Life Lessons About Disappointments

“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

Where are you in life?

Years ago, a wise college president told me, “As I look back on my life I can see the hand of God and how He was with me all along.” I frequently think of this leader and tell myself, It’s so much easier to see the hand of God looking backward, than when you’re in the heat of the battle.

Looking toward the future might be called vision or goal-setting. However, looking at our past reminds us of our mistakes, our successes, the relationships that worked or didn’t work, and most of all how God was involved in our lives – in spite of our circumstances.

What can we learn from our past?

Mistakes and failures can be our friends.

We can learn from these experiences and become better people who are deeper in character, better at forgiving others, and more understanding of how to forgive ourselves. God gives us new chances and helps us get back on track.

“No child of God sins to that degree as to make himself incapable of forgiveness.”
John Bunyan

Sorrows, rejections, and loss can take us into a deeper relationship with Christ. 

When we experience loss, we also feel a deep sense of grief. We can look at the rejection or loss and grow deeper, wiser, more compassionate, and more understanding of others.

Relationships – whether good or bad – are helpful, as we see by example what we want to become – or not become.

Relationships are contagious; they influence us. We must use caution when choosing whom to become close with. Rejections from people are no big deal; they are only people, not God. Our greatest relationship is the one we have with Jesus Christ. He will never leave us; he will always forgive us and believe in us.

Success and accomplishments can remind us of God’s favor, His blessings, and the people who helped us get there.

We are where we are because of decisions we’ve made, environments we’ve lived in, people we’ve known, and mistakes and successes we’ve experienced along the way. We’ve been influenced by people who’ve touched our lives for good or bad, and significant others who’ve taken the time to be part of our lives.  Most of all, God has quietly directed our steps, opened doors for our involvement, and prepared a future for us as we walk with Him.

The gift of your past includes successes and failures, wonderful experiences and disappointments, mentors and those who served as bad examples, times of sinful behavior or attitudes, and times of receiving forgiveness and restoration. God has opened and closed doors, and He will not waste one single experience of your life. You can be optimistic and full of hope, anticipating all that God has prepared for you.

“God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us
lessons that we could learn in no other way.”  

~ C.S. Lewis

You are a leader, are highly favored, and have all the necessary gifts to do all that God has asked you to do.

I am always …

Your Friend and Servant in Christ,

Wayde Goodall, D.Min.
Dean, College of Ministry
Northwest University