Disappointment With God

Disappointment with God sometimes overwhelms our faith in him.
Sometimes the tough times never get better, they only get worse. Our prayers seem to go unanswered. No miracle cure is found. No escape hatches open. Our desperate attempt to find a solution comes up empty. The worst possible outcome materializes.
Traumatic even horrific events sometimes occur despite our strong faith and consistent obedience. God did not protect us at our most vulnerable moment. The suffering is intense. We are completely crushed. We see no reason to believe any good will result.
At these times it is easy to be angry at God and bitterly disappointed with him. No matter how close to him we were before, these calamities can shatter our faith and make us cynical about his existence, goodness and relevance.
These feelings are normal and completely understandable. Do not feel guilty if your initial response to suffering falls along these lines. God is not startled by your reaction. He can handle your honesty. He never requires your correct response to appease him. Your anger, bitterness and cynicism will never temper his love for you.
Some traumas are so intense they disrupt our brain chemicals and impair our mental health. There is no shame in this. Just as sin created the possibility for our skin cells to become cancerous from overexposure to the sun, it also created the potential for too much stress to damage our brains and emotions.
It may seem trite and naïve to say we should continue loving and trusting God amid severe affliction but this axiom is true; God remains unchanged and worthy of our worship. However, we may need to go through a process of grief and healing before our spiritual, mental and emotional health can be fully restored. That restoration may require outside assistance ranging from friends and family to pastoral care and support groups to professional counseling and prescription drugs. Do not be afraid to take advantage of these resources. God has provided them for our benefit.
God promises believers will not suffer forever. Often the affliction passes, the pain subsides and life eventually gets better. In extreme cases, however, the misery may persist until we enter heaven. Nevertheless, our suffering will end someday.
In the meantime, God provides comfort, strength, peace and hope so we can endure the agony; he also infuses our misfortune with meaning and purpose. With our consent he uses it to humble us, deepen our relationship with him, teach us to love him unconditionally, render us more sensitive to the needs of others, make it easier for others to relate to us and enable us to talk about life, God and faith with authenticity. Even when our afflictions are so intense and illogical they seem forever meaningless to us, God makes them meaningful to others.
Our response to suffering may teach our friends and family how to persevere through their own difficulties. Our unfortunate situation may remind others about what is really important in life and to be thankful for their blessings. Our caregivers may learn to serve unselfishly while tending to our afflictions. If our suffering was negligently or intentionally inflicted by the wrongful actions of others, God may use our response to draw them to himself so he can turn their lives around.
Nobody wants to suffer even if it is for our ultimate good or so others can benefit from our experience. We all want our bad experiences to be limited to a few minor inconveniences. Jesus did not want to be tortured and crucified. In fact, he asked God to spare him from his impending suffering if there was another alternative.
From our earthly perspective faith in God is a perplexing concept. If he wants us to always trust him, why does he sometimes make belief in his goodness so difficult? If he never enjoys seeing us suffer, why does he not do more to prevent affliction? If he truly loves us, why does he not protect and provide for us in every circumstance?
Believers have struggled with these questions for ages and God readily acknowledges the dilemma. For example, Job asked God why he suffered and was not given a direct answer; instead God spoke of his omniscience and sovereignty. David wondered why he should righteously endure suffering while wicked men prospered. He later realized this narrow perspective overlooked the difference between his eternal destiny and theirs.
God cherishes faith that has endured times when it is hard to trust him. This faith represents the highest level our relationship with him can attain. He values the quality of this faith more than the quantity. Otherwise, he would not allow events to sometimes crush our faith until it was the size of a mustard seed, which Jesus said is still sufficient to move mountains.