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09 Sep '11

Dissappointment with God

The longer we live the more disappointments we incur in life: some major and life changing, some less so but disappointments nonetheless. They come in the form of illness, injustices, things beyond our control and some change our lives forever. It is the nature of life. All of us experience them, none of us are exempt. At 55, I have a long list of them.

The question is not whether disappointments will come but how we will choose to deal with them. There are three common responses, the first being bitterness toward God. We would not label it as such but it is there, lying just below the surface for many people. That bitterness distances them from God because if He is responsible for our pain, what can be said about His goodness, His love, His reliability and His care for us? 

But think about this: "It is easy to blame God for bad things that happen in this world. The truth is that in blaming Him we are doing something even more terrible. We are blaming the perfect and holy God who created a perfect and holy creation for the sin that we as humans brought into the world in rebellion against Him. In essence, He created a perfect world, but we rebelled and now blame Him for the imperfect world. We ask why He allows bad things to happen, why He tolerates injustice and evil and sorrow and pain. Blame is heaped on the One who sought the very best for men and women made in His image who instead chose to rebel and go their own way. That is the greatest possible transfer of responsibility ever (When Life Comes Undone, p. 52)."


Bitterness toward God is exactly what the evil one wants for our lives for he is in the business of stealing, killing and destroying (John 10:10). His lie is that God is responsible for the evil in our world while the truth is that we are responsible for that evil along with the evil one. Blaming the creator and therefore alienating ourselves from Him is one of the classic lies of Satan who uses that lie to destroy our relationship with God. 


A second response to the disappointments we incur is to simply decided to settle for a diminished life. To allow a profound sadness to permeate our lives, steal our joy, rob our passion and hold us hostage to our pain. Again, the evil one has won because he has stolen from us what God intended for us (John 10:10). In that same verse, Jesus says, "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." Jesus said this knowing all the issues we would face living in a fallen world and still He promises that He will give us life and life to the full. 


A third response is to press into our loving Savior, with faith that He is who He says He is, Has our lives in His hands, redeems pain for His purposes, and turns our human scars into divine scars if we will allow Him to. And that, He is with us in our pain for He experienced the same kind of pain when he walked our earth so that we can "approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 5:16)."


Choosing to trust God in the disappointments of life is the essence of faith. It is choosing to trust when we don't see the end and cannot understand the rationale. It is trusting God when we cannot see the answers we seek or the end we desire. Read again that great definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for."


In the disappointments of life we cling to what we hope for in Jesus and we believe in what we do not presently see - knowing that He has provided the hope and that He sees what we do not see. And in that choice, we choose life, we choose trust, we choose faith, we choose Him and the fullness of life which He promises despite our circumstances or pain.


All of us suffer from disappointments in life. Which choice are we making today?