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Disappointed by God

Disappointed by God

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Disappointed by God

Lunghezza:
316 pagine
4 ore
Pubblicato:
Aug 1, 2020
ISBN:
9781005946258
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Life is difficult.
Disappointment comes when our experiences do not match our expectations.
If God can do something about the situation, event or person, then why doesn’t He?
Why didn’t God do something at the time so I would not be so disappointed?
It is hard to pray when your mind begins percolating about the offenses or the hurtful people over and over again. Our thoughts begin to heat up. Our emotions begin to churn with that acid feeling in our stomachs.
Disappointments come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. In fact, God’s Word calls them “multi-colored trials.” (James 1 2-3) They can range from what others consider trivial items to major setbacks.
While disappointments could revolve around events, or circumstances, by far the most stinging, lasting disappointments involve people. As I have grown older, I find that I disappoint myself far more than others have disappointed me. Only people, circumstances or things we care about can disappoint us.
We are afraid to say it out loud, but if we are brutally honest with ourselves we may find our ultimate source of disappointment is God.
God? Disappoint us?
You have been there, too, haven’t you?
NEVER LOSE HOPE!
This book offers hope during difficult times.
Whether you need just a little encouragement or major help this book is for you.

Pubblicato:
Aug 1, 2020
ISBN:
9781005946258
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Dr. Beau Abernathy lives in the Arctic Circle where he serves as an Assistant Principal and Adjunct Professor at University of Alaska while helping churches in smaller villages. He has an earned doctorate and has started or helped start six churches in four states as well as Japan and Mexico. He has written or co-authored 22 books. He is passionate about helping people connect with the living Lord. Free resources, courses, and books can be found at www.beauabernathy.org.


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Disappointed by God - Beau Abernathy

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Chapter 1: Disappointment With God

Chapter 2: Ricky’s Disappointment

Chapter 3: Where Does Disappointment Come From? Where Does Hope Come From?

Chapter 4: What Am I Pretending Not to Know?

Chapter 5: Disappointment With Things

Chapter 6: Disappointment With People

Chapter 7: The Silent Savior

Chapter 8: The 8:28 Principle: Disappointment With Ourselves

Chapter 9: Is It Working For You?

Chapter 10: What Does It Feel Like to Be God?

Chapter 11: Benefits of Disappointment

Chapter 12: The HEART of the Matter

Chapter 13: Heart Check-up

Chapter 14: Expectations Versus Expectancy: How to Amaze Jesus!

Chapter 15: Ask GOD!

Chapter 16: Respond to What God Says!

Chapter 17: Take the Next Right Step

Chapter 18: The Gift of Disappointments

Chapter 19: GIG IT!

Appendix: The Medical Dimensions of Disappointment

WORDS AND CONCEPTS

Bibliography

Bibliography on Natural Products

About the Authors

Frank Minirth

Beau Abernathy

Connect With Beau Abernathy

Other books by Beau Abernathy

DISAPPOINTED BY GOD

Copyright 2020

by

Beau Abernathy

& Frank Minirth

Published by Beau Abernathy & Frank Minirth at Smashwords

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Smashwords.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture references are from the New King James Version of the Bible (NKJV registered trademark), copyright 1979, 1980, 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers.

Scripture references marked NIV are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Scripture references marked MSG are taken from The Message, copyright 1993. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture references marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright 1960, 1977 by the Lockman Foundation.

Scripture references marked KJV are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

Scripture references marked NLT are from the New Living Translation, copyright 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Dedicated to My Lord Jesus Christ,

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5–6, NKJV)

INTRODUCTION

Life is difficult as well stated by M. Scott Peck in The Road Less Traveled, but there is hope.

Do you need hope? Try these Bible verses on for size.

…put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption (Psalm 130:7)

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (Psalm 42:5)

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. (Jeremiah 17:7)

This book offers hope during difficult times. Whether you need just a little encouragement or major help this book is for you.

Columbus must have questioned if his sailing was for naught, but he discovered America.

Babe Ruth struck out more than any other player in the history of major league baseball. He was among the greatest baseball players who ever lived.

Abraham Lincoln was born in poverty, lost eight elections, and failed twice in business. He is considered one of the top of all presidents.

All three of the above never lost hope. Hope is for the taking. Tools do help! Here are the tools:

Frank Minirth

Chapter 1

Disappointment With God

No one had ever talked to me like that in my entire life. But Dr. Dave Wyrtzen, my Pastor, friend and mentor for many years, was being used of God again to push tons of truth across the bridge of trust we had developed. A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17, NIV) Over the years he had spoken truth to me constantly, Wounds from a friend can be trusted… (Proverbs 27:6, NIV)

Beau, you have to beat back the feeling of disappointment in your life. You’ve got to keep hope alive. You are getting sour in your soul. Your heart is getting hardened, mistrusting, and you are losing sight of the value of relationships. Dwelling on your disappointments is affecting your relationship with the Lord, your relationship with your family and other people. How is your relationship with your Heavenly Father? Are you sensing closeness with Him? Are you hearing His voice through His Word? Dave spoke graciously, lovingly, but directly to me – as he always does. I gulped. Honestly, I was very sour in my soul. Truthfully, it had been so long since I had heard from God that I could not remember what it was like. Pretty hard to confess that to the man whom I considered my pastor for the last 27 years – especially since I am his protégé and have been a pastor myself for over 20 years. Yes, I was having my regular time of devotions, of prayer, of serving the Lord faithfully as a minister of the Gospel. I even spent one day a week in fasting and prayer. But usually my prayers would digress to having imaginary conversations ricocheting in my mind with invisible people whom I felt partly if not wholly responsible for my disappointment.

You have probably experienced the same challenges. How many times have you found yourself praying, then someone comes to mind who has hurt your family or you deeply? A situation surfaces. A circumstance begins to be recounted. People pollute your prayers – and it is not the people on your prayer list. It’s the people who have hurt you intensely, and have never even admitted or asked forgiveness for their part in making your life miserable.

If we think about it, we are tempted to ponder, God knows everything. He can do whatever He wants. If God can do something about (name the situation, event or person), then why doesn’t He? Why didn’t God do something at the time so I would not be so disappointed?

It is hard to pray when your mind begins percolating about the offenses or the hurtful people over and over again. Just as coffee percolates in the pot, or drips down through the coffee grounds to make java, so our minds can percolate with disappointments repeatedly, causing our souls to grow blacker and blacker. Our thoughts begin to heat up. Our emotions begin to churn with that acid feeling in our stomachs. The negative conversations begin to flow unfiltered through our minds, which then seeps into our soul, making us sour. As a man thinks within his heart, so he is. You have been there, too, haven’t you? It’s the parents-to-be who paper the baby’s room. Shower gifts have been received that include the latest baby monitors and Precious Moments figurines. The house is waiting for the baby’s cries, the scooting on the floor, the pitter patter of little feet. But their little bundle of joy is stillborn, or born with a serious birth defect. Disappointment sets in. What you expected for your child did not happen. You prayed for a healthy baby. God could have given you a healthy child, but He chose not to.

Disillusionment. Why, God? This is not fair!

Discouragement. God, are You even there? Why are You silent? Why so uninvolved?

Depression. What do You want from us, anyway? It’s the couple who get married and she discovers that her knight in shining armor leaves rust rings around the toilet – if he even remembers to put the seat down. Her picture of marriage was that he would meet her at the door telling her how beautiful she is, that no one in the world attracted his attention that day because of the image of her constantly flashing through his mind. He will greet her with a passionate kiss, a bouquet of roses, and insist on taking the dishtowel to the kitchen to wash the dishes while she relaxes with a magazine in front of the fire he graciously makes for her. Wake up! It’s only a dream!

It’s the newly married husband whose expectation of his wife is that she will greet him from work with his favorite dish wafting through the air, pulling him into the inviting home like a cartoon character drifts through the air merely by the smell of a succulent dish. Ahh, but the food is just one piece to the puzzle in his mind. She has on a bathrobe, but underneath is something for his eyes only as she tugs him passionately toward the bedroom.

He discovers very quickly that the fantasy section is under Fiction at the library.

It’s the faithful employee who shows up on time and consistently tries to put in an honest day of work, only to discover that her services are no longer needed. She has been working hard to keep up on the latest technology. She walks into work one day only to be blindsided by her boss who relays the need to increase profits. Even with her upkeep of the business, the outsourcing and downsizing have made inner lay-offs necessary. Doing everything within her power to keep up to ensure the success of the organization made no difference in the let down! She is disappointed at the way things have turned out.

Disappointments come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. In fact, God’s Word calls them multi-colored trials. (James 1 2-3) They can range from what others consider trivial items to major setbacks.

While disappointments could revolve around events, or circumstances, by far the most stinging, lasting disappointments involve people. As I have grown older, I find that I disappoint myself far more than others have disappointed me. Only people, circumstances or things we care about can disappoint us.

We are afraid to say it out loud, but if we are brutally honest with ourselves we may find our ultimate source of disappointment is God.

God? Disappoint us?

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines disappointment as, to fail to meet the expectation or hope of: frustrate. Who has not prayed for guidance, but it did not come? Who has not asked for specific answers to prayer, only to find that your voice is bouncing off the ceiling? Who has not wanted something so badly from the Only One who could provide it, only to feel that no one is there, no one is listening, no one cares? Who has not had a frustration in his or her relationship with God?

I prayed about my business decision before making it, and now we’ve lost everything. Disappointment: To fail to meet the expectation or hope of Frustration.

Why did my wife leave me, pastor? We attended church regularly and tried hard, but God just did not show up for us the way you say He did for people in Bible times. Disappointment: To fail to meet the expectation or hope of. Frustration.

I studied hard for my final. Carved out time every single day leading up to it. Failed, again – even though I prayed to pass. Disappointment: To fail to meet the expectation or hope of Frustration.

I don’t understand. I took my child to church for years. She even memorized verses. She sang in front of the church from time to time. Now she’s pregnant by a guy we told her to stop dating. Disappointment: To fail to meet the expectation or hope of Frustration.

Emotional Atheists

As a pastor for twenty-two years, it was my privilege to speak with all kinds of people on a variety of topics. I listened to heart-wrenching stories of disappointments, of hurts, of heartaches. This has led me to an interesting conclusion. It is my belief that there are very few intellectual atheists in the world. There is just too much rational, sane evidence for God and belief in God for someone to honestly be an intellectual atheist.

Furthermore, I have never met an eight year old atheist. It is the most natural thing in the world for a young child to inherently know that there is a Creator, and to believe in Him.

But what happens is that this same child prays for something – perhaps a loved one to be healed, or a pet to survive, or for friends. He or she does not sense anyone is listening because what was prayed for did not become a reality. Experience did not match expectation. Disappointment. Discouragement. Perhaps even a little despair.

In order to protect the heart from further disappointment, intellectual fortresses begin to be built. It is a subtle slide – but an extremely dangerous one. Now the person has been disappointed by God. He or she hides behind the wall of arguments to protect the heart from further disappointment. Couple this person’s experience of disappointment with the world, the flesh and the devil using every means possible to draw him or her away from God and an emotional atheist hiding behind intellectual arguments results. We recently read an article where a very small group of atheists are getting de-baptized.

That’s why God reminds us, For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NIV) Every thought is taken captive to someone or something.

Practical Atheists

As someone who has studied the Bible for many years now, I am troubled by many verses in which my experience has not met expectations:

Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? (Lamentations 3:37-38, NIV)

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. (Psalm 115:3, NIV)

According to these verses, even harsh, unkind words from others and actions that discourage, disappoint and even depress us first cross God’s desk for His approval first? He allows it to happen? But, why? I thought God loves everyone! Especially those who are trying to please Him.

Job loss? God allowed it?

AIDS epidemic? Went across God’s desk for approval first?

Hurricane Katrina? God ordained?

Now before you put this book down because you think, God had nothing to do with that. That was all Satan, or nature, or fate, think through that reasoning for a moment. If there is one stray atom in the universe outside of God’s ultimate control, then we cannot trust Him in that area. Furthermore, Scripture says, The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3, NIV) God holds everything together. The reason the sun rose this morning is because God said, Let there be light, and He has never said, Let there not be light. God is in complete control of His universe.

What about this troubling verse in Psalm 103:3, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. We prayed for a healthy child – as every parent does. Our oldest son was born with Cystic Fibrosis. We prayed for healing. I even pleaded with God to put whatever punishment he had coming to him on me and my health because I love my son. (Before you write me and assure me that God does not work that way, please bear with my babbling for a moment as a young, immature father.)

We called for the elders of the church to pray for our son’s healing, according to God’s Word: Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:14-16, NIV) We prayed for healing, even claiming verses like this one.

But the healing did not come.

Disappointment comes when our experiences do not match our expectations. We can become Practical Atheists. These are people who would intellectually assent to belief in God, perhaps even attending church on a regular basis. But, looking at their lives as an outside observer, we would conclude that they do not really believe in God.

Criminal Concepts of God

In fact, I would even go so far as to say that I developed a criminal concept of God. You know what I mean, don’t you? It’s creating God in our image instead of developing a biblical view of God. As Will Rogers wryly noted, God created man in His image, and man returned the favor. Here are some examples of Criminal Concepts of God

Grandpa God – will spoil you and let you do your own thing. After all, boys will be boys. Grandpa God winks at sin, would like to do something about the evil in the world, but he’s too tired and worn out to deal with it day in and day out. Besides, it’s all going to end soon anyway.

Judge God – God is watching from a distance, peering over the clouds and taking notes as to what good or bad you have done and are doing. If what you have done is really bad (whatever that means), then Judge God will have to punish you in some way or another.

Waiter God – God’s real mission is to wait on us and our needs. If we need more money, Waiter God is supposed to provide. If we need more material possessions to improve our quality of life, Waiter God will see to it. We just need to ask, however infrequently. We do not have a relationship with Waiter God any more than we have with the waiter or waitress that we visit from time to time.

Quick Help God – This criminal concept of God is one of the most frequently used. It’s when we are in a pit of some kind – emotional, financial, or otherwise. It’s when we think we are about to have an accident. It’s when we believe that a promotion will really help us. We throw up a sky letter real fast to Quick Help God and He is supposed to answer instantly and in our favor.

Loving God – This concept of God is close to reality, but just enough off the mark to be dangerously criminal. While Scripture does say that God is love (1 John 4:8), that needs to be balanced with the fact that He is also holy, righteous, angry at sin, compassionate, forgiving, correcting our lack of obedience, etc. Just as our personalities are multi-faceted because we are made in His image, God’s personhood is even more complex because He is three in one.

Our view of God must be biblical, whole, and embrace all of His characteristics simultaneously and in perfect harmony.

Some would think that it’s untrue, even unkind to say God is responsible for such things as a child with cancer. My question, then, would be what to do with other verses, like Exodus 4:11: The Lord said to him, Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?

You mean, God takes full and final responsibility for people’s handicaps? For hurricanes and accidents and wars and crimes and – that you are stuck in traffic? For even less significant disappointments that pale in comparison to these – like someone saying unkind things to us?

These are challenging issues to consider. I have read literally scores of books claiming to have an answer. My conclusion from all the reading is that no one really knows, and it is foolish to say so. God’s sovereignty and human choice are both taught in Scripture. We are responsible for our actions and decisions, even though God ultimately knew they were going to happen. Like two pillars that run parallel and reach into the clouds, both free will and God’s sovereignty are taught in God’s Word. Somehow they meet together in God’s mind, but we will not understand either fully this side of heaven. The best I have read on the subject is from C.S. Lewis, who says that our first two words in heaven will be Of course! Only in eternity will we ultimately understand why some things happened in our lives, and how God’s ultimate sovereignty fit into that plan.

Disappointments and Prayer

Let’s return to what was going on in my mind during prayer. After I had finished telling these people exactly what I thought about their part in my disappointment in my mind, my thoughts would turn to the Lord. Many times I closed my eyes and had a direct talk with myself to the Lord. No, I did not verbalize these thoughts out loud, but I would ask inside, Why, Lord, why? You knew this was going to happen. I prayed and asked for Your direction. I thought I was doing what You wanted, now look how everything has turned out! Look at the disappointments – You could do something, Lord. Why aren’t you getting involved? Why are You so silent? Why can’t I see that at least You are here and interested? God, don’t You care? Since you are righteous, why aren’t you righting the wrong that was done to me?

Then I would start to feel guilty for even feeling that way. After all, I wasn’t really suffering for my faith like so many are around the world. I was still healthy, had a loving family, and could pray in public if I wanted to. But I was disappointed, disillusioned, and depressed – what I wish had happened, what I wish I had said, how things could have gone differently if only God had given me direction or wisdom or answered my prayers or – fill in the blank - at the time the decisions were being made. I asked for wisdom, but it didn’t come.

Everyone struggles with disappointments. Disappointments come when our experiences do not match our expectations. If we do not deal with our disappointments quickly, we can easily grow disillusioned, deeply discouraged, and then depressed. In fact, we could even call it a 3-D Dilemma. Our Disappointments, if left unchecked, spiral down to ever-deepening Disillusionment, which in turn spirals into Depression. Every depressed person we know has some major disillusionment with which they are dealing, which in turn can be traced to a pivotal disappointment of

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