Nobody likes disappointment.
It makes us feel, well, disappointed.
In my Proverbs 31 devotion, Faith Over Feelings, that is running today, I talked about a recent experience I had with being disappointed. I had worked long and hard on a project, expecting a certain outcome, only to have those expectations crumble before my very eyes.
I honestly believed that God had called me to work on that particular project and nurture that dream, so I could not understand why He was not blessing it. I not only felt disappointed in myself, and disappointed in the situation —- but in all honesty, I felt a little disappointed in God.
I thought I had heard God’s instruction clearly, and followed His lead. I had worked hard, put in a lot of time and effort, and trusted God. I felt I deserved for God to bless my efforts. So when things did not turn out the way I had hoped, I felt unfairly treated.
In fact, I felt a bit like one of those kids you see in a toy store who were just told they could not have the most awesomely awesome toy ever to take home with them.
You know the ones I am talking about. You can hear them clear across the entire store, screaming loudly for all to hear, while flailing and flopping around on the floor as their embarrassed parent unsuccessfully tries to pull them up by one arm.
Have you ever felt somewhat like that little kid? Immensely disappointed? So disappointed that your emotions were out of control?
Have you ever wanted something so badly, that you could almost taste it? Do you see other people enjoying the blessing that you so desperately want, and maybe not even appreciating it, and feel disappointed that God is not blessing you too?
Does it seem that other people have fewer problems than you, and feel disappointed that God is not removing some of your hardships? Have you recognized answered prayers for friends, and feel discouraged because God does not appear to be answering your prayers?
Do you sometimes feel like thrashing on the floor and yelling “it’s not fair!!!”
Have you ever felt a bit disappointed…… in God?
It’s okay to admit if you do, because God wants us to be real with Him. Psalm 139:1-3 reminds us that God already knows how we feel – so why not be honest? This verse says, “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up.You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.” (NLT)
God already knows our every thought, and so He knows the emotions we struggle with – including disappointment. He understands and has compassion when we are hurting.
Yet, we need to remember that God is God, and that our emotions must come second to our faith, even when we do not understand His ways.
When I was thinking about this subject of faith over feelings, I couldn’t help but consider the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In Matthew 26:39, we see Jesus telling His Father how He really felt – vs 39, “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus was so sorrowful about the torture that awaited Him in Crucifixion, that He pleaded for God to change His mind – He wanted to be spared from dying on the cross. However, in the same breath, He also conceded to trust whatever God’s will was. Jesus told God how He really felt. In fact, He told Him three times.
Yet, despite His disappointment in the coming events, Jesus did not allow His emotions, to undermine His purpose or His faith in His Father, who always knows best.
If you are feeling disappointed today, be honest with God. If you are feeling weak, tell Him so. If you are feeling discouraged, tell Him so. If you are feeling hopeless, tell Him so. If you are feeling ashamed, tell Him so. If you are feeling mad or upset because God does not seem to be answering your prayers, just tell Him so.
If you are coveting someone else’s blessing, wondering why God is not blessing you – tell Him so.
We may be able to put on an good mask for everyone around us, hiding our pain and our disappointment, our anger and frustration. But God sees, and His desire to love us through those hard times.
Disappointments happen to everyone, but not everyone will trust God in the midst of their disappointments, and learn to trust His plans over their own.
Not everyone will allow their faith to take precedence in their hearts. But choosing faith over feelings is a choice we have the power to make.
Not everyone will make the right choice, but those who do, will be blessed.
God sees our hearts, and when we are real with Him, He can become real in our life.