Trust issues? I know all about them. I’ve had some terrible experiences with people which led me to not trust them. The worst kind of trust issues though are those that I have had with God. I’ve often thought that I had prayed earnestly according to His will but He still chose to disappoint me or not use His power to rescue me in some ways.
It hurts to feel disappointed by God because He is our only safe space in the whole universe. Still, Proverbs 3:5-6 calls us to trust in Him with ALL our hearts and to not lean on our own understanding. In all our ways, to acknowledge Him, and He shall direct our paths. This is surely not easy when your whole heart is shattered and giving up. Utterly disappointed.
Disappointment is a painful reality of life. It is also, however, a condition we bring on to ourselves. We feel that we are owed a certain kind of life for being in Christ. This is especially true of the aspirations we have which we deem as noble and righteous. We often think and expect that God will bless and prosper what we believe He expects of us in the time that we have laid out to Him.
The problem is exactly that. We impose our narrow ideas and aspirations onto the agenda of an infinite God whose ways are far greater and higher than our own ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). When we eventually have unmet expectations we cause ourselves suffering when God never promised certain things to us in the first place and surely is not to be blamed for our suffering.
How you can overcome
Luke 5:17-26 gives us a beautiful anecdote for handling our disappointment in God and trusting Him through it. A man who has been lame from birth is carried by his friends to Jesus to receive healing. I imagine that this man has sought the help of every physician in town having had no help for many years. Finally, God impresses upon his heart to go to the Savior for healing in a final attempt to overcome this problem.
What He is met with is a closed door. The crowd around Jesus Christ has made it impossible for him to even reach the Savior. Matthew records this man’s response to the disappointment as an amazing display of faith. Instead of giving up and heading back home, this man’s friends come up with the idea to take him to the top of the roof of that home and lower him so he can reach Jesus at the center of the mass gathering.
Pastor Steven Furtick comments on the same passage from an interesting perspective. He says God is telling us that when we cannot go through the door then it is a sign that we need to go up. We need to aim our sights and hopes higher.
Instead of finding an occasion for feeling defeated and upset at the Lord, our times of disappointment can be where we set our hopes and sights even higher and trust God even deeper than we did before because we know that in His infinite capacity He is preparing for us something of far greater value and fulfillment than what we narrowly imagined for ourselves.
Ultimately we can trust our Lord. He is not out to get us as we may feel, but rather to give us His best in ways we cannot yet comprehend. For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV). What we need to do is to surrender to these plans. To align ourselves with our Leader and be led one step at a time like an infant in the loving care of a good parent.