3rd October 2022

Disappointed with God?

…making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Ephesians 1:9-10 (ESVUK) 

As Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time the crowds stood at the roadside and cheered as they welcomed their hero. Then a few days later they called for his crucifixion. They shouted out to save the life of a criminal instead of him. Was it disappointment with Jesus that made them turn on him, because he had failed to free them from the Romans? They would have heard about his power in raising Lazarus from the dead. If he could do that, he could surely get rid of the Romans and restore Israel to independence and freedom. But all he had done that week was talk. He had made no move to do something great and instead got himself arrested and appeared to be just like any other man: powerless. Their expectations had been let down.

And do we get disappointed with God when he doesn’t seem to act when we think he should? When we believe there is something that he should be doing and he is clearly not listening or doing what we think he should be doing? 

Learning to know and understand God’s will and whether our desires and petitions fit into it, can be a challenging experience. We too can have false expectations. We want to know God’s will, but often want it laid out as a specific answer to our specific situation. Though God does give some detail of applying his will in our everyday lives, he doesn’t do pages of small print. There isn’t a handy index so we can look up our query, turn to the right page and find a detailed answer.

We can look for principles, and in Ephesians 1:9-10 we have a very basic one: God’s will is that all things are united in Christ. When musing over his will, we can ask whether our requests fit in with this principle. It may take some thought, and maybe some prayer. 

Father, as we consider how to bring our requests to you, may we have the wisdom and insight to understand your will. May we rejoice when we see our prayers fit in with it. And when we see that they do not, may we be able to echo the words of Jesus and say: not my will but yours. Amen.

Study by Hilary Buck


About the writer:
Hilary Buck is a minister and pastors the Lewes congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local congregation:
Grace Communion in Lewes
The House of Friendship
208 High Street

Meeting time:
Sunday 11:00am

Local congregational contact:
Hilary Buck
Email:  lewes@gracecom.church

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