How to Respond to Hurt and Disappointment


Undoubtedly, every person on this earth will experience hurt and disappointment. Therefore, the question is not whether it will happen but, How to Respond to Hurt and Disappointment when it does happen. Weekly, I tell students that we cannot control others, but we can control how we respond. In life, it is our response that will either help or hurt us.

Let’s admit it; we are not naturally at ease when we are hurt and disappointed. When that happens to us, our natural inclination is to reciprocate. As I once heard, “Hurt people, hurt people.” Since my encounter with that phrase and ideology, I have sought to condition myself not to immediately respond in kind when I am hurt and disappointed. My thoughts were to find out How to Respond to Hurt and Disappointment.

Jesus is absolutely clear about conveying and demonstrating How to Respond to Hurt and Disappointment. In comparison to a return on effort, love and the like, there is not anyone who has given so much and received so little back than Jesus Christ. Jesus, as Creator, gave up being worshiped and adored in heaven as God to become a man for the sole purpose of reuniting man with God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Of Jesus, Paul tells us that “13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” I wrote about in the post I am Forgiven because He was Forsaken. What is more important than that is what Jesus said and demonstrated.

Mark 16

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.

14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

Jesus had just been crucified, buried and risen from the tomb in the passage above. If you will recall the events that transpired before the crucifixion were that Jesus was betrayed by Judas and disowned by Peter three times. Furthermore, virtually all of His disciples shrunk back during His accusations and march to Golgotha. Being betrayed and disowned by His disciples surely fits under the notion of being hurt and disappointed. This is what He told them “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” Jesus shows us How to Respond to Hurt and Disappointment. 

First, He was aware of human flaws and frailties. He knew man was sinful. After all, that is why He came. He told Judas, Peter and the disciples what they were going to do. I know that we are not God in that we know the future and everything, but we do know that man and those whom we love have the capacity to hurt and disappoint us. Let’s make a decision now to forgive them just as Jesus did. If Jesus had not forgiven them beforehand, He would not have followed through with dying on the cross. That’s How to Respond to Hurt and Disappointment. 

Next, after He had arisen from the cross, Jesus sent a message to the disciples. The angel conveyed Jesus’ message to Mary “But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”” Certainly, this was proof that Jesus had forgiven Peter who disowned Him and the other disciples who fell away from Him. Again, that’s How to Respond to Hurt and Disappointment. 

Jesus’ love and devotion was to God the Father, so He could not get fixated on how His disciples had done Him. He was fixed on living out His purpose. As followers of Jesus, we too are expected to live our lives in love and devotion to our triune God. In Hebrews 12, we are told “…, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” That’s How to Respond to Hurt and Disappointment. 

We all would agree that we are flawed. We are not perfect, so we too will hurt and disappoint others. When we are hurt and disappointed, our response should be that of Jesus who realized that man is flawed, forgave them beforehand, fixed His eyes on God and His purpose – for Him who had no sin to become sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. God does not expect us to become sin, but He expects us to imitate Jesus in love and forgiveness. That’s How to Respond to Hurt and Disappointment. 

The life of a follower of Jesus is not easy, but it is fulfilling and rewarding when we obey.

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