A recent conversation with a friend unearthed a topic that, I believe, plagues the minds of many believers. I know I have dealt with it more times than I care to remember. It also comes up frequently with those I minister to. If not resolved, it has the potential to derail us from our destiny. The subject – disappointment with God. In Romans 9:33, Paul writes, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” The word translated “disappointed” literally means, “put to shame.” Paul was quoting from Isaiah 28:16, and the stone/rock spoken of is referring to Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone.
I would venture to say that most, if not all of us who are believers, have had times we felt disappointed with God. Why? Some reasons I’ve discovered are:
1. He doesn’t seem to answer our prayers, or answers them in a way we weren’t expecting.
2. We go through difficult times and don’t understand why He seems to allow it.
3. We are wounded by other believers, the Church, leaders, etc., and feel He is somehow to blame.
4. The prophetic words or promises we’ve received haven’t come to pass.
There are probably many more reasons, but these are a few I’ve personally dealt with, and know many others who have too. There is much that could be said about each of these, but, in short, it all boils down to one thing – we don’t understand His ways. If you ponder these reasons at all, it seems evident that all of these center around “me.” We so easily forget that this life, once we have surrendered it to Him, is no longer about us; it is about Him having His way in and through us.
In truth, if we have died to ourselves and He now lives His life in and through us, we have given up our so-called “rights” to have anything. A dead person doesn’t question or object when things don’t go as they thought they would. I’m not saying we should never question God, for He can handle our lack of understanding and self-centeredness. He totally understands the weakness of our flesh. (see Psalm 103:14) But if we are going to grow up in Him, we must trust that His ways are higher, and far better, than anything we could ever come up with. (Is. 55:8-9) We must believe that everything He allows in our lives is for our good, whether we see it, feel it, or not. (Rom. 8:28)
We must remember that this life is not about having our way. I believe God loves us far more than we’re capable of comprehending. I believe He has good plans and a destiny for each of us that will bring us great satisfaction and fulfillment. But ultimately, His plan is to conform us into His image. He is preparing us now for our future assignments – ruling and reigning with Him for eternity. His consummate desire is to raise up a bride who is worthy of His Son. He has an eternal perspective, and if we are going to better understand Him and His ways, we need to have one, too. Remembering these things will help us to surrender our disappointment with Him, to Him.
How have you dealt with disappointment with God? I would love to hear your comments!