When God Lets You Down

We have probably all experienced those times when God did not “seem” to come through for us.

Good1If you have been a part of the church culture for long you have heard the slogan, “God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.” But we have to acknowledge that there are times when the verses and quaint sayings don’t match the reality that is in front of us.

We recently went through the agonizing process of closing down a church plant that we had worked on tirelessly for over eight years. For the final six months we did everything we could to keep it open. God’s response to all the prayers, naming, claiming and circling verses, was deafening silence.

And then we read this: Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

How do we respond when we know in our hearts that it isn’t true, but for all practical purposes, it seems like God has let us down?

1.     Talk To Instead Of Listening To Yourself

The idea is to drown out the deceptive voice of Satan who is searching your heart for a foothold to breed doubt in your mind.

Our heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. If what comes out of it goes unchecked, it will eventually drive our thoughts and actions. When we dwell on those corrupted thoughts, they can quickly turn to bitterness.

Deceitful thoughts need to be replaced by:

Quoting or reading Scripture to ourselves. The best thing to replace a lie with is the truth.

Rebuking wrong thoughts. We need to tell ourselves verbally that we will not listen to the lies that our hearts generate.

Using a visual reminder. In my office I have a picture of a sewer cover. The picture is there to remind me that in the flesh, the thoughts and intents of my heart are toxic, and like a sewer, there is no reason to go looking for what is down there.

2.     Focus On Attributes Over Attitude

When our heart is adrift we need to refocus on what God is, rather than what we perceive Him to be in our disappointment.

When we feel that God has let us down, more than ever before we need to be in the Scriptures.

“You need to read your Bible”, sounds like one of those Christianese sayings, but Scripture alone is the greatest weapon we have in this battle. The Bible, not our emotions, has to be what defines God for us.

To find the attributes of God (what He truly is), read Psalms, read Psalms and then read Psalms!

3.     Praise Over Pity

Psalm 63:3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Good2When we feel God has let us down, the most unnatural thing we can do is praise Him. Truthfully, we just don’t feel it.

A wise man once said, “Say it until you believe it.” When praise is continually on our lips, it will eventually find it’s way into our heart.

Praise will always change our heart.

If you have read this far, it is probably because you can relate to the title of this blog. Which of these three steps do you need to begin working on right now? Pick one and set God free to work in your heart!


Matthew 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Matthew 18 gives the account of a servant who was forgiven a great debt by his lord, only to later persecute a fellow servant for a relatively small debt.

How often our story is like that of the wicked servant. We will never comprehend the depth of grace that Christ has extended to us, and yet our response is to harbor un-forgiveness in our hearts.

For mankind, forgiveness is not a natural response. In many cases it may be the most difficult choice we make. We struggle with the ability to forgive because we will never fully understand what forgiveness is.

Forgiveness is not verbal. Merely uttering the words, “I forgive you”, changes nothing. In the verse above we see that forgiveness is an issue of the heart. While it may be important for us to express the words, those words may be uttered from a heart filled with bitterness and hatred.

When someone has wronged us our hearts quickly begin to plot revenge. We can know that we have genuinely forgiven someone when our heart lets go of our right to revenge. One author put it this way, “We know we have forgiven when the name of the one who has wronged us is safe in our mouth.”

Forgiveness may be reflected in our actions by refusing to casting the first stone. Even more so, forgiveness is refusing to pick the stone up in the first place because our heart has no desire for revenge.

The only One Who has the right to extract judgment or seek revenge for our sin is God. Yet He chooses to separate us from our sin as far as the east is from the west and He remembers that sin no more. (Proverbs 103:12)

We are incredibly blessed in that. But with any blessing comes with a great responsibility. God’s instructions to us are that we are to do the same with those who have sinned against us – we are commanded to forgive.

Is what we are hiding in our hearts today worth the blessings we are missing? In the end we are only hurting ourselves. Refusing to forgive carries a heavy price tag that brings with it great loss.

Forgiving rarely changes the person who wronged us – but it will always change us!

Where do you need to start today? Who do you need to truly forgive?


Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

How often as we race toward our plans for tomorrow, do we run past God’s plan for us today?

Matthew 6:34 instructs us to take no thought for tomorrow, yet if we are transparent, our minds are constantly occupied with tomorrow.

cal1Companies like Day-Timer, Evernote and Sunrise have all been started with the sole purpose of helping us plan our tomorrows. And we plan, schedule and organize with relentless passion as we look for the opportunities that tomorrow will bring.

The greatest danger we face in being consumed with tomorrow, is that we risk running past the “today” that God has planned for us.

When we are focused on tomorrow we may miss our moment – sometimes God’s plan for our today is to bring the opportunity to us. Our vision for what tomorrow may bring may begin with who is standing in front of us at this moment. A wise pastor once told his students, “Our interruptions are our ministry.”

That text message, phone call, or smiling face standing in the doorway could very well be a divinely created moment in our day. Don’t let the future rob us of the moments that God brings into our lives.

When we are focused on the future we miss our purpose – most of our plans for the future have to do with change. It may be a change in our appearance, a promotion, a new skill, or countless other changes that we perceive as bringing value to our lives.

Reality is that most of those plans will never come to pass, they will remain where they are right now – in the future. Our purpose is here; it is in the today that God has planned for us. His desire is for us to be the change He has planned!

When we are focused on the future we miss our mission – the last portion of Matthew 6:34 says, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Our mission is not tomorrow – tomorrow is God’s to plan.

Ministry takes place in the here and now today with the people who God places in our path, people who are hurting, people who are discouraged, people who have given up on both today and tomorrow.

For many of them our ministry today of an encouraging word, a touch of comfort or a random act of kindness can restore hope that was lost.

It’s possible that today, you are a part of God’s plan for someone else’s tomorrow! What will you do with the moments, the purpose and the mission that God has for you TODAY?