Do you feel disappointed by God? It happens often that the disappointment with life, people, and circumstances grows into disappointment with God. The condition of disappointment with God can slip through the door of unanswered prayers, unfulfilled expectations, and extinguished hopes. It can enter and remain through the door of heavy, unexpected losses and tragedies. Such events, that leave us shaken at the core and question all our beliefs.
Examples of disappointment with God in the Bible
In the Bible, we find many examples of people who feel disappointed at a certain period of their lives. The brightest example of this is Job. After losing his fortune, his children and his health, within a very short period, Job’s faith faces a terrible trial.
In the book “Ruth”, we meet Naomi who faces a similar problem after losing her husband and her two sons. On her return from Moab to her native Judea where she seeks salvation from hunger, she gives the following response to the people’s interest in her fate.
“Don’t call me Naomi (meaning pleasant), she told them. Call me Mara, (meaning bitter) because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” (Ruth 1:20-21)
It is clear that in her thoughts and perceptions God is the source of her losses, misery, and poverty. Respectively she makes Him the source of her anger and disappointment.
People nowadays can also relate. Let’s take one example. Kalina is a middle-aged woman who sincerely follows God and strives to do what is right. Unfortunately, Kalina has had a very difficult life since her childhood. Her parents divorced when she was in her teens and her father stopped keeping in touch with her. Kalina got married, but she has had a difficult relationship with her husband. He is a cold, emotionally distant person and as such unable to provide the necessary support and love.
Later life hits Kalina severely within a few years. She got breast cancer, her mother is dead, and Kalina’s dreams and expectations for a better and more peaceful life collapse. Kalina’s children also disappoint her with her personal and professional choices. Loss after loss, blow after a blow – the disappointment with life, her husband and her children’s development undermined Kalina’s faith and trust in God. It is becoming harder for her to trust Him and keep hoping.
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Disappointment with God – characteristics
The state of disappointment with God, especially among believers, is usually hidden and difficult to discern. Its root is a deception and a lie that has huge negative consequences. The deception consists of distorting the character and personality of God, attributing to Him evil motives, passivity, insensitivity, cruelty, and so on.
“He would crush me with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason. He would not let me catch my breath but would overwhelm me with misery. When a scourge brings sudden death, He mocks the despair of the innocent.” (Job 9:17, 18, 23)
Another basic lie is that it is not possible to please Him, and in the slightest offense, He brings punishment after punishment. Everything that happens in our lives begins to look like a cycle of crime and punishment. This, in its essence, is the Old Testament law. However, Christ has completely fulfilled this Law and abolished its decrees. “He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:1)
Negative consequences on the relationship with God
A lie leads to another ten lies, so they built a whole structure of lies that change our worldview and attitude to everything. This naturally affects our attitude towards God and communication with Him. It is difficult for us to trust and to communicate with Him, and to exercise faith. Moreover, since this is the foundation and the medium of our communication with Him, it becomes undermined and even temporarily suspended. It is very difficult, even impossible, to trust and wait for help from someone by whom we feel disappointed and even consider the source of our problems. However, in this way, we deprive ourselves and restrict our access to the only true Helper, Friend, and Protector.
Negative consequences on the attitude towards oneself
The lie about the personality and character of God caused by disappointment can develop into lies about one’s own personality. When a person is disappointed with life, people and circumstances, and this disappointment has been left unchecked to develop, it also begins to change one’s vision of self. The person begins to perceive himself as unloved, abandoned, as a failure, as not needed. His or her value shakes and drops down, he or she begins to question his own identity. There is confusion, doubt, chaos, and turmoil.
Negative consequences on the relationships with others
The distorted attitude towards oneself also affects the relationships with the others. Especially when the disappointment is connected with people, who are close to us. Disappointment, traumas not properly healed, and unforgiveness lead to the erection of inner walls, isolation, and difficulty in giving and receiving love. Worse yet, when it becomes a permanent state. One can become accustomed to living in a state of permanently being offended; even to get addicted to this condition. Then one fully accepts the role of a victim, to whom all people owe and on whom nothing depends. In this way, the identity is replaced by a false one. When the offense is in control, the person perceives himself through it and identifies with it.
We see that the root of the disappointment and its transfer to God have long-lasting and very serious negative consequences on our whole personality and all spheres of life. In short, the deceptions resulting from a hidden disappointment with God sow death and deprive us of the life God desires for us to have.
It is important to recognize this condition and to return to the position of inviolable and unshakable confidence in God’s goodwill and love for us, as well as in the eternal truths of His character. In the next post, we will take a detailed look at the way of returning and delivering from the state of disappointment with God.
Do you struggle with disappointment with God? In which areas? What was your biggest disappointment in life? You are welcome to share and comment!