Have you experienced disappointment with God? You’re sure He’s led you down a certain pathway, but in the end you discover nothing turned out the way you expected?
Not long ago it looked like I was going to become the pastor of a large congregation. The timing and other circumstances convinced me that it was the open door I’d been waiting and praying for over many years. Then it became obvious it wasn’t the opportunity I’d expected.
When things like this happen, we’re offered several options:
- Getting angry at God for failing
- Blaming ourselves or others
- Convincing ourselves that some sin has destroyed the opportunity
- Asserting that Satan has blocked the will of God
- Trusting that God is still God and though you don’t understand His ways you thank Him anyway
All but the last option is a subtle form of idolatry. We blame ourselves, others, or Satan. We envision our sins to be greater than God’s grace. Our limited understanding of God’s ways assumes that God is doing what we expect. We place other things on an equal footing with the Almighty.
God promised Abram: I will make you a great nation (Genesis 12:2). I imagine Abram driving his camel to Canaan and dreaming up all the ways God would accomplish His word. If he’d known how God was going to work, Abram might have turned his camel back home. God’s plan to make Abram’s descendants a great nation was through slavery in Egypt (Exodus 1:7-12)! Certainly not a method that ever crossed Abram’s mind.
God has a way of doing things for reasons we may never understand this side of eternity. Our personal expectations are not the will and way of God. We rest in the truth that God is always in control and that He works all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Put your trust and hope in God – not in your expectations of results.
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance (Psalm 42:5).