even though you can’t expect to live a conflict-free life, you can have hope and joy in the Lord and know how the story ends:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then He said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev. 21:3-5, NIV)
Next Step Resources
What does Jesus have to say to us during the coronavirus outbreak? And how should Christians respond to the epidemic?
When we hold hatred in our hearts for other ethnic groups or when we refuse to love or when we think of ourselves as more valuable than other people groups, we rebel against God’s best intentions for us. This divides us and turns us against one another. Yet we are not without hope.
There’s no perfect recipe to listening and lamenting — no three-step plan to change your own heart. But there are steps you can take to open yourself up to the voices of others and prepare yourself for the changes that God wants to work in you.
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