Dealing With Disappointments

disappointmentby Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Disappointment is endemic. There is hardly a day that goes by that we do not have some disappointments. For the cook: the cake or the casserole did not turn out as expected. It may even have been a disaster! The loss of a family member or a friend can bring severe disappointment. We can even be disappointed when our football or baseball team loses. We can be disappointed with ourselves when we make mistakes, that we thought we could avoid.

Some disappointments are relatively easy to get over. “Well, the Dodgers lost, but maybe they will win tomorrow.” When we make mistakes, we can learn from them, and be more careful in the future. When we lose a husband or wife or child or parent or close friend the disappointment can be devastating. Serious financial loss can shake our confidence, cause us to question ourselves, and to sink into a pool of despond.

God knows our disappointments, and he wants to deliver us from them. The Psalms were written, in part at least, to recognize our disappointments and to lead us out of them. Again, disappointments and discouragements are a common experience. They can lead us to correct faults, to avoid certain mistakes in the future. They can help us to recognize how important friends and family are to us.

Ultimately, and hopefully sooner and not later, we find comfort in our Savior because we know that God made us in his image. We know that he gives us gifts that we can use for our wellbeing and for the wellbeing of others. God has a purpose for every one of our lives. If we will confess our sins to him, we will always find forgiveness. “My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for our only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:1,2) If we continue to beat ourselves up—it is because we have not taken him at his word!

We all experience sorrow—but our Lord gives us hope. If we trust in him, we are not alone. We have our Savior to help us and guide us. We cannot avoid disappointments and discouragements, but we must expect to be delivered from them. It is of no use to continue to feel sorry for ourselves or to use our hurts as an excuse for continuing despond. Consider the words of our Savior: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Remember: We are created in the image of God. God loves you and desires the very best for you. He has given us the Bible to teach us, the Church to help us, family and friends to encourage us. And he gives us absolutely certain promises for the future, if we will give ourselves to him.

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

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Lance Armstrong: The Truth about Lying

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Every violation of truth is a stab at the health of human society.” ~Emerson

Lance Armstrong, winner of seven Tour de France Titles, celebrated as an
exceptional and stellar athlete, has for years been accused of doping with a number
of stimulating drugs to achieve maximum performance. Until last week he has
denied any use of performance enhancing drugs, and has virulently attacked those
who accused him of “doping”. It is a sad scene. Much, perhaps everything, that he
has gained has been lost. The adulation and respect that had been bestowed upon
him is gone. One wonders how much he would have gained—and how little lost had
he refused to use the illicit drugs, and had he been completely honest.

Lance Armstrong’s fall from fame and success raises a latent issue that has
been boiling underneath the surface for a long time. How widespread is lying, how
much is lying an accepted part of our culture, and how many people care little when
they resort to lying? Do not many argue that lying is acceptable if it is to protect
one’s reputation? How many of our politicians lie to us to attain or keep a coveted
position?

Why should we avoid lying? Why should we be assiduous in telling the truth?
The basic reason is because lying is a sin and offensive to almighty God. John
8:31,32, “Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, if you continue in
my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will
make you free.” John 8:44b, “ When [the devil] lies he speaks according to his
own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Revelation 21:8, But as for the
cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers,
idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and
brimstone, which is the second death.” We must add that there is not one of these
sins that cannot be forgiven, if one believes in the Savior and confesses the sin to
him!

It has been said that truth is the coin of the realm. We cannot have
justice without truth. We cannot achieve wholesome and happy families without
truth. Governments must depend upon the truth to achieve justice and
righteousness. Truth is essential in personal relations if there is to be trust. The
most careful adherence to the truth was essential to the Mar’s Rover, “Curiosity”,
successfully landing and completing its mission. Any malfunction would bring
disaster. Truth is essential to the preparing of wholesome foods and building good
automobiles.

Deliberate or casual lying is not only counterproductive and damaging, it is
wrong.

Foster H. Shannon

Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments by typing the address below into your mail program:

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More about Foster…

Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note

Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.