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Being Honest: God Has Disappointed Me

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Has God ever disappointed you? He’s disappointed me, many times, if I’m going to be honest. Which obviously I am.

Several things have influenced this post. One, last week someone I know objected to Philip Yancey’s book ‘Disappointment with God’. I don’t think they quite understood the point of the book, nor Yancey’s style, which is usually about brutal honesty.

Second, I find myself once again disappointed with many things in my life that I have hoped for. And after each disappointment, each fresh realisation that actually certain things MAY NEVER happen that I hope(d) for, I have to go back to a startling revelation that was given to me years and years ago, and tends to become deeper and deeper every time I get to this point of disappointment: The point of my life is to find joy in it. In the life I have. In the circumstances I am in, regardless of what they are. The point is not to find joy in the life I wish I had; the life I live in my dreams; a life that can sometimes become so real that the only response to my own life is disappointment and depression and frustration that God doesn’t seem to care much about the life I WANT.

God is more committed to our life than we are. Let me reiterate it to drive it home. He is more committed to my life than I am. I want the life of my dreams, he wants me to enjoy the life I’ve actually got. It’s like I’m munching on a delicious and juicy nectarine but thinking to myself that I’d prefer an orange. Oh why, Lord, did you give me this delicious nectarine? I want an orange. And so I miss just how wonderful the nectarine is because my mind is thinking about how great it would be if I had an orange.

God seems very interested in giving us joy IN our circumstances, not just taking our circumstances away. Joy is in God, not in our circumstances going away. I have to keep learning that lesson. The miracle of a life in God is being joyous in the troubles of life, not the troubles of life just being taken away. Yes, God does take away some troubles, but there are other troubles that seem to stay. But yet God is there, ready to give us joy in the midst of those troubles, as we cling to our great hope that finally, one day, EVERY tear will be wiped away and everything will, at last, be made new. Including us.


15 thoughts on “Being Honest: God Has Disappointed Me

  1. KP says:

    So true Stray! I wonder how many people miss out on what God has for them because they pursue a system, a perceived method or another persons journey instead of their own!

  2. Steven says:

    God doesn’t exist. If you want an orange, go buy one, or better yet, plant an orange tree. If you want a better life, quit praying to the great brick wall in the sky and go out and get it.

  3. LOL, Steven, said with such confidence but unconvincing.

    You don’t just ‘go out and get it.’ Tell that to the millions of people starving because their president is sucking their country dry. I’m afraid the world is a far more complex place than your little paradigm.

    There are things much more valuable than a better life, and something (or rather, someone) who is the most valuable of all. Namely God. Which we can have.

  4. Amy says:

    This is a god who split the sea, moved mountains and i cant help but look around and think … ‘is this the best you can do??’ ..

    The orange and nectarine metaphor doesnt work. Because I know, ( aswell as anyone whose ever been on a diet) when you crave for one food, nomatter what you replace that food with instead, even if youve enjoyed it and eaten all of it, you will still crave for the food you initially wanted.

    Especially when you are surrounded by all those that god has blessed with plentiful oranges, even your enemies and you beg on your hands an knees and he still sends, nectarines or in my case ……nothing at all.

    A rich man with millions of dollars, goes to an homeless shelter and gives everyone but you 2000 dollars, they go on and use that money to do so many great things, experience so many wonderful things that this life has to offer returns for his next visit to tell him theyre wonderful adventures and receive more.

    But you, he gives you 2 cents, not enough to leave your abusive household or do anything, just enough for a spit of water, to just barely stay alive untill his next visit. Sometimes he’ll give you nothing at all.. He comes back opened arms and says ‘where is my praise’. Is it not cruel?

    A man who could end my misery with one click of his finger, he chooses not. …. Is it not cruel?

    You may say, I cant say this because I dont know gods mind, but I dont have to to know I am dissapointed, that i am sad, that i am miserable, that i am in pain. That his words offer no comfort.

    Yes god has dissapointed me over and over, I used beleive there will be a day when i would look back on the misery he allowed to happen, and the prayers he turned away from and feel greatful. But not anymore..

    He’s like an abusive parent, he trapped me in a life of unfulfillment and misery, but being just a child i have no choice but to run back to him. For I cant do nothing without him.

    Love had nothing to do with it really, Maybe he’ll keep his promises, maybe he wont, he is god and I really couldnt care less anymore. For some life is a gift, for others it is punishment. I just cant wait till its over..

  5. Hi Amy,

    My blog has moved to

    How to reply to your comment 🙂 Lots to be said, but one thing that has helped me is by looking at my heart and wondering: is it not just that I refuse to do live in the natural order of things God has created? In other words, why am I always looking for miracles? Maybe God has gifted me to do go out there and make things happen but I refuse to walk in that gift because I want a magic show. It’s a hard question but it seems evident God gifts us all differently and works with us all differently.

    If you’re really keen to engage, come visit me at my blog or email me and we can chat that way 🙂

  6. Hopeless says:

    I completely and totally agree with Amy. I have done EVERYTHING God has ever asked of me for YEARS. I have abided in Him, and his word. I have prayed. I have believed. I have fasted. I have read Scripture until I was bleary eyed. I have loved others, and forgiven everyone, even those who have not asked for my forgiveness, and continue to torture and abuse me even now. I have put Him first in my life in every possible way, and yet, I have basic needs that are unmet, and my unanswered prayers outnumber my answered ones 10 to 1. I honestly wonder if God even exists, because I am not seeing HIm–or any trace of His divine works or His love–ANYWHERE. Every day, I get up believing, “Today is the day. Today He will show himself to me, and give me the minuscule amount of help I have asked him for….” Yet, every night, I go to bed disappointed and feeling hopeless.I’ve been a Christian for over 40 years, no matter how much I didn’t really understand parts of my faith, no matter how bad my life was, or how many loved ones I lost, and no matter how much I saw other Christians suffer…Now…I can’t do it anymore. I am prayed out, believed out, and cried out, and mostly, very, very, VERY disappointed and sad…..

  7. Hey Hopeless,

    Faith is about relationship. It seems to me, by your comments, that your faith in God is more about works and if you’ve done the right things than honest relationship.

    Let me expand on that. When you say “I have read scripture until I was bleary eyes, I have believed, I have prayed” and so on, you might as well say, “I’ve said the magical incantation, I believed strong enough, I did the dance, I followed the formula.”

    God is a father, not a magician. Faith is about trust, not ‘believing strongly enough’ (that, unfortunately, is bad theology taught by the name-it-and-claim-it types).

    It may be that God does not answer all your prayers simply because he wants you to understand this. It may also be that you (or I) will never know why he is not answering all your prayers. Notice how God never gave Job an answer at the end of the book of Job. However, what He did give Job was His presence.

    Remember Psalm 23?

    “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, your rod and your staff they comfort me.”

    For whatever reason, be it growing us, maturing us, humbling us, moving us, changing us, challenging us, or a reason we may never know or understand even if He told us (since we do not understand the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end), what He does give us is His presence through the valley of the shadow of death.

    My encouragement is you seek his presence not his gifts, the answering of your prayers. Only there may it make sense why He has done what He has done in your life. Sometimes it’s not our circumstances that need to change, it’s us and our perspective that needs to change. Not by works, not by magical formulas, but by grace, relationship, and trust (faith).

  8. God most certainly has dissapointed me . I’m 38 I’m still single . I have never dated . I have asked God for more than decade now and I’m still single ! What also dissapoints me is hearing how God has brought other people together – what about me I’m not other people

    I can’t have kids . What dissapoints me is the number of deadbeats Able to have kids

    I was told God called me to be single to serve him instead / true or not that’s very dissapointing !

    The idea of jesus is my husband is also very dissapointing !

  9. ambar says:

    How convenient, if He does something for you, or He doesn’t, it’s his will, so it’s a win-win situation for him, meanwhile you’re the one who has lost. You say He is a father and that one must have a relationship with him, but how you can have a relationship with someone who doesn’t show you his presence, his love, who condemn you to an unhappy life, taking people you love away from you, keeping you hungry, jobless… To me, He is evil, because he makes you suffer for no good reason. I’m beyond dissapointed at him, i know he exist, but i don’t know his love, he has betrayed me one to many times, so what’s the point of having him in my life? You have to stay away from negative hurtful people, and that’s what he’s to me, a bad, neglecting “father”

  10. Success says:

    To me he has never failed to disappoint me. At age 30 I am still a bedwetter. Anytime I go dry for a week or a month, I remembered to thank him for keeping me dry, only for me to bedwet exactly that night I thanked him. Even while I visited people to stay with them overnight,with only the cloth I put on on me. I call God to at least keep me dry for that night. But surely that would be the day he would choose to disgrace me by making same happen. All other kinds of diseases I still have since I was born, praying for cure till date he didn’t give. Then I thought him as Satan, the devil, the day I saw in the bible when he proudly said, “I created evil.” Then I felt I am done with him. Ever since I left him, things have been better for me. With the method of masturbation which I have been taught is a sin, I could at least stop the problem of bedwetting every night, only if I could remember to do it so well before sleep takes over.
    I feel happier without him in my life, because I feel with him in me, he is only preserving me for more and more troubles.

    Recently I began to write something against his Christ but I decided to suspend it because I got a revelation. However I will never worship him for the rest of my life, because I still see him as the devil himself because he said that he created evil.

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