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When God Disappoints

            Disappointment can be a heart-breaking, soul-troubling, gut-wrenching reality.  It happens when our hopes are not fulfilled, our dreams do not come to pass, and our desires are not satisfied.  When it comes in the form of a trust that is broken, a friendship that is betrayed, or the lack of a response from someone upon whom we thought we could rely, the disappointment can be utterly devastating.  In response, we tend to put distance between ourselves and those who disappoint us in order to minimize the possibility of experiencing this kind of pain in the future.

            Recently, my wife reminded me of a question I raised about God and disappointment:  What do we do when God disappoints us?  I dare say that if our relationship with God is something more than just mere acquaintance, the chances are very good that we have been disappointed by God.  The answer to our prayer is not what we hoped for; the intervention by God that we so desperately want never comes to pass; the burden that is becoming unbearable is neither lifted nor lightened; or the healing we seek never happens the way we expect it to happen, if it happens at all.  So what do we do when God disappoints us?

            The answer came for me after wrestling with the death of my 21 year-old daughter, Kimberly.  She died on July 13, 2001 of a viral infection that attacked her heart.  It happened just two weeks after she preached her initial sermon.  That experience taught me that when God disappoints us, our best response is to keep trusting Him and keep following Him.

            Brennan Meaning in his book, Ruthless Trust says “Trust in God does not presume that God will intervene”.  And it may be that we are most disappointed by God when He does not intervene.

            I learned while traveling through the “valley of the shadow of death” created by Kimberly’s death that God is free to be God.  Who God is, is not determined by whether or not God responds to our needs, our prayers or our desires in the way that we want Him to respond.  God is not bound by the limits we impose upon Him nor are His answers confined to responding positively to our expressed wishes and desires.  God is only bound by the limits He imposes upon Himself and what He, in His infinite wisdom, knows to be the best possible response in any given situation; even if that response results in our present disappointment with Him.  I have learned that because we are disappointed with how God responds to our petitions, it does not mean that God does not care about us or about our plight.  It is God Himself, who speaks through the prophet Isaiah and says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways…” (Isaiah 55:8-NIV)  Maybe it is in the depth of God’s caring that He is aware that the present disappointment can lead to greater blessings on the other side of that disappointment.  And, I have discovered that in the depths of our disappointment with God, God remains with us.  After Kimberly’s death, it was painful being in the presence of the God who “allowed” her to die.  So the distance between me and God appeared to grow.  But at some point, in the midst of that distance and pain, I discovered that as much as I wanted Kimberly to live, I needed God to be very present with me even more; even at those times when I did not want Him to be there.  It is possible for our disappointment with God to be transformed into a much closer relationship with the very God whom we feel has disappointed us.                      

 

 

59 comments to When God Disappoints

  • Lynne Streeter

    Hi Rev. Yeargin-
    I was looking up City Temple and I found your blog. Thanks for sharing this thought. It really helps. I will see you guys at the Ensemble’s anniversary in June!!!
    In Him,
    Lynne

  • hello Rev. Yeargin,
    this is one of your bible study students. I was delighted to be able to log on to the website and want to commend april and staff on the exemplary job they’ve done. i’ve read your two blogs and couldn’t agree with you more. as usual, you’re very insightful and your comments extremely thought provoking. ‘when God disappoints’ is certainly a topic for in depth soul searching. i take comfort in the knowledge that ‘God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, nor his ways our ways’ and that out the ‘disappointment’ may come a blessing that we could not foresee.

  • Adia

    It is comforting to have a relationship with a God in whom you can be disappointed. In dealing with Kimberly’s death, it was a comfort to know that my anger/frustration/disappointment, was in no way bigger than God’s love, hopes and wishes for me. That is very freeing and let’s you know you are TRULY in relationship with Him.

  • Schnake

    Thank you for those words of encouragement that you shared on yesterday. This devotion seems to fit right along with what I’ve just experienced. Even though I am not sure how this present hurt can lead to greater blessings on the other side; I am determined to trust God.

  • Thank you for your gracious response. The truth is no one can ever know the blessings that await on the other side of disappointment. However, what makes the greater blessings possible is the very attitude you have taken: “I am determined to trust in God”. Do that and you may be surprised at what God will do fore you and through you.

    God Bless You,
    Rev. Yeargin

  • Thanks dear for the response.

    Dad

  • Sister Bernadette,

    Thanks for checking out the website and the blog. Hopefully, we we will be able to share something insightful and interesting with each new blog. If at any time you have a queston or some issue you want addressed, please feel free to raise it and I will try to find an answer.

    Rev. Yeargin

  • Hi Lynne,

    It was good to hear from you. I trust that all is going well with you. I am glad the blog was helpful. I’m looking forward to seeing you on 14th.

    Rev. Yeargin

  • As you have so often said, Pastor, keep living and you will have trials, tribulations and disappointments. It is true that some of those disappointments come when God does not give us what we want and/or think we need. I am so grateful that through many disappointments and hurts in my life, God has kept me and shown me, on the other side of those hurts and disappointments, that my life is still blessed and filled with the potential for even greater blessings. What my parents and other people of faith around me have shown me, through their living, is that I must keep trusting and walking with God. To not give up on Him, because He surely has not given up on me.

  • Hi Vonda,

    You are right. It is a lesson worth learning and remembering so that when those times of disappoiontment come again, and they will come again, we can keep the hope alive.

    Rev.

  • Min. Lori

    I often pray that God will bless me with “just enough.” I feel that I am not worthy nor do I deserve all the blessings that God continues to bestow upon me. One of the reasons I feel this way is because of the many disappointments I have caused our Father in heaven to feel. There were times when everything seemed great and life was full of fun and joy but the moment something happened, I blamed God. I would get upset with God and questioned, “How could you or why me God?” I would explain my disappontment with God as a disconnect from God. He isn’t listening, he is busy helping one of his other children and doesn’t have time for me, he isn’t talking to me right now, the holy spirit is sleep. But as I continued to live life, I realized that no matter the situation, no matter the circumstance, God continued to bless me. Through all the disappointments I placed on God, he continued to love me unconditionally and to bless me wheather I felt I deserved it or not! Now when God disappoints, I feel the need to get closer and I hold his hand tighter because I know he knows whats best. Oh yes, it’s easier said then done, but when I look back on the trials and tribulations, I see his Grace and Mercy, and how he blessed me with “Just Enough” to make it through. As for when I disappoint, I thank God for the Holy Spirit to help keep me faithful to our calling.
    Awesome topic Rev. and right on time!

  • Hi Lori,

    Thanks for your response. Sometimes the hardest thing to accept is that we are accepted by God; that His love for us has absolutely no requirments or conditions. Once we can accept that it frees us to be the persons He created us to be. I believe that all of us wrestle with that at some point. Just keep being faithful even through what we think at the disappointments and you will discover you will grow closer and closer to God.

    Rev.

  • bobbie jean

    Disappointed in God? Oh yes, been there. The absolute Truth I’ve come to know is there is nothing I can do to make God stop loving me, being with me and carrying me. God carries me every day through, every thing and around every body. This post is very on time, insightful and courageous. I am right in the middle of disappointment with God at this very moment. However, what I KNOW is that (1) it’s already taken care of; (2) God is with me; (3) my attitude does not matter and (4) I will get over this, beyond this and on to the next. I am having quite a journey on this earth and because I know something about the Love of God, I am enjoying all the ups and trying to learn from the downs.

    Bless you, Rev. for your teaching and your caring.

  • I am sure that part of the four things you said you have come to KNOW, you came to know them as you fought through some disapp[ointment with God. It is true, if you hand in there with God even when you theink you are not hanging in there, He will hang in there with you and the relationship with Him will grrow closer.

    Rev.

  • Peaches

    Thanks for your insight Rev. I believe we’ve all had some disappointments in our lives if not just keep growing. I’m at a point in my life that I say oh well, Lord I know you’ll work it out in your time not mine. I’m grateful for the little things and if something big comes along I know the Lord is really SHOWING OFF. Love you Rev. Keep on doing what your doing

  • jan

    its painful when god disappoints and yes no one should put them selves in the position to that hurt again.

    and yes i have stopped believing in prayer or a god that will help in the time of need.. i have prove he doesn’t

  • LINEL G. BARELA

    I hear your words but you do not go deep or far enough back. God says He is the truth and promises in His word many things including our prayer requests which He says will be done without qualifications except faith, belief, and obediance. But when He takes another course He rewrites the word to suit His actions. He should not be deceptive because of my grief. Excuses are a way of life for humans, but I know we all need someone or something to turn too in our burden or grief. I believe in God the creator and the Son but I do not believe anymore in a personal God. At 62 years old my life has not improved due to prayer for intervnetion. By the way, this was Einstein’s probleme, A Creator who is not on Earth.

    Linel Barela

  • shirlonda

    Hey Rev.,I didn’t realize how much lack of trust, deception and anger affects life. It has now become a permenant fixture in my life unfortunate. It’s hard for me to trust or accept. I need to get closer to God however something, mainly myself is preventing it. My hope is that I can move past the anger of still being angry, betrayed and deceived. I am angry because its not me to hold on to such feelings and I can’t get past it for long. I thought I was but situations come up and I am reminded that I am not and my life has been scarred. I want to use the experience for my good I am struggling…at least for now…I am struggling. I believe that getting closer to God is the key but my emotions prevent that for now. Your words however have helped me to gain a deeper perspective.

  • We can only live by what we learn from our experiences. While you have proof that God does not answer prayer, I have considerable proof that He does not only in my life but in the lives of so many others.

  • My only response is simply that the God I know may disappoint when it comes to my erxpectations but He never disappoints when it comes to His will of my life and what I have come to understand is best for me.

  • shirlonda

    I don’t comnpletely understand but I think as times goes on perhaps I will, thank you for responding.

  • Brenda

    I had never looked at God as dissappointing before. I remember being angry with God for letting my baby brother die, I didn’t understand because he was the good one. He was in college, working, and would come home and help me with our mother who had both of her legs amputated: one at the knee and the other below the knee. I was angry with God, I had no relationhip with God and I was not seeking God. When God brought me to our church home, and as I was introduced to God through the behaviors of some people, I desired a relationshop with God. What I learned was to Give my life and will to God consistently and several times a day. I am not always true to this decision of mine. When it comes to my hurt and pain, the first thing I must do is be honest with self and look at the part I play. I must be willing to look at:my choices, behaviors, attitudes, preceptions, and expectations of self and others. This helps me deal with my hurt and disappointments. In order to be he honest with God, I must be honest with myself first. The one thing that is still an awe for me is: God loves me just as I am, which deepens my desire to do His will with love and acceptance. When I am hurt in any way, God will never leave me or push me away, I will not be rejected by God. No matter the unhealthy decisions I make for myself, God wil continue to lead and guide me through my pain and hurt. His love heals me and guides me. I am never satisfied with the part I play in my relationshop with God but, I never beat myself up because of His forgiveness and Love. Acceptanc of His will helps me with the disappointments with God, something I never labeled before! God’s Love
    Love Brenda

  • LTGordon

    Thank you for posting your words. They definitely spoke to my spirit. I am dealing with disappointment right now, but I believe God would not allow me to go through what I am going through if he did not feel there was something I could gain from it, such as spiritual growth and learning to rely more on him and less on myself. I believe there are blessings that would have been forfeited had my life took another turn…everything I am and everything I go through is with purpose and at the end of all of this I hope to be the beautiful masterpiece that God desires.

  • Thank you for your comment. I think all of us are still in the process of learning that God does His best work in our lives when He brings us through something rather than takes us around it. It is in the going through that we learn lessons that outwise we would have never come to know. Keep holding to God’s unchanging hand.

  • Angela

    Rev, I read this trying to find out why God allows us to be so disappointed.
    We are to have a relationship with God, A good one, At least we should.
    it should be like a marriage, a partnership where we can trust and find comfort.
    But when a husband abuses his wife, doesn’t take care of her, she needs to leave him not matter how much she loves him. It is just not a good relationship.
    God has abandon me during my painful trials, there is no relief, no trust.
    These are not good criterias to contiue a relationship. Maybe it’s better to disconnect. Why be with someone that continues to disappoint you?
    Why accept crumbs. I rather die of hunger than to continue to believe in a relationship that doesn’t work. your thougts? care to answer? dare to answer? anyone?

  • Hello Angela,
    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my blog “When God Disappoints”. I must confess that I have no answer for your question why God allows us to be disappointed. But I will share with you what I have discovered. I know very few if any persons who in their relationship with God have not been disappointed or who have been able to avoid the painful experiences of life. All of us know the reality of asking God for something that is important to us or who have expected God to respond to our particular situation in a certain way and things did not turn out the way we expected. To my way of thinking if God always gave us exactly what we asked for or always acted exactly as we expected, He would cease to be God and become much like someone who fulfills my ever wish or desire.
    While it may be part of our expectation, I have discovered that God does not protect us from the negative realities of this life. There is a passage of scripture that declares “…all is yours…” (I Corinthians 3:21-23) It suggests that we will experience all of life: joy and sorrow; pain and pleasure; hope and despair; satisfaction and disappointment. They are all a part of the fabric of life. While I am in no way recommending that we simply take the experiences of pain and hurt lightly, I have found out that it is much more possible to discover more of the abundance of life with them, than it is to discover that abundance without them.
    You are absolutely right: no one should stay in a relationship with an abusive partner. But the God I know is nothing at all like an abusive partner. I have discovered through my own pain, tragedy and suffering that just because God did not live up to my expectations or answer my prayers in the way that I have determined, does not mean that He has not heard my prayers or that He is not in the process of answering that prayer for my best good; it does not mean that God is not a loving, caring and compassionate God.
    Someone once said faith is not about how we act in this life; faith is about how we react to this life. I would add that is the case even when we feel that God has disappointed us. More than anything else my prayer for you is that you come to know the loving and abiding presence of the God whose loving kindness and tender mercies are always and forever with you.

    Pastor Yeargin

  • Karen Vigil

    I wish I could agree

    God seems to delight in hurting some over and over again

    It cannot be a completely positive thing

  • Andy

    Pastor,
    I appreciate your honesty and authenticity. I’ve been mad at God for over 25 years, and I am also mad at myself for believing a lot of the current “name-it-claim-it” and legalistic nonsense that I did. Pray for me, that I will be able to reclaim a sensible, supportive, and reasonable faith in Christ.
    By the way, I definitely sympathize with Angela’s response above. There have been times when I have cursed God for His apparent absence and aloofness when I depended on Him.
    Again,
    thanks.

  • Paula

    Ive been a believer for 25 yrs and every year my faith takes a beating and now I find myself feeling the same way as Angela. Why stay in something that isnt working. Or it seems to be working better for others not us. Too bad more preachers don’t address these questions. Personally, I think more people feel like Angela and I than how you feel pastor. I think we spend too much time making excuses as to why God let us down. Instead of just preparing people for the most likely scenario.

  • Matthew

    I have been praying and praying for a child and my wife has performed the IVF thrice but failed. I have been praying for the past 30 years for a proper family and everytime it fails. I gave up on God once and became a proud athiest for 20 years. Then I was born again. Now I am disspointed again and I want to get back to become an athiest again.

  • Matthew,

    Thank you for your comments.
    There are several things I have learned about God over the years. The first is that the most important thing to me is my relationship with God: whether He answers my prayers as I expect or keeps my life relatively free of disappointment and troubles is not as importnat to me. What I have discovered is that in the most devastating situations, God has enabled me to get through them and/or overcome them. And there have been occasions when on the other side of those expreinces, I have found that I am better for the expereinces and my life is better. That leaves me little room for disappointment even if my initial reaction is one of disappointment.
    Secondly, I have discovered that more than anything else, God is love. That love has been best demonstrated by His never failing presence in the midst of the worse possible situations. Of course, there have been those times when I felt utterly forsaken by God only to discover that He was with me all along. I have expereinced enough situations in my life that shoudl have resulted in the lose of my sanity and yet I remain reasonably sane and do consider myself to be reasonably blessed.
    This is the reality that I have expreinced in my relationship with God.

  • Thank you, Paula, for your comments.
    The chances are that you are right in saying more poeple feel as you do: that there faith has taken a beating.
    The truth is I have no excuses to give for God be they reasons for God’s actions or His failure to act in life’s troubling situations. There are entirely too many things that happen in this life for which I have no explanation or that I can reasonably understand.
    What I do know is that whenever I do prepare for what life dares to throw at me or chose to rely upon God in whtever sitations I find myself ( be they good, bad or indifferent), thngs have turned out better than I could have imagined; even when my first reaction was that of disappointment.

  • Senna

    I am so disapointed in myself for a ‘blind’ faith that is now costing so much. We really shouldn’t believe everything ‘men’ of God tells us. Many of them do not know Him. I pray God gets me out of this fix and restore my faith in Him and His word.

  • Thank you for your response. The issue some times is that we do believe what those who represent God say about God instead of establishing our own relationship with God and discovering HIm for ourselves. Very few of us would enter into a relationship with anyone based solely on what we have been told by someone else. Ultimately, our faith in God is based on the relationship we establish with Him and what we have come to know of Him. Let me suggest that you begin with the one uncompromising truth that I have come to know about God: it is that God is Love; above and beyond everything else that God may be and beyond any other way that God might be described, God is first and foremost Love. Love is neither a part of God’s character or one of God’s personality traits or one of the many motives out of which God operates: Love is the essence of who God is and what God does. Begin with that and it will put everything else into perspective. But that is a reality that we must discover on our own.

  • Tomi Sciotti

    I\’ve been dating a guy exclusively for 4 years; however, within the first few months of dating, he confessed to me that he wasn\’t over his ex-girlfriend and wasn\’t in-love with me. Despite everything, we continued to date and several months later, I confronted him with the fact that I wanted a relationship and not just a friendship, so I broke up with him. Then, after a couple of months, I sent him a text message on a whim. He immediately responded to me, and came to see me. From that point on, we\’ve been back to dating exclusively. So, that was 3 years ago. Our relationship was not defined as such, and we never discussed or labeled ourselves as boyfriend/girlfriend. However, we\’ve always been very caring, respectful, and supportive of eachother. He basically has behaved as my boyfriend in many ways. I\’ve met and gotten to know his friends and family, we\’ve spent holidays & birthdays together. We would talk on the phone during the week, and would see eachother on weekends. He\’s been reliable and trustworthy. However, the key ingredient that\’s been missing is true love and romance. It\’s been more of a really close friendship, and I\’ve been patiently waiting for things to flourish, but never wanted to push him.

  • Karen Vigil

    What about Kimberly’s life? What did she do to deserve to have it cut short. What you describe is a God who uses us all for pawns for his own enjoyment. He hurts us, beats us up, promotes bad people and cheaters and murderers. Wow, That’s just great.

  • Magdelana

    I don’t know … I think one day at a time with God is all I can take. Can’t worry about what, when, or IF He’ll do anything to help me.
    Maybe it should be enough for me that HE keeps me sane day by day, sometimes minute by minute. Maybe that must be enough for now.

    I don’t know why God is like He is. If it was up to me, I’d run my own life. I would have formed my own life, and it would be great.

    But God is in control. Do I like His control? No.

    When my heart hurts, I must take God in small doses. My trust/faith in God is small and painful now.

  • April

    Hey Rev,

    Every once in a while, I check the blog for new posts and responses. It’s a great learning tool. In reading this particular post again, I’ve noticed that there are still many new posts coming in almost two years after the post date. To me, that makes a profound statement. I think we all have been challenged by the God we imagined at the start of our faith and the God we’ve perceived based on our life’s circumstances. There is so much pain and hurt in many of these responses. In my own walk with God, I’ve learned several things that have made it easier for me to love God despite being disappointed in life.

    1. In looking back over my life, I’ve learned that many of the things I thought I wanted would have only hurt me; and God actually saved me from myself by denying me those things. I’ve learned only God can see all ends and, at the end of the day, He knows best.
    2. I’ve learned that life with God isn’t freedom from problems or troubles, but peace in trouble.
    3. I’ve learned a delay is not a denial. Just because I haven’t received something as quickly as I may have wanted it, does not mean God is withholding it from me forever.

    I hope the other writers of the responses can find some hope from this message. God loves us all and I believe He would have us all continue to count on Him in times of trouble.

  • These comments from everyone have helped me to put my current disappointment in God into perspective. I seek to maintain a personal relationship with God and wish my family members to share the same peace that comes from a personal relationship with Christ. My first granddaughter was born 13 days ago with severe brain damage from a prenatal stroke. She is full term and beautiful in every way otherwise. My son and the baby’s mother are wondering how a loving God could allow this pain to this child and all of us who are ready and willing to love her. This week the baby will struggle to breathe on her own and God will determine her future. I am vascilating between seeking God’s help with this situation with distrust and a lack of faith. I worry that this experience will push my family members away from God rather than closer to him. So many people up and down the East coast have prayed for this baby but sometimes God just says NO. At times like this, it does make God’s promises seem empty. Despite it all, I still love Christ, or at least I should say I love the idea of having a relationship with Christ but it seems like I am doing all the work to keep this relationship going. Is the relationship fabricated in my head or is there a living Christ?

  • Good Morning Beth,
    Let me begin by assuring that there is both a loving God and a loving and living Christ. I am aware that this may not be the eaisest thing to hear at tis moment but I recently read a line in a book by one of my favorite spiritual writers who stated, “The only real Biblical promise is that unconditional love will have the last word.” We want and we do believe we need something else or something more from God: we need God to keep things like this from happening; when they do happen we need God to step in and do the kind of healing that only He can do. We pray and we pray and it seems so often that not even God is listening or if He is, He does really care to answer at the moment. But suppose, just suppose that God is right there, very present in the body of your 15 day old granddaughter; suppose He is there suffering with her, assuring her that all will be well no matter which way things turn out; suppose He is there feeling the love that you and your family have for her. I have wished so many times that I understood this whole business of suffering; but I don’t and I am not any closer to understanding it now then I was when my daughter suddenly and unexpected died at the age of 21 eleven years ago. But if I did learn anything from that experience, I learned that God’s love is unconditional: that it is unconditional enough to give you the strength to be present with your granddaughter for as long and as lovingly as you need to be; that His love is unconditional enough to be with you in this deep dark valley of the shadow of death that you have absolutely no way of knowing how you will get throught it or out of it; that God’s love is so unconditional that in time He will reveal through your beautiful granddaughter some of life’s secret treasures that He keeps hidden in His heart that will make your life deeper and yes even more abundant. I do not know why God allows these kinds of things to happen. What I do know is that the God I know will use them to do things in our lives that could not have taken place without there having happened. But please know this: we do not get there over night nor do we arrive there in the near future; but we do get there if we will simply hold to the unchanging hand of God and allow God to hold us in the hollow of His hand with unconditional love. Please know that God is with you and your family now and will forever remain with you, not because I say so or anyone else says so, but because it is who God is and what God does.
    Pastor Yeargin

  • HB

    Thank you very much for these words. Reminds me of the word’s of Psalm 13: But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.

  • M.B.

    He disappoints me. He made a choice to not act on a lot of people’s suffering. He made a choice to remain silent. A lot of the suffering do not lead to greater blessings at all, it even leads to more suffering and in many cases suicide. There is absolutely nothing that will explain His choice to remain silent in the face of suffering.

    I’m also very tired of all the theological ventriloquy among Christians, it actually undermines faith.

    “I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
    the more knowledge, the more grief.” ECCLESIASTES 1:16-18

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to “When God Disappoints”
    From the responses I have gotten thus far, you are not alone in your sentiments. I wish I could say to you and all the others who feel as you do that trusting God insures that you will never know pain or suffering and that you will always be delivered from such conditions immediately. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I do not know one Christian who life has been without trouble, suffering and/or pain. In fact, Jesus, the one we call the Son of God, experienced the greatest suffering and pain imaginable: crucifixion on a cross.
    The truth is suffering is a normal part of this life. It comes to us all and no matter how hard we may try or whatever we may do we cannot aviod it. And you are right: there are times in the midst of our suffering when God seems to be completely unaware of what we are expereincing or He is nowhere to be found.
    However,I do believe that our disappointment with God has something to do with our expectations of Him. The reality is that God is not required to live up to our expectations. My expereince is that better I come to know God, the less I tend to impose my expectations on Him.
    I have also learned that one of the best ways to come to know God is to discover who He is in the midst of our suffering. Let me suggest that you take some time to read the book of Job. Job is the prime example of unmerited suffering. In the midst of that suffering he pleads for an audience with God to state his case. When He finally has an encounter with God and God addresses him, Job’s only response is: “I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ears but now my eye sees thee…” Job 42:3 There are things we can come to know about God only through our suffering.

  • K.G

    i am so blessed by Pastor Yeargin. i have spent time reading all of the above posts as a very special friend of mine is going through such a trying time. her mom graduated to heaven a few days ago, she had an accident in which she suffered severe brain trauma and after fighting for 9 weeks, after receiving complete miraculous healing from Jesus and just before she could come home to us, she went home to be with Jesus, just like that, no warning at all. During the 9 weeks, i watched my friend grow and blossom into a beautiful and faithful child of God, she put her everything in him, she never gave into the circumstances, she never believed the reports of the doctors but she believed the report of the Lord and her mom was healed! And then suddenly, she was gone, ever since her mom went to be with Jesus, she has just become broken, so much hurt and so many unanswered questions, she just cannot look to God for peace or comfort, she cannot read her bible or pray, she just cant. she feels so betrayed and disappointed. i don’t know how to help her. i know in my heart that we all have a race to run and hurt and disappointment are part of our journey’s, i also know that God knows when we have run our race and when we are ready to reap the rewards of that race in heaven. i believe in Jeremiah 29:11 with all my being “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. God knit us together, every single one of us individually before he put us in our mom’s bellies, he knew the plans he had for each one of us before we were even conceived. Jesus loves us so much that he died for us, all of us. How do I help my friend without “bible – bashing” her?

  • Senna

    I find myself shying away from the bible. I am scared of believing and applying faith to the promises. I am afraid of holding on to a word and be disappointed again. Been there done that. I feel so fragile right now, i’d rather have an arms-length relationship than have it severed completely by hearthbreak. But i miss Him, and i miss the Word. Has anybody overcome this type of situation? How did you do it.

  • Damien

    Clearly I have had the wrong idea about what to expect from God. He doesn’t need to answer my prayers however earnest or sincere they maybe; I can believe that he can do it, but he doesn’t have to do it, even if it makes me happy or makes my family and loved ones happy and safe. He will only do what is pleasing to Him; The main thing I should expect from God is salvation of my soul from eternal damnation, if I believe in His saving grace. If I want continue to living on earth, I should empty myself of of all ambitions and personal aspiration…in other words stop thinking about what I want or need and let God some how see me through. I have not cultivated a relationship to the point that I can hear His voice for direction. I am not as learned as Paul or as devoted as Elijah. How do I apply the word of God if can see progressive results. My faith is instantly shaken at the thought on not getting results from God.

  • Thanks you so much for your response to this blog. Our tendency is to want to fix things like this when they happen or to give some passage of scripture that will resolve things immediately. The truth is during this time your very speccial friend cannot aviod going through the valley of the shadow of death. Nothing you can say or do will change that. But remember what that verse says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Thou art with me.” The only thing you can do is be with your friend and allow the presence of God to be in you. Sometimes the thing we need most is not answers from our friends but the presence of our friends, not necessarily to say anything or to do anything but simply to be present. Never take lightly the value of being a loving, caring presence for a friend who is going through a tuff time. I know only to well that it is difficult to pray, read scripture or even trust God when something like this happens. But the presence of a loving, caring friend can make all the difference in the world. Just do one thing: always spend time with God before you spend time with her. It no doubt will take time but it can make a difference.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog. Let me suggest something to you: instead of looking for results from God, try working on deepening your relationship with God. It is so very common for all of us to look for God to answer our prayers the way we want them answered. But I have learned that God is more deteremind to give us the deep desires of our hearts and souls than we desire to have them. I too find myself wrestling with God when my prayers don’t turn out as I expected. But I have leanred in my relationship with Him that he wants the best for me. And he deeply desires the same for you. I have also learned that it’s O.K. to be disappointed with God but in your disappointment, don’t give up on Him; don’t think that He isn’t working all things out for your best good. The truth is He is indeed doing so. Jesus said, “I have come that yu might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) I never thought I would be able to say those words again after my daughter died 11 years age. But today I can affirm their truth with every ounce of my being. Was it a struggle, yes: where there moments when I literally felt I wanted to give up on God, yes. But the reality is God never gave up on me because a good friend never gives up on a good friend. And even thou you may not feel like it at this moment, God has not and will not give up on you: it’s just not in his nature to do so.

  • Thank you for taking the time to respond to this blog. The good news in your comment is this: despite the fear and heartache in your relationship with God, you say you miss Him and His word. I really wish I could tell you without one shread of doubt that having a close relationship with God will keep you from all hurt harm and danger. It will not because that is not a promise God makes. The only promise that God makes that ultimately matter si that He will be with you. And the better you come o know God, the more you come to know that is all that matters. If you really miss God and you want to deepen your relationship with God there is something you need to know and accept: you cannot know God as a close, intimate friend until you meet him in those places where your heart is broken, where life makes no sense, where things have gone all wrong and we think we have been completely abandoned by Him. It is in those times that God is closer than we can possibly imagine. The truth is every person I know who really believes and trust in the Lord has in one way or another overcome the kind of situation you have mentioned. That’s why they believe and trust: because they have been in those places where faith was shattered and trust was gone but God brought them through it. And how do you do it? You do it by continuing to talk to Him, continuing to trust in Him, even when you don’t seem to know how. Is it easy? No. But does it work? Not just according to me, but according to the folk I know who believe, it works! And I have no doubt it will work for you because God wants it to work more than you want it to do so.

  • mm

    This is utter bs. pardon my language but I’m sick of how this is often called “answered prayer” Why would you draw closer to a God that killed your daughter. If I said I was your father and then one day killed your daughter and then said “trust me more”. would that make sense? would you really think that “I’m loving you by killing your daughter” God never heals, god never does miracles, he never answers prayer. And by saying that through our suffering, he loves us is complete and utter bs. (Post edited by moderator for profanity.)

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