“But someone will say, ‘you have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18) and, “For as the body apart from the spiritis dead, so also faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26).

Monday, May 4, 2015

Dealing with Disappointment in God

We have all prayed to God for specific requests: Healing of ourselves or loved one, desperately praying to find a job, hopefully mending a relationship, and even praying for our lives or the lives of others in death or life situations.

When our prayers aren't answered, we think is God not hearing me? Doesn't he care? Why doesn't he send me a sign or message? We become depressed,disappointed, and even angry with God.

I've been thinking about this. I recently had a challenging few weeks of major disappointments. In fact, I was for the first time, actually angry with God.

The truth to the matter is that while I can be complaining about an unresponsive God, I do know that  God does not hide from me, that he is fair, and he does communicate with me. I can say I’m disappointed because I’m not getting what I want, but he does clarify his position.  I am convinced that while we pray fervently for our requests, he answers us in variety of real ways short of speaking to us directly. One way is through Christian friends, sermons, Christian newsletters, or a Bible study.  Sometimes we need to accept his answer is simply 'no'.

As I was complaining to a friend, she remembered a book she had and gave me 'Disappointment with God' by Philip Yancey.  How extraordinary was that? This was a perfect example of God working through a friend to communicate with me through an author I was unfamiliar with.  The book gave me a new perspective in relating to God and his responses to me. I can give you numerous other examples when I’m inwardly whining, and then one of my Christian friends, a sermon, a book, or  an email, clarifies my turmoil as God speaks directly to me through someone’s words. 

So, yes I have had my disappointments and seemingly non-answers. And while I think my challenges are important at the time, I need to keep other’s lives in perspective too.  I confess this sin of pride and selfishness, because when we look back in time, we see how our brothers and sisters waited in faith. Sometimes they saw the end result, other times they didn't.  But the one thing we have that we can hang our hat on is the peace of  Jesus--even if we don't get an answer. 

Philippians 4:6-7  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.