As I write this blog on the day before Election Day, I have no idea what the outcome will be. The one thing I do know is that roughly half the country will be very disappointed. So how do we handle discouraging circumstances in a Christ-like way? How do we bounce back after a major disappointment? Let’s look at three ways we can experience resilience when we don’t win.
Realize that God Has a Bigger Plan and Purpose. When we face a discouragement in life, it’s easy to think that all is lost and our lives will never be the same. To be honest, sometimes things do change and they change for the worse, but that doesn’t mean that God is incapable of using even the worst of circumstances for a greater good. The Bible is clear that God is sovereign and His ways are unfathomable. He is able to take even the most dreaded of situations (the cross) and bring redemption and restoration through them.
Respond Without Regrets. No matter what happens, we have a responsibility at followers of Christ to reflect His heart. We must respond as people who have faith in an all-knowing God, and not as those filled with fear and anger. We are people of hope, and we must show hope to the world around us. Our hope is that God will do more than we ask or imagine beyond what we see in front of us. So what does a healthy response look like? Kindness, love and respect for our neighbors. Humility and prayer for our country. Trust in a God who is bigger than our disappointment.
Recognize There Are Still Reasons to be Thankful. In this month of Thanksgiving we need to reflect and focus on those things for which we can give thanks. And there are plenty! Sometimes we need to look a little deeper and be more thoughtful, but we can always find a reason to be grateful. Start a thankfulness journal this month – even if you are not a journaler. I’ve never been a journaler myself, but I do write down a list of at least five things I’m thankful for each morning. It changes our perspective and outlook and helps us see that God is at work. It reminds us that He is using even the difficulties in life to bring truth and light into a dark world.
No matter what the outcome, each of us can experience victory and strength as we deepen our faith and trust in our all-knowing God. Instead of being fearful and angry, turn your heart and mind upwards and remember that God is on His throne. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of disappointment is that it can bring us to a stronger reliance on Him and a deeper life of prayer.
Go Vote (if you haven’t already), and draw close to the Lord in prayer.