dark logo

Facing Financial Disappointment

FaithFi: Faith & Finance | Mar 26, 2024


Show Notes

Disappointment is inevitable, but discouragement is a choice.

People love to look into the future. We all have hopes, and dreams, and expectations about what we want our life to be. So, we make plans. Plans to save, serve, build a family, work, travel, learn, grow…you name it. Planning is part of what it takes to make our dreams come true. And there’s nothing wrong with planning. Planning is an important part of being a good steward of whatever God has entrusted to you.

But here's the problem. Our plans don’t always succeed. Dreams fail. Expectations go unmet. And then, disappointment happens…maybe more than we want to admit.

  • Perhaps you invested your savings…but now inflation is killing your returns.
  • Or you worked hard to start a business, but it still isn’t making a profit.
  • You planned for your marriage to last…only to experience an expensive divorce.
  • Maybe you’ve been working towards that promotion…but someone else got the job.
  • Or, you planned to have a big nest egg when you retire…but health issues have reduced your savings.
  • And then there’s always the disappointment of finding your adult child living in your basement when you thought they were going to be financially independent.

How Do You Handle the Disappointments and Unmet Expectations You Face?

Financial disappointments can cause some people to shake their fist at God and lose faith.  Others might become discouraged, depressed or apathetic. Sometimes, disappointment leads to broken relationships. Stress and anxiety are common responses when our plans fail. In fact, the more important we think something is, the more upset we are when our expectations aren’t met.

It’s not sinful to feel disappointed. But your reaction to disappointments can become sin if you’re not careful.  According to God’s word, discouragement, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, and fear are all sinful attitudes. Ephesians 4:31 warns about them: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you.”

So, you can respond to disappointment with discouragement, anger, fear, or apathy…or you can take a more positive approach…realizing that unmet expectations are often God’s way of leading you in a new direction. Just look at how many disappointed people there are in the Bible, and see how God worked in their lives.

Like Sarah and Hannah, who couldn’t have children. Or Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery. Or imagine how Jesus must have felt when Judas betrayed him. But the Lord had amazing plans for these unmet expectations: Sarah and Hannah ultimately had children who changed the world. Joseph saved his people. Jesus saved us all.

Here’s another thought: Your response to the disappointments in your own life can be a powerful witness to those around you. Maybe this isn’t the way you thought your life would turn out…but God can use your unmet expectations…for your good and his glory.

A Godly Approach To Financial Disappointments

When life doesn’t go your way, it’s common to look for someone to blame.  Instead, ask God to help you forgive the people who’ve hurt you. Begin to pray for the strength to live through your difficult circumstances. In addition, recognize that it may be time to let go of your expectations, and ask God to show you his plans. People and circumstances are unreliable, but Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. The Lord is always loving, faithful, and just.

The bottom line? God never fails. You can trust him, even in the midst of your deepest disappointments, when big expectations come to nothing, and people let you down.  God will make a way for you every time.  It might not be what you expect, but it will be good. Hold on to what’s true, from Romans 8:28: we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

The late Charles Stanley, a faithful preacher of God’s truth for many years, said this about disappointment: “Disappointment is inevitable. But to become discouraged, there's a choice I make. God would never discourage me. He would always point me to himself to trust him.”

On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:

  • I am 75 and my husband is 76 and we are retired. Recently we went to one of the marketplaces for our supplemental health insurance coverage and while there, the agent recommended that we get this hospital benefit that would pay extra money should we ever be hospitalized. It sounded good at first but now as I’m second guessing it, I’m not sure if it was timely or wise. Any thoughts? 
  • I’m calling on behalf of my brother who is in about $40,000 in credit card debt with about a 30% interest rate. He makes about $900 a week and his minimum payments are about $1300 a month. He’s looked at bankruptcy as well as national debt relief programs, do you have any ideas on how he can realistically pay down this debt? 
  • I’m 65 years old and financially secure. I want to do something for my grandson who will be two years old in August. However, I want this to be as hands-free as possible since my daughter isn’t the most astute when it comes to taxes and I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around. What’s the best investment tool I can put the money in to accomplish this goal? 
  • If I have a mortgage with a small loan and I make extra payments toward it throughout the year, does that really make that much of a difference? 
  • What is the difference between a living trust and a will and which is better? 

Resources Mentioned:

Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.

dark logo

Where Faith Meets Finance

You May Also Like