I have a lot of time to be quiet when I’m walking Frenchie. I usually turn on the app of a preacher I enjoy listening to. Other times I just spend the time quietly talking with the Lord.
The other day I was in a particularly gloomy mood as I reflected on how often I fail to do the things I want to do, and how often I do the things I don’t want to do. I don’t know how long I fixated on my failures, but at one point, after I’d talked myself into despondency, I said to God, “I know you’re disappointed with me.”
I hope to never forget what happened next.
Like a bolt, heaven suddenly thundered in my mind. I could almost palpably feel God’s presence. His sharp rebuke brought me to an abrupt halt: “DON’T YOU TELL ME WHAT I AM!”
I typed that in capital letters to emphasize how forcefully the Holy Spirit spoke to me. “Don’t YOU tell ME what I am”
Well, that quickly sobered my somber mood. And in the moments that followed, I realized why he responded so dramatically. I was falling into a trap set by Satan. A minefield. A step in the wrong direction could mean serious trouble for me.
God knows – and so does the devil – that it's human nature to eventually give up trying to please someone when we think we are a continuing disappointment to them. And that is precisely what the enemy of our souls wants for all of us – to give up trying.
But Scripture could not be more clear: God is NOT disappointed with me. Or with you. That doesn’t mean, of course, God is not displeased with us when we willfully sin. But disappointed when we sin? Hardly. As the Psalmist tells us, “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.” (Psalm 103:13-14)
Did you catch that last part? God knows who we are. He knows all about our sin nature. He knows we are dust. And He is not surprised that we sin and falter and fail. But – and this is critical – He created us in love, and He walks daily with us in love, and in love He forgives us each time we confess and repent of our sins. Even if we commit the same sin ’70 times 7’ times. (See Matthew 18:22)
And there is yet more wonderful news to encourage us. Here is the context of those verses I just cited from Psalm 103: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:8-12)
I am thankful for God’s vigorous rebuke that day while I walked my puppy. After all, who am I to tell God how He feels about me? I am dust. He is unfathomably glorious.
God is not disappointed with me. God is not disappointed with you. He loves us. When we repent of our sins, He casts them all into the sea of His forgetfulness (See Micah 7:19).
Our Savior, Shepherd, Lover, and merciful Creator wants us to keep pressing forward toward the upward call of Christ Jesus. But if we permit the devil to convince us that God is disappointed with us, we’ll stop moving forward.
Don’t fall into that deadly satanic trap.