Disappointed With God?
“Your will be done.” — Matthew 26:42, Luke 11:2
Those can be hard words to get out. Even Jesus struggled before He prayed to His Father, “Your will be done” in the Garden of Gethsemane.
They’re hard because we’re afraid.
Afraid that even though we’ve fervently prayed over a certain matter, what we want is not what God wants—and it is hard to let go of strong desires, especially when we are praying for someone we love or a situation like a life threatening illness.
Feeling like God has let us down is one of the greatest challenges to our faith.
Philip Yancey observes, “Some people lose their faith because of a sharp sense of disappointment with God. They expect God to act in a certain way, and God ‘lets them down.’ Others may not lose their faith, but they too experience disappointment. They believe God will intervene, they pray for a miracle, and their prayers come back unanswered.”1
Then we feel guilty and wonder, “What would other believers think of me if they knew I was disappointed with God or even angry with Him? Worse yet, what does God think?"
He knows we are human!
Several stories in Scripture address this issue in various ways.
Mary and Martha were disappointed that Jesus didn’t come to them when He first heard their brother Lazarus was ill (John 11). The desperate father of an ill son who was afraid to expect a miracle, cried, “Help my unbelief!” (John 9). Elijah challenged evil and called fire down from heaven. Afterward, he sat under a tree, depressed and praying to die (1 Kings 19).
In each instance the Lord responded to the need, often in unexpected ways—not necessarily the way those who prayed thought things should go, but in ways that reminded them of His unfailing love and providence. God’s answers are always intended to draw us closer to Him and help us grow deeper in our faith.
Don’t ever be afraid to pray, “Your will be done.”
Even when it means something hard is ahead.
Jesus knew it meant the Cross – but He also knew the joy of accomplishing His purpose on this earth. Never be afraid to commit an unknown future to the God who knows the future, who loves you and wants to bless you with an abundant, meaningful life.
- Yancey, Philip, Disappointment With God (Zondervan, 1988) p. 26.