Have you ever felt disappointed in God when He did things differently than you expected?

Planning is my superpower. After Hubs and I married, we planned to wait a year and then start trying to have children. We anticipated pregnancy taking a year, and that was fine. We saw no problem with our plan, and we (or maybe I) expected God would give us a pregnancy. 

When a year came and went, I struggled with God’s choice to not allow us to conceive. I was hurt, angry, and in time, landed on depression. I was doing all the things . . . spending time in His word, praying for others and praying for God to answer my heart’s prayer for a baby, I served at church and helped friends.

Yet God seemed unmoved by my devotion. Two years, and then more, came and went, and my arms remained empty. I was disappointed in God. “Why” questions haunted my thoughts daily. 

Haven’t we all endured times when we faced disappointment with God and how He has (or hasn’t) worked things in our lives? Sometimes, He seems distant when we walk through trials . . . 

  • When relationships are broken because of a choice we or the other person made? 
  • We do everything we can to achieve a goal and we fall short?
  • Prayers for healing are answered with a “no”?
  • Plans we’ve made for something important don’t yield what we expected? 
  • A heart’s desire is withheld?

Here’s the thing . . . God is not beholden to us. Do we “do all the things” with a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mindset? God is not indebted to us because we follow His rules. When we make choices that reflect a Christian life, we should be doing so because we love our Father, not because we’re expecting a payoff. 

Disappointed in God—4 Ways To Change Our Perspective—When we make choices that reflect a Christian life, we should be doing so because we love our Father, not because we’re expecting a payoff #tellhisstory #dealingwithdisappointment Click To Tweet

What God wants

More than anything, God wants our hearts. He wants us to love Him unhindered, not with an agenda. This is challenging when we’re programmed to want things, to seek achievement, to desire good for those we love and for ourselves. 

Meme with the words, "God knows the trying circumstances are what draw us into a deeper relationship with Him" on a backdrop of a windmill on a farm with a storm moving in...symbolic of how stormy being disappointed in God makes us feel

The truth is, God knows the trying circumstances are what draw us into a deeper relationship with Him. Those times when He doesn’t meet our expectations are when we’re confronted with our beliefs about God.

When we attempt to skirt around the tough stuff of life or we try to control each aspect of our lives when we lay out our plans and say, “Bless this, God!” we place ourselves on the throne of our lives. 

We often call Jesus the Lord of our lives, but we don’t always live as though He is. It’s easier to be the one who calls the shots. The person who makes the plans. Carries them out. Is responsible for the results. Cleans up after the mess our plans make. 

Being self-sufficient feels easier in some ways. Holding the perceived control of our lives gives us a sense of power and invulnerability. And this hardness in ourselves leaves us disappointed with God when His plans are different.

God—the Lord of our lives—wants the throne. Not to manipulate us, but to conform us into the image of Jesus. 

If we are Christians and we call Jesus “Lord,” we should be living yielded to Him. 

This can be difficult and requires a huge perspective change! 

Instead of expecting God to do our bidding, we should ask Him to enable us to do His. 

Disappointed in God—4 Ways To Change Our Perspective—Instead of expecting God to do our bidding, we should ask Him to enable us to do His #tellhisstory #dealingwithdisappointment Click To Tweet

How do we make this perspective change?

The process takes time, awareness, and intentional effort.

Four changes to help when we feel disappointed in God

Notice each one of these suggestions invites God into the equation. 

  • Know God’s character. This forms our beliefs about Him. We gain an understanding of our Father’s character by reading in His word.
  • Believe God is trustworthy. Our Father promises He has good plans for our lives. Not necessarily easy plans. But His plans for us are always good.  
  • Talk with the Lord about our plans, but don’t tell Him what His role is in completing them. Instead, we should hold our plans out, with hands open wide, so He can take them and do what He knows is best.
  • Ask God what His plans are. And ask Him to give us the heart (and the courage) to follow them.

This requires us to trust God. It’s easy to say we trust Him when things go the way we expect. But what about when painful circumstances enter the picture? Navigating unexpected situations can shake our belief in God, and our understanding of Him.

When He allows “hard” into our lives, we must choose between self-focus and being disappointed in God or believing He is who He says He is, in spite of our circumstances. Trusting that our Father loves us, that His plans for us are good—even when they’re hard—is how we find peace.

We must trust God’s way is better than what we desire, especially when we don’t understand. Believing God’s word helps us embrace this truth. God’s ways are higher than ours. His plans are more far-reaching than we can conceive. 

Meme with the words, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.' Romans 9:29, NKJV" on a backdrop of a farm with a storm behind it...reminds us we can face trials that make us feel disappointed in God and come out knowing God better

Conclusion

It takes time to work through disappointment and realign our hearts with His. It’s okay to grapple with disappointment. But, let’s do this with God, not on our own. God’s goal is that we are conformed into the image of Jesus. 

Being conformed means being reshaped into Jesus’ likeness.

When we’re tempted to hold God to certain expectations, let’s confess that. Remember that God sees the entire landscape of our lives, whereas we only see the moments we’re living in. God sees us from the perspective of what He wants to do in our lives. And His plans are so much better than we can imagine. 

What about you? What have you learned about holding God to expectations? How have you worked through times when you felt disappointed in God’s plans?

Next week, we’ll be meeting up and linking up at Lisa Jordan’s place!

Come share your story at the Tell His Story linkup. Connect and be encouraged by like-minded friends! #tellhisstory #linkup Click To Tweet

Most weeks, I link up with Grace and Truth, Anita Ojeda, Instaencouragements, and sometimes Let’s Have Coffee. Come join and read more encouraging posts!

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