A cobblestone path lined with olive trees . . . reminiscent of something similar to what Jesus may have walked in His triumphal entry


Have you ever struggled with disappointment with God? My answer: YES . . . too many times to count. As we near Palm Sunday and meditate on Jesus’ final week on earth, I’ve been considering His heart and the hearts of the Jewish leaders.

For his triumphal entry, Jesus gave clear instructions to His disciples about finding Him a donkey to ride into Jerusalem, just as it was prophesied in the Old Testament. I once heard a pastor share that, because of Old Testament prophecies, the Jews in Jesus’ time knew the exact day the Messiah would ride into town on a donkey.

A red dirt path lined with a tall rock wall on one side and green plants on the other side...symbolic of how we sometimes walk in our disappointment with God in isolation

Jesus fulfilled the prophecy. Why did the religious leaders question Jesus’ authority to do so? Was it because there were others trying to get in on the notoriety of riding into Jerusalem on that day and being seen as a hero, a messiah? 

Or, was it because Jesus wasn’t the Messiah they wanted? They had already confronted Jesus about His teachings. They criticized His birth. The Jewish leaders even harassed His disciples. 

Plans: 6 Steps on How To Manage Our Disappointment With God—Was it because Jesus wasn’t the Messiah they wanted? They had already confronted Jesus about His teachings. #tellhisstory #disappointmentwithgod Click To Tweet
The silhouette of the cross at the Colosseum, a reminder of what Jesus did for us.

What about us? Is Jesus the Messiah we wanted or expected? 

At times I’ve been disappointed with God and His way of doing things in my life. I’ve looked to other people—other things—to be my savior. 

How sad is it that we dismiss the amazing love—the amazing gifts—Jesus offers His children because we don’t want His version of saving? 

When we find ourselves disappointed in how Jesus is doing things in our lives, it’s important to look at the why’s behind the disappointment. 

A grove of olive trees

Why Don’t We Like How He’s Directing Our Lives?

  • Is He not meeting our expectations, acquiescing to our agenda? 
  • Perhaps is it that His way of working in our lives taking too long in our opinion?
  • Is He allowing too much pain and disappointment into our present circumstances? Do we feel like He’s not listening when He allows us to remain in difficult places for a long time? 
  • Is He not cooperating with the plans we mapped out?

Most of us have probably answered “yes” to each of these questions at some point in our lives. 

A silhouette of a cross at St Peter's Basilica . . . to remind us that Jesus died on it, and sometimes our disappointment with God needs a new perspective

What Should We Do When We Struggle with How Jesus is Acting as Our Messiah?

  1. Be honest with the Lord about your thoughts and feelings. Whether they are right or wrong, admitting them to Jesus is the first step in dealing with them.
  2. Spend time in prayer, in journaling about your disappointment, in speaking with a friend who’s not afraid to share the truth with you. And then meditate on what has been shared. 
  3. Ask the Lord to help you see things through His eyes, His perspective. And then sit with Him in the revelations He may share. Don’t rush through this. And don’t diminish what He reveals. Choose humility as you sit with Him. It may be painful, but our God is also a comforter, so lean into His comfort.
  4. If you’re brave enough, ask God to remove the inaccurate thoughts, the expectations, the agendas from your heart. 
  5. Spend time in God’s word and study Jesus’ life . . . how He interacted with people. How often did He do things the way people expected? Ummm, almost never. Ask Jesus to help you see Him through an accurate perspective. 
  6. Pray like the man in the Bible, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!”. And open your heart and your thoughts to what He reveals to you.

It’s hard, humbling work to realign our perspectives when we’ve faced disappointment with God, and we are living in unmet expectations. 

A tapestry depicting the resurrection of Jesus—He overcame death. This reminds us that He died and rose for us, so we need to evaluate our disappointment with God with this in mind

How Will We Manage our Disappointment with God?

The thing is, our Jesus is our Messiah. He is the One who came to earth to die a cruel death because He loves us too much to be separated from us for eternity. The Lord knows what’s best for us, and His plans for our lives are crafted with love and intention

Plans: 6 Steps on How To Manage Our Disappointment With God—His plans for our lives are crafted with love and intention. #tellhisstory #disappointmentwithgod Click To Tweet

Will we fist tightly our plans for our lives, or can we, maybe, yield to His much bigger, more amazing-in-the-eternal-perspective plans? 

A meme with the words, "Coming to terms with who Jesus is as our Messiah—our Savior—is a moment-by-moment choosing to trust Him more than ourselves." on a backdrop of a narrow cobblestone street

Are we willing to trust He knows what’s best for us, even though it doesn’t feel good—or even right—in the moment? Coming to terms with who Jesus is as our Messiah—our Savior—is a moment-by-moment choosing to trust Him more than ourselves or what we see. 

What about you? When have you struggled with what Jesus was doing in your life? How do you come to terms with things when God’s plans are different from yours?

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