Podcast #032: How to know joy when life feels tough

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Life can certainly be challenging at times. There are the unexpected setbacks that occur, but more than that there are also the general frustrations of day to day living. What do we mean?

Photo of disappointment

When we talk about disappointment we are not referring to major calamities or disasters, but things maybe not going the way we expected or success not bringing the fulfilment we thought we might achieve.

How do you handle life when things don’t go the way you expect? How can we develop healthy ways to handle disappointment? How can we know joy when life doesn’t feel great?

Someone who has spent a lot of time thinking about this is the author John Hindley. On this podcast we have the privilege of interviewing John about his book titled “Dealing With Disappointment: How To Know Joy When Life Doesn’t Feel Great.”

John defines disappointment as “what we experience when we expect satisfaction and that satisfaction is denied.”

Do join us as we discuss:

How in life there are lots of little disappointments that can give us a sense of vague discomfort, which we have a tendency to push away and ignore.

How at times our experiences resonate with that of King Solomon from the 9th century BC in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes as he cried out, “Meaningless! Meaningless! …..Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.

Why if we want to live life to the full then we should expect at times to be disappointed.

Understanding disappointment as what we experience when we expect satisfaction and that satisfaction is denied.

The disappointment that can come with success. How this can push us to long for more.

Ways to break through disappointment and which involve:
– finding hope that destroys despair
– purpose that cuts off escape
– perspective that shrinks disappointment.

What John means when he says, “There is more satisfaction in the smile of Jesus than there is disappointment in a thousand lifetimes. “

Also see How To Rise Stronger When Life Takes You Down


5 thoughts on “Podcast #032: How to know joy when life feels tough”

  1. Thank you Sunil for bringing this author to my attention. Disappointment can easily go to despair with me which is exactly where I am at this point in life. This author speaks such truth. I am anxious to read his book. I understand what the author says about God being the changer of my heart so that I can say I truly I love people. Love is a gift from God if we are willing to be changed. It is not of my own doing. This author has given me a new perspective that maybe loving others and my God is enough. I am successful and God does smile at me. I am making progress. God bless you

    1. So glad the discussion has been an encouragement to you Sara. Our follow up conversation will be up in a few weeks as podcast #033.

  2. I think one of the toughest disappointments I see is when people are disappointed with God,. However much we tell ourselves that “we dont have a special deal with God – bad stuff will still happen” ….I think a lot of Christians do think there is a deal that involves them “being OK” no matter what. There is a lot of talk about developing resilience and while I agree (and I wish I was ore resilient) somehow being disappointed and going thru bad times is actually an important part of life. It makes u human and it also is the means to developing virtues such as courage, persistence, and empathy.

  3. I think the key word is “expect”, if we expect nothing, we can’t be disappointed..! Easy to type on a keyboard, less so to put in practice. I recently learned about ‘Absurdism’:


    Does life really HAVE TO mean anything? Can’t we just live and be happy with that? Whenever I am disappointed, my auto-thought processes almost immediately turn to God, “why God? why did you let this happen?”, but God didn’t let anything happen, it’s just the random flow of life, and I’ve learned that EVERY disappointment is an opportunity for spiritual growth, which you can’t see until it’s over.

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