Everyone has dealt with disappointment at some point in their life. If you haven’t dealt with disappointment then you haven’t taken any risks. If you’ve never missed the mark or fallen short then you haven’t taken a true leap of faith. When people disappoint us it’s somewhat expected, though still difficult and painful. But how do we deal with the feeling of God disappointing us? Can God disappoint us? If God is perfect, loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful, is it possible to be disappointed by Him? How do we deal with that kind of disappointment?
Although I live in a beautiful city, have great relationships, and am part of an amazing church, I have dealt with a fair share of disappointments. Your feelings of disappointment are normal and should not be ignored, they should be properly dealt with to avoid creating bigger problems. Undealt with disappointment easily turns into bitterness, anger, heaviness, and distrust. Disappointment is also subject to the individuals life experiences and personal situation, what disappoints you is different than what disappoints me. We all have dreams, aspirations and promises that God has given us, what happens when we see those things fall apart?
One of the first steps we need to take is to stop. Stop for a moment and be honest with ourselves. Our default when something goes wrong or doesn’t happen is to see who else we can blame. No one is harder on me than me, so it’s easy to blame myself, I have also found myself wondering why God didn’t work something out in my life when it was actually my fault. For example, our lack of good financial stewardship does not equate to God not providing for us. God is our Provider, but we can easily waste His provisions.
“Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.“
Hebrews 6:12 NKJV
When God approaches Adam in his sin, the blame game starts right away. Adam blames Eve saying “It was the woman you gave me who made me sin” then Eve blames the serpent who deceived her (Genesis 3:11-13). Neither Adam or Eve could accept the responsibility of their own mistakes. When we find ourselves in a disappointing situation could it be possible that our own decisions led us there?
God’s intention for Moses was for him to lead Israel into the Promised Land. In Numbers 20 Moses disobeys God’s command and God tells Moses that he will no longer lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. God is merciful and gracious towards us, but we also have personal responsibility and consequences for our actions. God still loved Moses and maintained him as the leader of His people, but Moses’ actions took away from him what God had promised.
Next we need to understand that God is outside of time and not limited by it. We don’t need to understand how or why, we just need to know that God is working from a different position than us. He sees a much bigger picture than we do. God can, and will promise you things that He intends to happen years from now, we expect the promise to happen tomorrow and are then setup for disappointment. God promised Abraham a son 25 years before Isaac was born. God promised David kingship 13 years before it happened. Jesus spent 30 years preparing to start His public ministry. Why would God tease people with a promise that is years away from happening? To give people hope! God wants you to see the light at the end of the tunnel so you keep walking without becoming discouraged or distracted. God gives a promise to give us vision, hope, expectation, and excitement. He wants us to have something to look forward to, something to fuel our actions. Our job is not to know exactly when it will happen, but to know that God is faithful and true to His Word.
“Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;”
Psalm 55:22 NKJV
Lastly we need to be real and honest with God. Take off your “good mask” that most people hold onto so tightly. Everyone is always good, they always had a good day, work was good, school was good, life is good. God’s desire is a relationship with us. A real relationship. God wants us to be vulnerable and honest with Him. It is important to understand the difference of being vulnerable and complaining. God does not want to hear your complaints, but He does want to hear your heart. Throughout the book of Psalms David expresses his honest feelings towards God. Psalm 10 is a great example when David expresses his true feelings, David feels like God is far away, and he’s frustrated that evil people are prospering. David wonders why the man who doesn’t seek God is experiencing goodness while he, the man after God’s own heart, feels distant. Let your guard down, take off your mask, be vulnerable, share your problems, cast your cares upon Him.
Be encouraged today that God is the One who works all things together for good. He doesn’t make everything good, instead He uses everything, every mistake, every downfall, fail, and disappointment, for our overall good. God can easily use what the enemy intended for evil and use it for our good.