Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Living by faith when a vacation is cut short

Our regular getaway

This time of year Jan and I usually head out of town and spend two nights at a bed and breakfast on the coast.

So Monday we packed up and headed off with great expectations.

But after we’d been there an hour, Jan started feeling sick.  It slowly got worse.  And worse.

I’ll spare you the details — but Jan has never been that sick.  After a miserable night, we drove home this morning.

Thankfully, Jan is better.  But we’re still feeling disappointed.

What is disappointment?

Disappointment is the emptiness we feel when something we’ve hoped in does not happen.

There’s much bigger disappointments than missing a two-night getaway —  disappointments about your children, your marriage, your ministry, your life.

But large or small — disappointments are painful.

A promise for every problem

Spurgeon said God has a promise for every problem.

So — what does God promise about disappointments?

Disappointments are not dead-ends — they are God-ordained detours.

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.  Gen 50:20

Joseph’s evil brothers cost him years in a dungeon.  Those wasted years could be seen as a dead-end.

But Joseph understood that those years were not a wasted dead-end.  God had taken him on an unexpected detour — which would bring him something even better.

Disappointments are God-ordained detours to an even more satisfying destination.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2Cor 12:8-9

Paul asked God to remove his thorn in the flesh.  God said No.

But God told Paul that his thorn in the flesh was not a dead-end — it was a God-ordained detour to give Paul an even greater experience of Christ’s power.

But for this to encourage Paul, he would need to feel that closeness with Christ was a greater joy than freedom from the thorn.

That’s where my battle needs to be fought.

Living by faith when disappointed

So how can we fight the fight of faith when we are disappointed?  Here’s what I’m doing —

  • I’m coming to God with my disappointment, trusting that — because of Jesus — the Father loves me, welcomes me, and will help me.
  • I’m searching my heart, to see what I’ve been trusting for my joy — the 2-day getaway or Jesus.
  • I’m confessing that in some ways I’ve been trusting the 2-day getaway more.  I’m asking for forgiveness and cleansing.
  • I’m asking God to help me feel that the joy of Jesus is infinitely more satisfying than a 2-day getaway.
  • I’m asking God to strengthen my faith so I trust that the detour of coming home can bring Jan and me even more joy in Christ than the 2-day getaway.
  • I’m setting my heart on Christ, asking Him to open my eyes to see Him so clearly that I can rejoice in this detour as a means of gaining more of Christ.
  • And I’m asking the Father to completely heal Jan, and pour His comfort and joy upon her.

This is still in process.  But I know I’m on the right path.

What about you?

How have you handled disappointments?  What promises have helped?  I’d love to hear your thoughts — leave a reply below.

Do you know anyone who’s battling disappointment?  Send this to them with the “share” button below.  Or if you think it would help — use the buttons to share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

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Category: Stories from My Life


8 Responses

  1. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) says:

    I’m really sorry that your wife Jan got sick during your desiderated short vacation. I hope you’re having a good recovery, Jan, and I pray that God will bless you both and compensate you by His supernatural comfort.

    I know such disappointments as well. In our summer vacation in 2008 our daughter and me fell alternately sick (she: three times in two weeks!) and the whole family couldn’t sleep at night because of noisy music, rumbling catering and litter services a n d drunken tourists.
    Though it had not been boring at all – this vacation was not lacking in variety (haha) – we all have been glad to be at home again.

    Best wishes

  2. Christian Zorio says:

    Great biblical insight in assessing and addressing this issue.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks, Christian. And I’m looking forward to being with the West Hills community Sunday night — see you then.

  3. Bill Schuler says:

    Am going through a major disapointment. I didnt even want to read this article,Im so low. So surprised at how quickly disapointment can strike,and how battered my faith is. Cant say Im better off now after reading this, but I do know Im not alone.

  4. Natasha Kay says:

    Having my husband of 8 years walk out and leave our family was the biggest disappointment of my life. No one would have faulted me for giving up and living in grief. And yet God calling me to fight and save my marriage alone for the following year was more than just disappointing, it was devastating. I had hundreds of reasons to give up and wallow in my pain, anger, hurt, bitterness and disappointment.

    But where in the Bible did Jesus do that?! Despite him being “well-deserving” of such self-pity, he never did.

    By God’s grace (and miracles), we made it through and I can honestly say, four years post-reconciliation, being in the valley during that time was the BEST thing that has ever happened to me and our marriage. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    Circumstances come and go — often times very disappointing ones — but it’s how we respond that makes the difference. Like you said, we trust Jesus to be the satisfaction. It pays off every time!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks so much for sharing this, Natasha.

      What a powerful testimony to God’s grace — “being in the valley during that time was the BEST thing that has ever happened to me and our marriage. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

      I hope others read what you wrote — it could bring much hope to those sunk down in disappointment.

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