What causes disappointment? Basically, it stems from expectations not being met and hopes not being realized. We had in mind one outcome but find ourselves being confronted with another. It may not necessarily be because we were not being realistic. It’s just that reality brought something other than what we assumed was coming.
That said, it’s quite possible to be disappointed with God. Or, to put it another and better way, it’s quite possible to be disappointed with who we thought God to be. It’s possible for our false picture of who He is to have set us up for dashed expectations. And that can be painful. It can be numbing for awhile, like someone has hit us with a 2 x 4. But, agonizing as that can be, such false images need to be exposed that we might see the living God for who He really is.
Let me come at this another way. Jesus’ name means “Savior”. Most folks today hear that, politely nod, and assume that means He came to make life better for us, to make us happier, to help us get what we want, to help us be all we can be. But Jesus made it very clear from the beginning to those who would have ears to hear that following Him would not make life easier for us but harder. To follow Jesus means putting aside what we want and choose the harder things instead. He said in Mark 8:34, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” This is a shocking statement we need to hear again and again. To “take up the cross” in that time was to pick up and carry the wooden beams upon which you would be crucified.
Jesus was clear as to why He came. Indeed, He did come to make our lives better. But in order to grapple with that rightly, we have to re-calibrate what “better” actually means. He came to save us from our sin – its penalty, power, and one day its very presence. He lived and died in our place to bring this about. And was raised to prove the work was done. Ours is now to repent and entrust ourselves completely to Him.
Questions then to consider. (1) If I find myself disappointed with God and His dealings with me, what false ideas of Him has this exposed? Where do I need to grow? What basics do I need to recover? (2) Is it enough for me that Jesus has saved, is saving, and will save me from sin? Do I really believe that is my worst problem and greatest concern? What is it that has somehow eclipsed that?