Disappointed. God let me down.
I can’t count the times I have heard that – or the times I have felt that way. When things are going good in our lives, we say we are blessed. But then life disappoints us and we tend to pull away from God and blame Him.
We all face disappointment. Whether it be a two-year old being disappointed she can’t keep playing because she has to nap, a friend who lost a job, a teen who didn’t get a date to the dance, a child addicted to drugs or a cancer diagnosis, disappointment finds us. None of us are immune to disappointment.
Blessed when things go well. Blame when they don’t. Isn’t that human nature?
I had a friend who was going through chemo question me about God. “I thought God wouldn’t give me more than I can handle. I’m not sure I can handle this cancer thing. I don’t know why God thinks I can handle it.”
“The verse people base that on is actually talking about temptation. It says that God won’t tempt us beyond what we can resist,” I gently replied.
She paused and responded, “Oh, that is a totally different thing.”
Yes, God often looks much different than our expectations of Him. More often than not, we end up trying to dictate who God is- we try to create our own God. A God that we try to fit into our lives – into our understanding.
Who is God? Is He a genie in a bottle waiting for us to summon Him to do our bidding? If that is our picture of God, we will be disappointed. But if we allow the very words of God to teach us about the true attributes of His character, we will be blessed – even when we are disappointed.
God is faithful even when life is hard and the hits just seem to keep on coming.
Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Psalms 36:5NLT
Faithfulness that reaches beyond the clouds is a LOT of faithfulness. Attached to that is a love that is as vast as the heavens. When we focus on a God who is as faithful and loving as the heavens are boundless and infinite, our disappointment begins to fade.
God is a strong tower. He is a fortress.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10 ESV
When we run to the strong tower of the Lord, our disappointment and defeat seem to shrink in the shadow of the Lord’s fortress. We can leave our disappointment at the door and rest in His safety – no matter what the situation.
I think of a scene where my enemies – fear, guilt, inadequacies, unbelief, unforgiveness and disappointment – are chasing me. In the distance, I see a castle – a fortress - on a hill. I run to it even as the fiery arrows of my enemies are raining down on me. The Father beckons me. I cross the drawbridge and collapse against the cool castle walls as my Lord pulls up the drawbridge – leaving my enemies outside – and He invites me to have dinner with Him. Safe with the Father.
God is always with us.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them,
for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.
He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
Disappointment can be one of our biggest foes – locking us in a place of fear and dread - but the Lord is with us in that place. We can sit and slump when things don’t go our way or we can stand with strength and courage and live in freedom because the Lord is with us – always. He is with us no matter what our circumstances may be.
God delights in us.
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love;
He will exalt over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17
So often we think of God as a heavenly being who is keeping score and just waiting for us to mess up so He can whack us on the head. We often believe He is disappointed with us. This scripture says He is with us, loves us and sings over us! Wow! Have you ever thought of the God of the universe singing over you? That is a game changer right there. And it gets better. “Exalt” is translated as “to spin about wildly.” Have you ever thought about the God of the universe spinning about wildly while singing over you?
When we realize in our hearts the visual of that kind of love from our Heavenly Father, it makes it hard to be disappointed in Him. Yes, there are times things don’t go our way and disappointment tries to settle over us. But when we think of God spinning about wildly and singing a song over us, we can rest in His goodness, grace, hope, joy, love and peace.
Those are just a few of the many attributes of who God is. Spend some time over the next few days looking into the characteristics of God. What is your favorite characteristic of God? How have you seen Him display that characteristic in your life?