How to React When You Don’t Get What You Want from God

I was jealous and angry. I really wanted to be happy for my friend. She’d been through so much recently and she needed a break. I wanted to be happy for her but I also wanted to be happy for myself. I wanted to have some good news to share with others. A victory and an end to the pain that had defined my life for the past two years.

I wanted to just be happy for my friend but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it should’ve been me.

I was disappointed. And I had no idea how to handle disappointment as a Christian.

What was I supposed to do when someone else got the blessing that I had been praying for for so long? How could I rejoice with my friend over her freedom and success when I was still struggling?

Deep down I think the real thing I was struggling with was feeling like God had passed me over. That somehow my prayers weren’t heard, or worse, they were being ignored. I was hurting and in my pain, it was so hard to see anything else.

I just wanted the pain to end. How much longer would I have to wait and watch others get the blessings and rewards that my heart so desperately desired?

How to Handle Disappointment Biblically

Eventually, I was able to truly be happy for my friend but it took some serious soul-searching. In the end, I came to the realization that I was having such a hard time because my heart wasn’t in the right place. I wasn’t focusing my attention on the right thing.

Disappointment is never easy, but there are a few things to remember that will help you get through with some peace.

God is Sovereign

God is always in control. No matter what your situation. When things don’t go the way you want them to it’s easy to think that God is holding out on you somehow. That’s a lie. Knowing that God is on the throne is a source of comfort. He knows exactly what you need and how to get it to you.

If you feel disappointed by something that God is (or isn’t) doing, keep waiting. I’m sure He has something great planned for you!

Cast your Cares

What should you do with all those feelings? The easy answer is to give them to God.

I love to journal my thoughts and prayers. When I’m struggling with how to handle disappointments, I spend a lot of time writing it all out. I empty my head and my heart of all the things that are causing me pain. Once I have it all written out I’m able to see things a little clearer.

And I know that giving things over to God means I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Practice Gratitude

A sweet friend invited me to be a part of a gratitude email accountability group. Every day we would email the group a list of all the things we were grateful for that day. I wasn’t able to keep up with emailing everyone daily, but I do keep a list in Evernote full of things that I’m grateful for each day.

Being able to pause and think about all the good things going on in my life (even during a trial) really helps my heart stay with the right attitude.

Keep Praying

One key to praying during trials is to just keep praying. When everything seems to go wrong, pray.  When it seems everyone is getting blessed and answered prayers but you, pray. No matter what, keep praying. Keep trusting in God. In the end, you won’t be disappointed for long.

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