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How do I deal with being disappointed with God?

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OK, let’s be honest and transparent. We are NEVER disappointed with or in God. We are disappointed that OUR expectations are not met. Let’s take that theology to its final conclusion. Disappointment with or in God is the epitome of rebellion. It is putting ourselves in God’s place. It is telling God, “My way is better. You should’ve done it my way.” God has a way that is too great, intricate, detailed, and PERFECT for us to comprehend. We have to reach a place where we trust in that above our natural desires, feelings, and instincts.

Disappointment oftentimes is God’s refining of us

God uses every situation we face to strip us of the things that keep us from being joyful, free, and successful in His kingdom. These imperfections keep us tethered to the sinful world. God seeks to set us free. We cannot fathom what God has in store for us in this life or the next, and it is easier to stay in the discomfort we know than to venture blindly into the great things God has for us.

“You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

We must choose when we reach the fork in the road

God is frequently bringing us to a fork in the road. He is giving us opportunities to choose obedience over our own desires and opinions. At each of these crossroads, there is a loud voice shouting. It tells us to listen to our feelings, to do what we think we deserve. It tells us that if God really loved us, He would cave to our demands. It says, “If He really is such a good, good Father then He would certainly want you to choose the path that pleases and satisfies you and your desires.

But at this junction, there is a sign. It is clearly visible and clear in its message: “God wants you to take the other path. Trust Him and see what He good things He does for you.” And I am deeply ashamed to say that far too often I see the sign, I hear the voice, and I make the wrong choice.

This is our “crisis of belief”

God calls us. If we listen, we will invariably reach a point where things don’t make sense. We travel down a path, and we see opposition, no support, or what even appears to be a dead end. We doubt. We fear. We question because we are humans and we don’t understand. But the voice of God calls out to us just as it did to the Israelites when they reached the dead-end of the Red Sea in front of them and the opposition of the Egyptian Army closing in to obliterate them from behind. He says, “Do you trust me?” He asks us to simply be obedient and step out in faith in spite of the appearances of our situation.

Exodus 14:13-16 – But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.  The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.

God says, “I have this situation under control. Why are you doubting? Get moving. I am sovereign over this, and every other, situation. Be obedient to the path I told you to take, and you (and the world around you) will see my power, might, and faithfulness.”

Henry Blackaby authored a bible study called “Experiencing God.” It talks about how we develop our relationship with God so we can walk in obedience with Him. He talks about these crises of faith we encounter as The Israelites did.

“God doesn’t want people to do what they think is best: he wants them to do what he knows is best, and no amount of reasoning and intellectualizing will discover that. – Henry Blackaby

Explaining Crisis of Belief

Our brains are our worst enemies, and our best friends

If we take the path the voice directs us to take, we will come up with arguments like: “This is how God makes sense to me.” “I just can’t fathom a loving God doing blah blah blah.” etc, etc. When we try to figure God (and His sovereign plans) out we get lost in the confusion and murkiness of our limited brains. If however, we CHOOSE to take God (and His track record which is far superior to mine) at His word and be obedient because He requests it, then we see His plans play out before our eyes. We reach a point in our journey where God allows us to have a vantage point where we can look back and clearly see why the path He called us down was best. He sometimes also allows us to see the pitfalls of the other path we couldn’t see at the crossroads.

We need to trust in the Word, not just quote it

I would imagine that other than John 3:16, Romans 8:28 is probably one of the most quoted scriptures in the bible.

Romans 8:28And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

We as believers have to not only KNOW, but live out this verse. This chapter was written while Paul was in Prison. His situation was not good. But He didn’t worry. He wasn’t disappointed in God. He knew that God had a plan that was bigger than Paul. And Paul wanted to participate in God’s plan rather than trying to make God participate in Paul’s plan.

Let our motto for each day simply be “Yes, Lord!”

At our last Alumni night gathering for the Home of Grace, an alumnus I didn’t know stood and told his story. He said that each day he wakes up and starts with a prayer. He says, “Yes, Lord.” He tells the Lord that He will face that day with an attitude of submission. No matter what comes in that day, he will give it to the Lord, who is sovereign over ALL things, and trust that Romans 8:28 passage, believing that even if a situation seems bad, that God is working on some good through it. Lord, help my approach to each day, and each situation, be like that. Help me not be frustrated and disappointed because my plans don’t work out. Help me to take comfort in, and have peace from, knowing your plans are being fulfilled. And above all Lord, help me be obedient each and every time I come to the fork in the road, amen.

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    YES!!!! Not MY will; Not MY way, but YOURS, O Lord!
    Powerful word, Greg Bufkin! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  2. Avatar

    If we are(were) dead in our sin as Ephesians 2:1 claims, if it is by grace through faith, not of ourselves then we are already at the end of our abilities. I am convinced God will get us to a ‘crisis of belief’, to the point where we have no where to turn but to Him, so that He can work in us.
    As long as we have choices that include our own way out of our sin we won’t turn to Him.
    Thank you Mr. Bufkin for continuing to follow Him. Thank you Home of Grace for allowing God to use you, beyond your abilities.

  3. Avatar

    Very interesting article about faith. That is what I’ve taken away from reading what you have written. I particularly was hit by the quotes you included in your article. For example: “YOU WILL NEVER GLORY IN GOD TILL FIRST OF ALL GOD HAS KILLED YOUR GLORYING IN YOURSELF.”

    To some people, this might seem over-the-top reasoning about being in the God deal. But I know that when I get all about me, me, me…God has a quick game of snakes and ladders for me.

    I do know that it isn’t easy breezy to “Let go and Let God.” There are plenty of times that I have deliberately gone in a direction that God did not want me to follow. And there are other times that I sucked it up and did go in the direction that God wanted me to follow.

    How do I know the difference?
    One way is by studying God’s word as depicted in The Bible.
    Another way is by seeking the council of other people with in my community of faith. Usually this means getting downright truthful with seasoned mentors with the street cred that comes from a lifetime of rich, spiritual welfare.

    Of course, one of the top methods for getting right with God, at least as far as I am concerned…is through deeply personal confession to God and sincere, heartfelt prayer.

    Sometimes this takes the form of becoming quiet and still inside myself. Often this means (for me) having read carefully and slowly scripture included in The Bible.

    What I like about your article is that it resonates with me, it makes sense. It isn’t easy turning to God to build your life…or to aspire to those traits that God empowers that help to build a good and prosperous life. But I have to say, that it is the best deal in town, overall.


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