Being disappointed is literally to be dis – appointed. You make an appointment in your heart for your breakthrough… and it doesn’t come. You appoint yourself a promotion… but you get fired. You appoint a person as your spouse… and they marry someone else.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
If you’re dealing with sadness, feeling uninspired or struggling with anxiety, most likely you are embracing Disappointed With God.
Three years ago my wife and I started the process of adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia. She is now 3 years old… and we’re still waiting. This past Sunday was #OrphanSunday and the last thing I wanted to do was talk about it again.
You would think that God would move heaven and earth to make it happen. That the bureaucracy and delays would be no match to Jehovah Of The Angel Armies.
But here we are.
No Isabela in our house.
No adoption story to tell.
And the guest of disappointment has over-welcomed his stay.
We’re not the first ones to endure disappointment.
John the Baptist died decapitated and disappointed.
Unless, right before he lost his head, he took the advice of his younger cousin.
You see, John the Baptist knew who Jesus was before he was even born. He grew up as the only prophet to his generation, intentionally making a way for the Messiah. He called it out in public before anyone else did, “Behold! There goes the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world!”
He made a way for Christ and left his ministry so that Jesus could fulfill his.
But in his last days he found himself in prison. Alone, accused and desperate for answers.
In the darkness of his Jewish cell, John the Baptist began to question the one thing he had always been sure about. He sent his last disciples in a quest for answers, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
In his love for John, Jesus invited his disciples to stick around and see the healings and the deliverance that were transforming the lives of others.
Then Jesus turned to them and said, “Tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
John would recognize Isaiah’s prophecy in those words. But out of love for his cousin, Jesus didn’t include Isaiah’s phrase “proclaim liberty to the captives.”
Jesus did say something else.
Something you and I need to hear.
A different kind of freedom.
“Happy is the one who is not offended with me.”
In other words, “You will be blessed if you don’t find me to be a stumbling block.”
“You will experience fulfillment if you don’t place your disappointment on me.”
“You will return to joy when you don’t blame me for the things that upset you.”
This is Jesus validating the questions that John had (because he loved him) while at the same time providing the solution (because he loved him).
After Jesus had sent John’s disciples away, he said something glorious about the wild prophet: “no one born of women had ever been greater.”
This, right after John questioned who Jesus was.
Your disappointment does not change what God thinks about you, but beware, it might change what you think about him.
So when you have good reasons to be disappointed with God, remind yourself that God is good. That He’s not looking for perfection, that He’s not afraid of your doubts, that He’s not disappointed with your disappointment.
I get disappointed with God when I think of our baby girl. Nevertheless, God is the very one I need to help me make it through the wait.
So here I am embracing my weakness, for there I will find His strength.
What do you want to do?
I know it is hard to believe right now, but believe we must.
Can I encourage you to turn your disappointment into honest song and prayer? To use them as an invitation to draw near to love?
So let’s make this choice together… right here, right now:
- We will trust God no matter what comes.
- We will believe all the way to the end.
- Even if we don’t see the promise fulfilled, we will still worship, still surrender, still hope.
We will overcome.
“Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”