Disappointment and Depression

We have all had those moments in life when what we had hoped for did not materialize. Our disappointments range from the recovery of a loved one from a sickness to a promotion on the job; and many other such things. Sometimes when these disappointments come, a period of depression follows. That is, we are down and out; heartbroken and in despair.

The importance of the things over which we experience disappointment and depression varies. Some things are silly and childish, like Ahab (1 Kgs. 21:1-4). Other things are monumental and weighty, like Elijah (1 Kgs. 19:1-14). None is of greater importance than the heartache over a wayward soul. No disappointment or depression can surpass the knowledge of one who has turned his or her back on the Lord. This is well illustrated by Jesus and Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37). The Jews had such promise, having the adoption, glory, covenants, law, service, promises, fathers, and from whom Christ came according to the flesh (Rom. 9:4-5). Yet, for all this, they rejected the Lord of glory.

Perhaps you have experienced the spiritual loss of one in whom you had great hope. It is painful and grievous. It will often cause you to question your role–Has it all been in vain? Is it time to give up? This is what Elijah felt when his life was threatened by Jezebel. God’s message to him was, Do “not grow weary while doing good, for in due season [you] shall reap if [you] do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9). His work was not in vain. It was an honor to the Lord, and the Lord took account of it. Besides, there was more work for him to do (1 Kgs. 19:15-16).

Disappointments and depression will come. Yet, we can take comfort knowing the Lord is mindful of all our sorrow and woe. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).

Steven F. Deaton