Why Do We Face Disappointment?

By: Carol McClain    carol_mcclain

“Being confident in this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6, KJV).

How I love the above Scripture.

How often have I misinterpreted it?

I usually look at it as the fulfillment of my dreams. I worked hard at my writing. I made connections. I studied and prayed. I achieved excellence.

Still, my career is stalled.

Yesterday I received a GORGEOUS rejection letter:

Our acquisitions editor read and loved your manuscript. It is extremely good.
Unfortunately, we are going to have to pass on it… (and because your story is exceptional), this was a very hard decision that we didn’t make without a great deal of prayer. Bottom line, God said no. I can only guess it’s because He has a greater plan for your book. (I can’t wait to see it!) …but the fact that the Lord Himself is directing its path gives me such hope for it!

Having done everything struggling writers strive for, I find that God has thwarted my path. Like Paul, it is hard to kick against the pricks.

So what does God want for me? Although I’d love for it to be a contract with Thomas Nelson and reaching number one on the NYT Best Seller list, I have to look to my currently favorite book in the Bible–Philippians.

What is the good work God has begun in each of us?

Why do we face disappointment?

  1. Character: The good work He has begun in us is our character. Who we are and what we’ve done with the talents He’s given us is paramount. God doesn’t care about the end result as much as who we are.
    • are we humble?
    • do we concern ourselves with the welfare of others?
    • are we grateful?
    • are we people of good character?
    • are we lights in the world that bring praise to our heavenly father?
  2. God’s Kingdom: I wanted to write about this verse last week, but my interpretation stopped me. I’d always seen this as a personal–written to me–verse. Then I saw another side. Paul is writing to the community of the Philippians–essentially to the church. As a group/community/body of believers, he says God will continue the work. Life’s not about my own interests. God knows they’re important, and He gives us dreams to achieve. However, we need to remember:
    • There’s strength in numbers. The world needs to change. The best way to effect the change is for the church to be strong and whole and living in accordance to God’s will.
    • Through the church, we can heal others and in turn, be healed ourselves.
    • Ultimately, the church is going to be victorious. It will be the light of the world. Society may disparage us now, but we are the victors.

If we truly live in Christ, the only thing that matters is God’s will. It’s easier to flow with His dreams than to fight for what is not in our best interests or the interests of the kingdom.

Rejection and disappointment don’t necessarily mean you failed. It could well be God is correcting your course.




  1. Kathy Anderson says:

    Yes, indeed, that is a beautiful rejection letter. A good lesson to remember from Philippians. Thank you

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