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Seeking God’s Will in Disappointment

September 4, 2019

I received my first official rejection email from a publisher. It would be nice if I could say that was years ago and God has since used books I authored to point people to himself. However, I only recently got the email.

When the disappointment hit, I assumed:

  • I’d close my laptop and stop writing altogether
  • I’d realize I’d mistaken God’s leading and repent for submitting a proposal
  • I’d have to start over at seeking God’s will for my life

But, praise God, none of that happened. Instead, I was reminded:

God’s will is what God will do. What God will do doesn’t change when my plans do.

Are you struggling to understand God’s will for your life? Are you discouraged about his purpose for you? It’s too easy to misplace our hope in our plans and goals. God’s will is about so much more than just our circumstances, and He is more persistent than our problems too.

Take a look at God’s own word about His will:

God Will Listen Patiently

Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he hears my voice…
God will give ear and humble them,
    he who is enthroned from of old,
because they do not change
    and do not fear God. (Psalm 55:17-19)

David was writing about enemies who literally wanted to kill him. But God says He will listen lovingly even to our smallest disappointments and fear: “Cast all your cares on God” (1 Peter 5:7). His will is to hear from His people, so we are free to speak.

God Will Keep His Word

All flesh is grass,
    and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
    when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
    surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:6-8)

Disappointment isn’t going to last forever (partly because we aren’t going to last in our present, earthly forms forever). What matters for eternity, God’s going to sustain eternally.

If the thing that disappointed you had eternal purposes, like encouraging believers or sharing the Gospel, you can be sure God will accomplish it His way, in His timing. He is building into eternity, and He has planned in advance the ways each of us will participate (Ephesians 2:10).

God Will Provide What We Need

My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:19-20)

Paul wrote these words, and Peter echoed: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).

It’s in Jesus that we find what we need to live out God’s will for our lives, and what we find in Him is a lasting, day-by-day relationship with Him.

The reward we long for in eternity is a worshipful relationship with Christ. And that’s God’s will for us beginning now, too. “In whatever we do,” God’s will is that we do it in the name of Jesus (Colossians 3:17).

God Will Bring Plentiful Redemption

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.” (Psalm 130:5-8)

Pastor Colin Smith shares this passage in a message titled Trusting in the Darkness. He explains that you and I are called to wait for the Lord: “with the deep conviction of mind and heart that at some point God will come through for me and when he does I will be right here waiting for Him.”

In disappointment, we can know that waiting on God as He accomplishes His will for us and through us is worth it. Pastor Colin says, “Literally the word there is plentiful. Plentiful redemption. Abundant redemption. Redemption means simply what God will bring out of the pain and brokenness.”

God Will Not Disappoint

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:13)

Disappointment can make it feel like God’s will is murky and hard to recognize. But God will not let us down with rejection or misdirection. He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us, and He will lead us into what He intends.

You and I can trust God to be “your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory” (Isaiah 60:19).

Photo Credit: Unsplash


The Author
Bethany McIlrath

A learner at heart, Bethany loves to share about her Savior and ways to lovingly serve others whom God has so loved. She wants those immersed in Christian environments to know the sweetness and joy of abiding in Christ for themselves. You can find her reflections on First and Second Blog and connect with her on Twitter or Facebook.



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