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When Disappointment Tries to Shake Your Relationship with God



"Why, God, didn't You make this happen?"


"Why haven't You answered my prayer yet?"


"Jesus, why would You allow this to happen to me?"


We all know the feeling of disappointment and frustration towards God. We've all felt let down by Him not doing something or allowing something to happen, and if we haven't yet, we will. Our finite, human minds often cannot understand God's plan, especially when it involves pain and waiting, and when we're stuck in that place of not understanding, waiting, and hurting, sometimes our faith can run thin. It's not a fun place to be, but it is there that our relationship with God can be strengthened and our character can be refined.


I recently found myself asking God these questions, and honestly, I was getting pretty upset at the Lord. I felt let down and disappointed and confused, and I didn't understand why He wasn't making a miracle happen in my life when I knew He could.


And then I went to church. So often, in the midst of my hurt, God speaks to me so clearly at church and opens my heart to what He wants to teach me or do in my life. I felt the Lord encouraging me that it was okay and good for me to bring all of my emotions and frustration to Him - that He desires for me to do that. I could sense Him challenging me, to either settle and stay in that place of frustration and anger, or to surrender the situation and allow Him to do something bigger in it. I was comforted by His presence surrounding me, promising me that it will work out, that it will be okay, and that God does have a good plan.


One of the songs we sang was "Gratitude" by Brandon Lake (a favorite), and one part of that song says,


"So come on, my soul

Oh, don't you get shy on me

Lift up your song

'Cause you've got a lion inside of those lungs

Get up and praise the Lord"


And when I heard these lyrics, I couldn't help but raise my hands. These words were a challenge to me to praise God despite what I was going through. They challenged me to keep focusing on continuing to worship the Lord, to keep giving Him the glory, even though my situation is disappointing and painful.


The truth is, I don't understand what God is doing in my life. I don't have the answers. I still get upset with God sometimes about the way my life looks. I struggle to stay content and joyful when my circumstances are anything but what I have been praying for. But I have to make the decision, every day, every hour, every moment, to keep praising and to keep trusting.


It's not easy. It's an uphill battle, every day, to resist the lies that Satan tries to feed into my mind and the disappointment that seeps into my soul.


But it is so necessary.


I cannot let the disappointment, frustration, and confusion break my faith. I cannot let it separate me from God. I cannot let it sway me from the truth that I have been believing all my life.


God has been too good, too faithful, for me to walk away from Him now. My entire life is built on Jesus; without Him, I am nothing. This situation is hard, impossible in my human eyes, but God is greater than everything the world could throw at me, and with God, the impossible is possible.


Friends, it's okay to be disappointed. It's okay to be confused. It's okay to be frustrated and angry with God. It's okay. But don't let those difficult, uncomfortable emotions push you away from the Lord - use them to draw closer to Him. Lean into the hard feelings and questions and run harder after God than ever before.


For me, this looks like sitting on my bed, crying out to God. I will literally be sobbing, yet holding my hands open, with my Bible in my lap, begging God for strength and clarity over the situation. Because it's painful and hard, all of these things I'm wrestling with and asking God about, but I refuse to let it force me away from the Lord. I refuse to fall away from my faith, because I have seen Him bring healing and redemption into situations that I thought were impossible, and I don't want to miss that. I don't want to miss the ways He's going to be strengthening our relationship, refining my character, and teaching me how to be more like Him in my every day life. I don't want to miss the ways He opens my eyes to the million beautifully simple yet incredibly intentional gifts from Heaven. I don't want to miss any of it.


So some days, on the days I'm sobbing, crying out to God, I'll write out a list of the ways I've seen Him working in my life despite the hardships I'm facing. I write down the miracles He's given me, the smaller ways He's answered my prayers - because all of these things are reminders of His love and faithfulness. And when I do this, not all of the anger is dissolved. Not all of the confusion fades away, nor does the disappointment magically disappear. But it covers my soul with a little more peace in the fact that God is constant and good, even when my life doesn't feel that way.

 

The reality of life and our Christian walk is that we are going to face disappointment. We are going to be mad, confused, and frustrated with the Lord at some point (and if you don't, then you might not be growing). But we cannot allow those emotions and the hardships of life to push us from God and shake our faith. It's not easy, I know, but we must cling to the truth that we find in Scripture and the peace we find in His presence. Because even though it may not feel like it right now, God has a good, good plan for you, and He isn't going to leave you in this place. He has a redemption plan in store for you, and He's going to make a way out of this situation.


How have you seen God work in your life, despite feeling disappointed and confused? What encouragement would you give someone who's struggling to trust God when life isn't looking like they've prayed for? Do you have anything that we can pray alongside you with? Let me know down in the comments below; I love to hear from you! :)


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