There are a whole lot of people in this world who are convinced that God, if He really exists, is not doing His job like He should. They feel like God has failed them. When they were depending on Him to come through for them in some matter, as they see it, He let them down. To say that the Lord has “disappointed” them would be putting it mildly.
The physical pain which humans feel is real. When a vehicle operated by an out-of-control person crashes into them, their pain is real. When cancer and the chemotherapy which accompanies it wreak havoc on one’s body, the pain is genuine.
The mental pain which humans endure is genuine, too. When we see someone whom we love going through a life-taking disease, going through a divorce, or experiencing the shock of unexpectedly losing their job, the mental pain felt by everyone involved is real.
More than a few people who placed a lot of stock in God’s caring nature before they faced an intense trial of some sort (or observed someone else going through a tough test) have changed their thinking. Why? God has disappointed them because He allowed these awful things to happen (to them, at the very least, He could have minimized the hurt in people’s lives).
When people express the idea that God has let them down, it frequently is the case that such individuals possess false concepts about God, His nature, His love, His promises, and His actions. According to their preconceived notions that come from worldly wisdom and not the Bible, God has not done something which they feel like He ought to do (or He has done something that they feel is out of place for Him to do).
These truths about the God of heaven never will change: “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works” (Psalm 145:17). With our tiny, limited brains, we may not understand everything about God and His choices, but from this passage in Psalms, we are reminded that His ways are proper.
In Moses’ generation, the children of Israel who were in the wilderness complained time and again about how the Lord was doing things. They griped that He brought them out of Egypt. They complained about the manna He supplied for them for forty years. They murmured when they lacked
water. They expressed dissatisfaction when those whom they loved were put to death for disobeying God. They were not happy people. You see, God had disappointed them.
Let us be clear about one matter. If I am facing an intense trial in life, that does not mean God has quit caring about me, it does not mean He is unaware of what I am facing, and it does not mean He has lost His power to remove problems or problem-causers. Going through trials is a part of the human experience on the planet earth. All people, poor or rich, unhealthy or healthy, God- detesting or God-loving, go through trials. If I am thinking rationally, those trials should make me look forward to a better place — heaven, where there is no corruption or pain (1 Peter 1:3,4).
Noah chose to walk with God (Genesis 6:8,9). Right there in the midst of a world filled with filth and ungodliness, God was with and blessed His servant, Noah. God did not take away the man’s temptations or the world’s moral pollution, but He was with Noah.
Joseph, the son of Jacob, was hated by his brothers. He was sold into slavery. Potiphar’s wife lied about him, and he was unfairly imprisoned. Where was God through all of this mistreatment?! Right there with Joseph. No, God did not step in to control people’s free will, He did not remove Joseph’s temptations, and He did not take away the pain he felt. Yet, multiple times the Bible declares, “The LORD was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:2,21,23). Do you know what else? Joseph stuck with God, too! He continued to be a man of faith, trusting in God to be God and leaving the details in His hands (Genesis 45:4-8).
When the apostle Paul faced some type of civil judgment, no human stood by him during his defense. He remained a prisoner of the Roman Empire, though he was innocent of any crime. Paul said, “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me . . .” (2 Timothy 4:16,16). Do you not love the man’s spirit?!
Instead of critiquing God, people would have a greater sense of happiness and fulfillment in life if they would take these words to heart: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
— Roger D. Campbell