From Disappointment to Reappointment

 Tim Clinton, Ed.D.


He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” — John 21:16 ESV


“The lows are disappointing but that makes the high much sweeter, that’s what drives me.”— Tim Tebow



jilbert-ebrahimi-33575Sometimes the crystal bowl is not just broken; it is shattered, completely ruined, and beyond repair. Barring a miracle, our frantic efforts to fix it will be a waste of time and energy. Life often leaves us in irreparable situations. When this happens, we experience a wide array of emotions ranging from anger and loss to emptiness and disappointment.

You may have been climbing the company ladder when you suddenly found yourself on the wrong end of corporate downsizing. Perhaps you were an athlete, giving your all, when you blew out a knee, dashing your chances for that athletic scholarship. Or maybe your ex-wife has moved on with life and is remarried, but you had been hanging on to hope for reconciliation. Whatever the reason, you may now find yourself having to deal with disabling disappointment and perhaps even despair. If so, there is a solution for your situation. “Faith is often strengthened right at the place of disappointment,” says author Rodney McBride.

Disappointments are an inevitable part of life, but even our disappointments can produce positive results. God may be using them to reinvent you. This is exactly the business God is in—the business of turning disappointments into reappointments. Sometimes closed doors, failure, and disappointment can become the greatest avenues to blessings.

Because of his own failure, Peter was more than a little disappointed. He was devastated, crushed, and humiliated. After faithfully following Jesus for more than three years, Peter, in a moment of weakness and cowardice, denied Him—just as Jesus had predicted—not once, but three times! (Mark 14:72) And once Jesus had been crucified, Peter felt as if his life were over, that there was nothing left to live for. The only solution was to hide out, wallow in his depression, and try to figure out what to do with the mess he’d made of his life.

Then something happened: the resurrection. When Peter came face-to-face with the risen Christ, another miracle happened. Peter the denier became Peter the apostle. Christ forgave him, healed him, and reappointed him to something greater! On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus gave Peter a new assignment.

tim-marshall-131065“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’
He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’
He said to him,
‘Feed My lambs.’
He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’
He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’
He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’
He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’
And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep’ ” (John 21:15-17).


The rest of the story is that Peter accepted his new assignment and became a pillar of the early church that transformed the face of the earth. Just as He did with Peter, whenever we allow the risen Christ to touch our areas of profound disappointment, He will reappoint us to something greater.



g-timTim Clinton, Ed. D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who recently married Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.

Posted on: May 23, 2017, 1 p.m.