Is God Disappointed with Me?

A lot of us Christians, deep down, feel insecure. We think that God is disappointed in us. This feeling might come because we’ve sinned or aren’t doing enough at church or in our service to him. For others, it’s because they feel like they haven’t worked hard enough in their studies or have said or thought terrible things about others. God must not be proud of me, we imagine.

Such feelings owe to a distorted image of God. In our minds, he is naturally angry and frustrated at Christians, and love is something that he only feels whenever we do something good in his eyes. But are such feelings of insecurity necessary? Is God hard to please? Have we disappointed him to the point that he is ashamed of us? 

God Can’t be Disappointed with His Own

It is unthinkable that God would be disappointed in Christians. How could he, when it is he who offers all that is needed for our salvation? Consider, for example, that God is rich in mercy and made us alive in Christ because of the great love from which he loved us (Ephesians 2:4-5). Moreover, God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, he had his Son, Jesus Christ, die for us (Romans 5:8, John 3:16). Indeed, it is God who caused us to be born again (1 Peter 1:3); bringing us to himself through Christ’s suffering (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:2). And has he not blessed us with every spiritual blessing that we should be holy and blameless before him (Ephesians 1:3-4)? Through the suffering of Jesus, we are made righteous in his sight (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 1:30). 

If the above gospel verses are to go by, surely God is far from being disappointed in any Christian. Instead, he has made us alive (Ephesians 2:4-5), holy (Ephesians 1:4), and righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). And if such is our identity before our God through what Jesus has done for us on the cross, by no means can God be disappointed in us. If anything, in his eyes, we are saints (1 Corinthians 1:2); you are justified (Romans 8:30); you are his child (1 John 3:1)! Spiritually, you cannot be these things and still have God disappointed in you.

You are at peace with God through Jesus (Romans 5:1). By faith alone, without which it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), have you been made right with God. Before, we believed we were children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3) and deserving of God’s disappointment, but through faith in Christ, we now have his mercy, love, kindness, and grace (Ephesians 2:4-9). This is not because of anything you or I have done but because of Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). He became a curse for you so that you can now have the approval and blessing of God (Galatians 3:13-14), not his disappointment. 

The Father of the Prodigal Son

Perhaps you are in no doubt that you are in Christ and that the wrath and disappointment of God are gone from you. Still, you cannot help but wonder if things change when we sin. Does God become disappointed, at least in these occasional moments? The biblical account of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 should help answer these questions. In the story, the son asks for his inheritance (Luke 15:11-12), a sinful thing because he was essentially telling the dad, “I wish you were dead, for then I could have my share of your wealth and live as I please.” The prodigal son did not want a relationship with the father; he just wanted his money and freedom. His wish was granted, only for him to waste all he had in a short time through “reckless living” (Luke 15:13). After he had suffered greatly, he came back to his senses and decided to return to his father (Luke 15:14-20). 

What was the father’s attitude upon his son’s return? Was he angry, disappointed, thinking, wait till I catch him? No. He had been looking forward to his son’s return and was happy to see him from a long way off (Luke 15:20). Moved by compassion, he embraced, kissed, clothed his son, and even killed a fattened calf in his honour. He celebrated that though his son had been dead, he now lived; that though he had been lost, the son was now found (Luke 15:22-24).

And so it is with our God. He rejoices when sinners repent. He loves us deeply and desires fellowship and a relationship with us. God is not a disappointed, embittered, angry father who sits plotting to shame his children whenever they return in need of forgiveness and restoration. 

God Disciplines His Children

However, we must not forget that God hates sin (Habakkuk 1:13, Psalm 5:4-5). Christ died for us so we could become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). If indeed we are those for whom Christ died, our behaviours will be such as are pleasing to God and not those that displease him (1 Thessalonians 4:1). We will not willfully sin and quench/grieve the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30).

Yet when we do sin, God disciplines us–not to drive us away but because he loves us (Hebrews 12:5). He disciplines the one he receives (Hebrews 12:6), intending to make us holy and produce the fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:10-11). The believer never stops being a child of God because of sin, for he cannot lose his salvation (1 John 3:1; Romans 8:1; John 5:24). When God is disappointed in our sinful choices, he disciplines us not to destroy us, but rather to secure our salvation by producing an eternal holiness in us. 

Just like the prodigal son’s father, God rejoices whenever we repent (Luke 15:22-24, Luke 15:7, 10). His word assures that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:37-39) and that our condemnation from the penalty of sin is gone (Romans 8:1).

God has forgiven all of your iniquities (Psalm 103:3). He has redeemed your life from the pit (Psalm 103:4). He does not deal with you according to your sin or repay you according to your iniquities; they’re separated from you (Psalm 103:10-12). This is possible because of Jesus Christ, whose blood brings peace between you and God (Romans 5:1,9), not “peace as long as you do good”. While God is certainly disappointed in the ones who have not received Jesus Christ as their Lord (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9), he finds great joy in you, his child, because of Christ (Zephaniah 3:17).  



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