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Disappointed by God

J.M. Diener

October 2020

Recently I was listening to a curated playlist and up popped a song titled “King of My Heart” by John Mark and Sarah McMillan1 . I enjoyed it (it really has some good Truth in it) until it hit the bridge, where the lyrics go, “You’re never gonna let / never gonna let me down,” and then I became puzzled: is that really true? In my own life, I’ve more than once felt let down by God. I’ve asked Him for something, and He said no. Naturally, I felt let down. So, I began to wonder if it happened in Scripture, too, or was my experience unique?

The Psalms are full of people who feel disappointed by God: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps. 22:1) “Lord, why do You stand far away? Why do You hide in times of trouble?” (Ps. 10:1) Worst of all is Psalm 88:13-18. 

But I call to You for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer meets You. Lord, why do You reject me? Why do You hide Your face from me? From my youth, I have been afflicted and near death. I suffer Your horrors; I am desperate. Your wrath sweeps over me; Your terrors destroy me. They surround me like water all day long; they close in on me from every side. You have distanced loved one and neighbor from me; darkness is my only friend. (HCSB)

And that’s where Heman ends; in despair, hurt, and feeling abandoned by God! Jeremiah gripes about the unending pain he endures for standing up for God’s word (Jer. 15:15-18). Didn’t Deuteronomy 28 promise that those who followed Yahweh faithfully would be blessed with goodness in this life as well as the life to come?

The truth is that we have ideas of how God should do things and when He doesn’t do them that way, we get mad. But God sees the bigger picture; He is sovereign, and He will bring his plan to pass. We’re just along for the ride. But when God disappoints us – and He will – we must remember that He is good, and our disappointment does not change that. Christa Gifford Black has said, “If you do not cling to the goodness of God, you will lower your theology to match your pain.”

We are living in a time of disappointment upon disappointment as governments and individuals respond to the pandemic in ways that we do not agree with. I pray for God to let this pass so my children can go back to school, and I can go back to normal life, but He hasn’t yet; and I am disappointed. So, when God disappoints me, I tell him. I let him know what is going on inside me. I lament; I cry; I scream; I rail against Him. Then when I stop, empty and spent, I go back to the truth: God is good; He loves me; He is trustworthy; and He means well. Being disappointed with Him is okay. Clinging to Him in the face of that disappointment shows true faith.

  • 1© Meaux Jeaux Music, Raucous Ruckus Publishing, Sarah McMillan Publishing

How to cite this document (MLA):

Diener, J.M. “Disappointed by God”. J.M. Diener’s Writings: Pondering the Master. October 2020. <http://default/ptm/disappointed-god>. Accessed: Today’s date.

Copyright © 2020 J.M. Diener. All Rights Reserved.