[e-Devotionals] 1999-09-08 - Disappointment with God

My grandmother recently told me about baking some zucchini bread for a friend. She baked two loaves of bread, took one to her friend and saved one for herself. The next day she ate a piece of the zucchini bread, only to be shocked when it did not taste right. She looked in the vegetable bin of her refrigerator and realized her mistake. Instead of grabbing the zucchini for the bread she had retrieved a cucumber! Needless to say she was disappointed. I tell you this humorous story to illustrate a serious point and to define disappointment.

Disappointment happens when our expectations are not met by our experiences.

I am sure many of you, like myself, have experienced or are experiencing disappointment in your life. Today I want to focus in on disappointment with God. Let's get really honest with each other, ok? Have you ever been disappointed with God? I have, many times. I have screamed at God in prayers, why God, why does this happen? Why did this turn out this way? Why are You allowing these people or this person to do this to me? I have yelled in prayer to God, why can't that couple have children? Why does my faithful mother have Parkinson's? Why did that child get cancer? Why did that person not get that job or promotion that seems so perfect for them? Why did that business partner turn out to be so dishonest? Why was he unfaithful to her? Like David in the Bible, I sometimes grow weary, and even worse, my disappointments in God turn into doubts about God. Look what David wrote:

Psalm 69:3 (NLT) I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched and dry. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.

A very wrong understanding of God on my part caused my biggest disappointments with God. My theology was like Monty Hall on "Let's make a Deal." My door number one looked like this, "God I will be faithful and righteous the best I can, and in return, God, You will make all things in my life perfect." With this thinking, my expectation of God always exceeded my experiences with God. The cycle feeds on itself: Disappointment, anger, doubt, then withdrawal from God. So, what do we need to do? Glad you asked.

Nowhere in the Bible can I find that God promises us a perfect life on this earth. In fact, I can find verses that say just the opposite.

Jesus speaking in John 16:33 (NIV) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Philippians 1:29 (NCV) God gave you the honor not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for him, both of which bring glory to Christ.

Hebrews 11:39 (NCV) All these people are known for their faith, but none of them received what God had promised.

So the question remains, what can we expect of God? If we can understand what to expect of God, then maybe our expectations will not exceed what He has promised us.

What We Can Expect of God

  1. To Know Us Intimately and Individually

    Psalm 139:13 (NLT) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my motherís womb.

    Jeremiah 1:5 (NCV)"Before I made you in your motherís womb, I chose you …

    Isaiah 55:8 (NLT) "My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

    God is like an artist and we are the canvas God is outside the painting and only He can see the beginning, the present and the future of the painting. He knows us intimately as individuals, and He sees the entire picture of the future He has planned for us from the beginning.

  2. To Love Us Without Conditions

    1 John 4:8 (NLT) But anyone who does not love does not know God-for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

    God loves us in spite of our past, our doubts and our disbeliefs. Simply put, God IS LOVE, no matter what.

  3. The Promise of Grace and Eternity

    John 14:2 (NLT) There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.

    Like the old Gospel song "Will the Circle be Unbroken" says, "There is a better place awaiting in the sky." Yes indeed, and that is our hope and God's promise for all who believe in and call on His Son to be their Savior.

So, there you have it. I hope you hung with in here with me and finished reading this devotional, and of course I hope you aren't disappointed. Seriously, somehow in the trials and tribulations of life, try to remember that there really is a very loving God, who has a plan for our lives here on earth and has a perfect life awaiting us in heaven.

Father, we do not always understand You. Just help us to remember that You are in control and that You will see us through the hard times. Forgive us for doubting you during our trials, while only praising You through the good times. We love You and thank You for all you have done for us. In Christ's name, Amen.