God Is Good, Even When He Disappoints

God has disappointed me a few big times in my life.

That feels like something I’m not allowed to say…or even feel.

Maybe you can relate? Perhaps you didn’t get the job you thought he’d give you. Perhaps you waited for a big problem to be solved, but the solution never came. Maybe he hasn’t healed you like you thought he would or he didn’t heal someone you loved.

Have you ever been disappointed by God? And then felt like you weren't supposed to feel that way? If so, drop by Grace to Soar for some encouragement.

Still, God is good.

Psalm 119:68 says to God, You are good and do good.

Jonah was disappointed by God

Disappointment in God is not new to our generation. Remember how Jonah pouted up on the hill because God didn’t destroy Ninevah like he expected?

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Jonah went out of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. -Jonah 4:5

Do you remember what God did as Jonah sulked?

God didn’t take Jonah’s life, even though Jonah wanted to die. Instead, God tenderly cared for His disappointed child. God grew a plant to give Jonah shade and to save him from his discomfort (Jonah 4:6). Then God used the same plant to teach Jonah about His character.

Why do we get disappointed by God?

Our understanding is finite, while God’s is infinite. Our faith is limited, even though his goodness is limitless. In short, God disappoints us because we are human and He isn’t. He doesn’t think or act like we do and that can lead to disappointment.

These are a few more specific reasons we may feel disappointed by God:

We misunderstood him

This has been the case for me several times. He told me part of the plan and I assumed the rest. When “the rest” didn’t happen, I felt like God let me down. But really, my perception was off from the beginning.

We just can’t understand

Sometimes we’re disappointed because we can’t understand His ways. We just can’t. His ways are higher than ours and He’s always working for good. It doesn’t always look like that to us, because it hurts along the way.

We don’t trust Him

We can get disappointed because one solution falls through and we don’t trust God to solve the problem another way. We also become disappointed when God doesn’t work on our timeline, instead of trusting that he knows best.

We are selfish

Without the ongoing sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we are selfish to the core. We want dumb things. We want things to happen our way in our timing, and we want the credit for it. We can become disheartened, because that’s not how God works. He ultimately works for our good and His glory.

We live in a broken world

Terrible things happen to wonderful people in this world, because it is broken. Good always wins in the end, but it’s not the end right now. He gave people the freedom of choice. Because of that, people are free to make bad choices that hurt others. Sometimes God prevents evil from touching us, and sometimes he doesn’t.  I admit, I still struggle with this, but I choose to believe the Bible. God is good and he does good.

Closure is not guaranteed

Several years ago, a friend of ours died of cancer and left two beautiful boys without their dad. More recently, a Christian blogger died in a house fire along with her husband and adopted baby. I will probably never understand the good that came out of those events.

My vision is limited, though. God’s is not. He sees all the work He did in people’s hearts because of these tragedies. He sees the souls that turned to him in their pain.

Sometimes, God gives us the gift of understanding why. Sometimes He doesn’t. When we join him in Heaven, wrapped in his perfect love, I doubt that it will be of any importance to us. Because there all of our doubts are silenced, all of our hurts are healed, and all of our broken places are mended. We will be with him and the goodness of his character will be on display all around us.

Until then

Until we get to Heaven, let’s cling to God’s word and trust in his character. In Lamentations 3, the author describes the terrible situation he’s in. He says that God has broken his bones, besieged him with tribulation, and torn him to pieces. Yet, immediately following this description, he writes:

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.”

Oh, friends, let’s be among the ones who seek him. May our utmost desire be to stay faithful to the God who redeemed us, even if we don’t always understand what he is doing or why he’s doing it. When we are disappointed, we can call his goodness to mind, remember that his steadfast love never ceases, and continue to hope in him. Because, after all, He is good.


Have you ever felt disappointed in God? Which one of the reasons above fit your situation?

 

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23 thoughts on “God Is Good, Even When He Disappoints

  1. Oh Beka!!! This was such a good post. Your Biblical examples of disappointment with God were perfect. Thank you for sharing your disappointments too. It does seem “wrong” to say it, but we are learning that God knows what we feel anyway and delights when we verbalize it to Him. Will he correct us? Maybe. Will he love and nurture us through our questions? Always!!!

    1. Thank you, Cindi! You are so right. God already knows what we’re feeling- why not acknowledge it and let him help us through it?

  2. Beautiful post! I thought I was so fortunate to accidentally stumble on your blog, but now I know it was God who led me to it. Looking forward to reading more!

    1. Cheryl,

      Your comment meant so much to me! I have prayed since the beginning of this site that God would help the right people find it. I’m so glad you’re here.

  3. Yes .There are some things we will never understand this side of heaven. When I feel disappointed I always declare ” Jesus Christ is Lord”.

  4. This has so much truth in it! So many times we do not understand why this or that is happening or assume God was going to work it out quit differently. Sometimes all we can cling to is that God is good in all situations he is still good. We might not understand the why behind what is happening but we can trust in the Lord who will carry us through it.

  5. What you’ve shared here is such truth. Truth that I need to hear, again and again. Thank you for this encouragement. I kept thinking of some song lyrics as I read your word….”God is God and I am not”

  6. Beka – I hear you… the honesty of our feelings often leave us thinking we are not “good enough Christians” like our faith is weak. But I have come to a point where I do trust God… I just can’t always be mature enough to show it gracefully… I consider that a sign of maturing in Christ… 😉

  7. I think it’s been a trust issue for me. It seems like all my “disappointments” with God have more to do with trust than anything else, because if I really, truly trust Him, I can rest in that. Great post.

  8. I love this! Your post is filled with so much truth and conviction (but the good kind of conviction 😉 ) It’s so encouraging to be reminded of these things, because it’s so easy to blame God for your disappointments. Thanks for writing this!

    Sydney Meek | meeklyloving.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you for the encouragement! It’s hard, sometimes, to not blame God because we know He has sovereignty over everything. But blaming him requires that he did something wrong, which we know is impossible! So we can end up in a paradox of thoughts and emotions, needing to cling onto the truth of God’s goodness.

  9. Fantastic and so so true. I loved how you brought in our expectations. So often disappointment sets in because we look through our view of life instead of going to God and asking him what he thinks and what he sees. Great post. Thanks for being honest and real 🙂

    1. Thank you! Yes, expectations are powerful things. You’re so right- we have to keep our expectations under God’s control.

  10. Hi Beka,
    After you mentioned God disappointing you in “big” ways, my first thought was, “I hope she shares what she means.” I’m glad you mentioned the friend with cancer, even though I’m sure it was difficult to remember. Even if you seemed hesitant at the beginning to mention God disappointing you, I think your post went on to explain what you really mean. It’s not so much that He disappointed you as you (and it’s the same with the rest of us) were simply unable to recognize what He was doing and why He was doing it.

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