Disappointment with God

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Disappointment with God – The Reality
While it may be difficult to admit, many of us struggle with disappointment with God. Life’s pressures and heartbreaks compel us to seek His intervention as a source of divine rescue. But when His solutions do not coincide with ours, we experience discouragement. It can be frustrating, even devastating when we:

  • Face financial ruin, while the greedy and unscrupulous appear to prosper
  • See a deep relationship, built on God’s principles, dissolve in divorce.
  • Watch a loved one suffer horribly.
Too often our disappointment with God increases as we focus less on God and more upon ourselves . . . Is He causing all things to work together for my good? Is He controlling a hopeless situation when all I see is suffering? If He really heard my prayer, why haven’t I received results? It is not God’s nature to deceive us or to abandon us in our greatest times of need. “God is not a man, that he should lie. He is not a human, that he should change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried through?” (Numbers 23:19).

Disappointment with God – God Understands Our Pain
Disappointment with God is not sin. Our Heavenly Father understands our deepest emotions, especially those rising from pain. He created us and through His Son, Jesus Christ, experienced every emotion we face. Countless times, we have disappointed God with our actions and words. Yet, He extends His grace and mercy to all of us. “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds” (Psalm 36:5–6).

Our disappointment in God need only be temporary. In truth, our discouragement results from our human nature, not God’s nature. Paul, “the apostle to the Gentiles,” expressed contentment, even joy, during his imprisonment in Rome. Changing circumstances (even being in chains) did not affect the inner contentment he enjoyed (Philippians 4:11–13). Through his personal relationship with God, Paul found satisfaction that was divinely bestowed.

Disappointment with God – God is Unchanging
We cannot fully understand why God answers our prayers in unanticipated ways. His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8–9). So we must look at things through the lens of God’s character. The Bible gives us endless insight to the unchanging nature of our Creator:

  • Compassionate – “All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles . . .” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4).
  • Faithful – “The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day” (Lamentations 3:22–23).
  • Infinite – “The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: ‘I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts’” (Isaiah 57:15).
  • Merciful – “The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day” (Lamentations 3:22–23).
  • Wise – “Oh what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! . . . For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor?” (Romans 11:33–34).
Persecution, imprisonment, even torture couldn’t rob Paul’s joy. “So I pray that God who gives hope will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

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