How to Handle Our Disappointment with God

If we feel disappointed by God, we need to know how to handle our disappointment with God.

We usually feel disappointed in God when He doesn’t meet our expectations. Our feelings can range from mild disappointment to taking deep offense and feeling betrayed or wronged by Him.

Such disappointment can be a huge stumbling block in our walk with the Lord and hinder our spiritual growth.

Disappointment with God can be a huge stumbling block in our walk with the Lord and hinder our spiritual growth. #spiritualgrowth #encouragement Click To Tweet

Reasons for Our Disappointment with God

There are myriads of situations that can evoke feelings of disappointment with God, His actions, or inaction.

Perhaps He didn’t answer our prayers the way we expected or didn’t answer at all. Or instead of getting better, our situation got worse, and the problems deepened. Perhaps despite our desperate prayers and pleas, He allowed the untimely death of loved ones.

Each death experience He allows in our life and the lives of our loved ones has the potential to wound our trust in Him. Death experiences are not just literal deaths, but losing things we deeply treasure.

Any kind of undeserved and unexpected suffering and pain can push us to take offense at God.

So what we are supposed to do when God doesn’t meet our expectations? How can we handle our disappointment with Him?

Any kind of undeserved and unexpected suffering and pain can push us to take offense at God. Learn how to handle this here. #disappointed #suffering #encouragement Click To Tweet

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Biblical Examples of People Who Felt Disappointed by God

Many people in the Bible took offense at God and felt disappointed by His actions or lack of actions.

Let’s take Jonah in the Old Testament. He felt he was deeply wronged by God when God forgave the people of Nineveh and didn’t bring the promised judgment on them after they repented. (Jonah 4:1)

For example, most Jews felt offended by Jesus as their Savior and Messiah. He didn’t meet their expectations to free them from the oppression of the Roman Empire and establish the Kingdom of God immediately. Their disappointment was so deep and outrageous that they wanted Him dead.

John the Baptist felt also disappointed by God, wondering why, while he was thrown in prison, Jesus as the promised Savior didn’t come to his aid and didn’t do anything. This situation in John’s life caused him to doubt Jesus and send his disciples to Jesus for confirmation. (Matthew 11:2-3)

Another example is the Apostle Paul. He was deeply disappointed by the fact that God rejected the Jews after they rejected Christ as their Savior. It is a painful blow to Paul. In Romans chapter 11, he explores the question if we can still trust God and His promises.

How to Handle Our Disappointment with God

As we see, we are in good company when we feel disappointed by God. The question is how to handle our disappointment with God, not letting it bring us away from God and distort our relationship with Him.

Listen to the words of Jesus: “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of Me.” (Matthew 11: 6)

Here is this verse in several other versions:

And blessed [joyful, favored by God] is he who does not take offense at Me [accepting Me as the Messiah and trusting confidently in My message of salvation].” (AMP)

“And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed.” (HCSB)

“Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!” (MSG)

When our expectations are not met, Jesus urges us not to take offense at Him, not to get disappointed, not to stumble on account of Him. But to continue trusting Him as our Saviour and Helper.

When we do this, we have God’s favor.

When our expectations are not met, Jesus urges us not to take offense at Him, but to continue trusting Him as our Savior and Helper. #encouragement #spiritualgrowth #trustGod Click To Tweet

4 Powerful Ways to Handle Our Disappointment with God

Here are 4 powerful ways to handle our disappointment with God and not take offense at Him and His ways.

#1 Focusing on What We Know About Him

Choosing to focus on what we know to be true about God and His ways and NOT on what we don’t know and don’t understand is the first helpful step.

God has already revealed in His Word and through Jesus what we need to know about Him, His plans, His ways, and our future.

However, there will still be a lot of things we will not understand and a lot of questions without answers in this earthly life.

Focusing and dwelling on the truths revealed in God’s word is the wisest choice.

#2 God’s Ways Are Not Like Human Ways

God is God, and His ways are not like our human ways. Often, we will not understand them and this is okay.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

We need to admit and accept our human limitations and choose to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand. (1 Peter 5:6)

#3 Aligning Our Expectations with God’s Promises

Since disappointment with God stems largely from unmet expectations, it is crucial to align our expectations with God’s promises and character.

God has given us a clear vision of His plans for redemption and establishing His kingdom. It is good to redirect our thoughts on things above because this is fueling our hope and strengthening our faith.

God is faithful, and He will fulfill the deepest longings of the human soul as promised despite all the suffering we need to endure in this life.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

#4 Seeking the Lord and Drawing Near

It is natural for disappointed people to pull away from the person who disappointed them. So it seems counterintuitive when we feel offended and wronged by God to make a step in His direction.

But this is exactly the right thing to do. We need to seek Him intentionally and draw near to Him, pouring out our painful emotions, doubts, and questions. He is and remains our safest person.

There is a big reward when we press on seeking the Lord. We will experience His goodness and love in tangible ways and will lack no good thing.

“Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34:9-10)

A Helpful Resource to Process Disappointment

Do you want to change and transform the way you think about your disappointments? This e-book “How to Overcome Disappointment and Discouragement” dives deeper into this topic. You will learn about the role of our expectations, desires, rights, and needs, as well as the role of false beliefs, and more biblical steps to overcome disappointments. Click here to get it into your email box today!

How to Overcome Disappointment_E-book

More Encouragement for You

If you need more resources, encouragement, and comfort in handling your disappointments, I can highly recommend these books. Check them out.

Draw Near: How Painful Experiences Become the Birthplace of Blessings by Hadassah Treu

Trusting God in All the Things: 90 Devotions for Finding Peace in Your Every Day by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk

Make Up Your Mind: Unlock Your Thoughts, Transform Your Life by Denise Dubois Pass and Michelle Nietert

Life Can Be Good Again by Lisa Appelo

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lisa Terkeurst

Hope When Life Unravels: Finding God When It Hurts by Adam Dooley

Restoration Year – a 365 Days Devotional by John Eldredge

All Things New by John Eldredge

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Your Turn

Are there situations in which you feel disappointed by God? Which of these 4 ways of handling disappointment do you need to practice? Share in the comments and on social media if you found this article helpful. Thank you!

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Here are 4 powerful ways to handle our disappointment with God and not take offense at Him and His ways. #disappointed #encouragement #Biblestudy Click To Tweet

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14 Replies to “How to Handle Our Disappointment with God”

  1. What a truth-filled blog on a topic that many would rather not admit. Thank you for not only speaking about the topic, but leading us toward healing.

    1. Thanks so much, Charla! Yes, it is a difficult topic, because we often we don’t want to admit that we struggle with such feelings. But confession is the first step to healing.

  2. Hadassah, thank you for digging deep on this topic! I remember Jesus sending the “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of Me.” message to John the Baptist in prison and that was SO powerful to me. But I didn’t realize about the Apostle Paul being disappointed in God, what an eye opener this morning! Thank you for always sweetly ministering to us, sweet friend!

    1. Thanks so much, Donna! Yes, this verse is powerful! There are so many things we don’t understand about God and His ways, but we need to humble ourselves and acknowledge that He knows better. I am glad you gleaned new insight from this post, friend!

  3. I really enjoyed your post on how to handle our disappointment with God. We just lost an immediate family member and this really hit home for me.

    1. Thanks, Debbie! I am so sorry for your loss! Praying for God’s comfort and strength for you and your family… God is near.

  4. Yes to all of this, especially seeking God and drawing near. Disappointment with God can happen. It’s so important to keep trusting and communicating with God, even in the tough times, and also drawing strength from other believers. Thank you for these reminders.

    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! Yes, seeking God intentionally and trusting Him even with our negative feeling of anger and disappointment is powerful and helpful. I am glad the post resonated with you!

  5. Your number one point really struck some musical chords in me. YEEES! Focus on what we know about Him. Meditate on all the ways we’ve seen Him show up for us already. You know!?! So good. Thank you for this!

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