Yes, God Will Absolutely Let You Down

Yes, God Will Absolutely Let You Down October 4, 2019

 

I know I’ve written about this topic once before, but I really felt like this was something I needed to talk about once again.

There’s a modern worship song that drives me crazy. I mean, most of the song is fine, but there’s this one section that says over and over, “You’re never gonna let…You’re never gonna let me down…”, and I’m here to tell you, loud and clear: Yes, God will absolutely let you down, so you better get ready to deal with it when it happens.

Here’s why that song lyric bothers me so much – because it sets people up with an unrealistic expectation of their faith in God and basically guarantees that many of them will fall away from their faith as soon as something unexpected happens.

Let me explain.

See, disappointment with God is part of our faith. It’s what happens when we have a certain expectation of something we believe God will or should do and then God doesn’t do that thing.

In other words: We expect God to zig and then God zags. What we’re left with is a huge disappointment and the very strong feeling that God just totally ripped us off – let us down – and failed to live up to our expectations.

Trust me, if God hasn’t let you down yet, just give it some time and it will totally happen. I promise you.

In my own life, this has played out in several ways. For example, the first time this happened to me I was in High School. I had met this amazing girl and I was convinced that she was “the one” for me. I was already fantasizing about our wedding day, our children, where we would live, etc.

And my expectations were totally grounded in a series of miracles surrounding our relationship that I was convinced all but assured me that God was totally signaling His approval of my assumptions of matrimonial bliss.

But then she broke up with me.

At that moment, I realized that God had tricked me. God had engineered this elaborate ruse to convince me that she was the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with – compounded by this series of miraculous events that had surrounded our relationship.

And then, God just pulled the rug out from under me and made me look – and feel – like a total fool.

God let me down. Big time.

So, I spent the next year of my life in total and complete rebellion. I was so angry. I refused to pray. I stopped reading my Bible. I found a new girlfriend quickly and tried to drown my pain in this shallow relationship.

And this wasn’t the first time I experienced this sort of disappointment with God. Not by a long shot.

God has let me down over and over again in my life. And I fully expect God to continue letting me down.

Here’s why: God let’s me down when my expectations don’t match God’s actual plan and purpose.

So, inevitably, my expectations are misaligned with what God may or may not be doing in my life.

There’s a great chance that God really isn’t even “doing” anything other than walking with me through these experiences in my life and my tendency to blame God, or even to credit God, with this event or that experience may be entirely misguided.

In other words, maybe God doesn’t make stuff happen or control my life. Maybe God just walks beside me as I experience my life. Maybe God wants me to stop assuming that there are formulas for my life. Maybe there are no formulas. Maybe God is not pulling any strings at all.

Maybe.

I’m not sure. But there is something I am totally sure of: God will let you down. God will zig when you expect God to zag. So, we need to stop singing songs that falsely promise people that God won’t ever fail to live up to our expectations. God will totally do this. It’s not even a question.

Rather than blame God when things don’t go our way, perhaps we should simply trust that God never leaves us, even when life disappoints us, and that God is always working to bring good out of our bad experiences, if at all possible.

I think that’s worth singing about.

**

Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife are returning to El Paso, TX after 25 years, as part of their next adventure.

Keith’s newest book, “Jesus Unveiled: Forsaking Church As We Know It For Ekklesia As God Intended” released on June 9, 2019 on Amazon, and features a Foreword by author Richard Jacobson.
Keith next book, “Jesus Undefeated: Condemning the False Doctrine of Eternal Torment” releases Nov. 9, 2019 on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brad Jersak.
Keith’s Podcast: Heretic Happy Hour Podcast is on iTunes and Podbean. 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Herm

    Oh, Keith, there you go again, sharing in the spirit of truth. That’s not what most want to hear to rest their fears.

    God has hung around for 13.8 billion, plus or minus, years watching over and tending our physical universe, much like a well managed garden. The weeds grow together with the wheat, only to become waste at the much anticipated harvest of the wheat. Carnal life is sustained from the consumption of carnal life. Life in the Spirit of God is sustained by life with and in each other bound by love. Carnal mankind evolved to be potentially worthy of the image of God, who is spirit, only a few thousand to maybe a few million years ago.

    I was 17 when I first saw the hand (influence) of God balancing my community that mankind might survive. I was too young to realize just how fragile each member of mankind is, including myself. Even then I knew that I was not special, anymore than any other of mankind, but that the whole of mankind, as one, was special to God, enough to share their awareness and influence, their Spirit, with us and possibly with no other life species on earth. At 75 I know God to have opened and closed opportunities for me to be able to support my fellows of Man to hopefully share their awareness and influence with God.

    My physical strength has been directly relative to how stressed and torn my muscles have been without breaking. My mental and spiritual strength is much the same. Without stress, sweat, pain and suffering without breaking I atrophy and die. Without support from fellow members of Man and God I would surely have broken before I was 17.

    There is a false conceptual anticipation of heaven that dreams of an eternity of bliss sitting on a cloud strumming a harp or on our knees singing hymns of praise to God sitting on his throne, with never again struggle and stress. Our Father in heaven had to stress, had to struggle, had to hurt, and had to grieve beginning with his anticipation of Jesus picking up his cross to die in anguish that we might know how much God cares for us. Jesus prayed in the garden that there be some other way. From the cross it is recorded that he spoke of being forsaken. Before then, he declared that to be a sibling student of his we each must pick up and carry our own cross.

    You are absolutely right that God will let us down, but only from our expectations of personal reward on earth, for our individual selves. Expectations that are separate from the will of our Father for all of mankind. For those who truly understand their relationship with God there is no expectation for self except that we will never be left orphaned and we will live to share our struggles, stress, sweat, pain and suffering with and in all of God forever. We will learn, experience and grow together sharing our journey over each mountain, and around each new bend, while stopping to rest and savor by the streams feeding the lush aromatic meadows. My Father knows what has gone by without a beginning, but he is most excited to share with all his children as we experience together what is yet to be without an end. Spirit is like that, physical is not.

    Too many times have I been exposed and trained to a skill and/or resource one day, and the next I served to save a physical, mental and/or spiritual spark of life in another, for such to be an accident of fate. Today I knowingly struggle to move and share as an infant with and in a divine family of spirit. I am getting stronger at it while the adults of God monitor to keep me from breaking by trying too hard or falling too far.

    I realized, when first a parent, that I had to let my children down that they may learn to walk, talk and challenge on their own. It was tempting to keep them loved, fed and diapered in a germ free rubber room, safe from harm, struggles, stress, pain, suffering and grief. But, about now, at 75 I would have been most sorry because I am now becoming incapable of not letting them down as my strength is waning, because without their strength and resilience, due to the lack of risk and exercise that I had so lovingly spared them from, they would surely die before me. Today my children are strong, daring, caring and appreciating on their own letting their children down to get stronger. I do think my grandchildren would be even stronger if my children gave them a few more muscle building chores, but then I’m old school.

    We have a tendency, all children do, to feel let down when things don’t go the way we want them to. I was a troubleshooter most of my life and I used to get mad at the machines for letting me down, for not doing what I expected them to do. Even today, I still have to remind myself that given the exact same circumstances my lawn mower, dishwasher and car would run or fail exactly the same way. I still blame them for letting me down and take them for granted when they don’t.

    God loves me enough that they all want to give me every opportunity to learn and grow so strong that one day I’ll be able to keep up to share and savor with them on an equal plane. That’s how much I love my children who share and savor with me on an equal plane today.

  • Rich

    Hello Keith – Over the last year or so I’ve really come to enjoy reading your blog and listening to your podcast. Thank you for all you have done and are doing, your work has been helpful to me. I think I understand the heart of what you are getting at in this post. Sometimes life just doesn’t work out the way you expected. That’s certainly been my experience and your post strikes a chord with me today. Ironically the same chorus of the song that bothers you so much, brings me a tremendous amount of joy.

    Because while I have experienced the “let downs” in life, and while I’ve given God the majority of the blame for most of them, I have also experienced the faithfulness of God. This did not happen overnight, and I would say it has not happened completely and thoroughly in my life even today. But over the last 6-7 years I have seen God take the bad things that happened to me and bring good things out of them. I have experienced painful losses, but where I once saw only loss now I can actually see some gains. Where I once experienced death, despair, and defeat, now I am once again experiencing life, hope, and freedom.

    I guess what I’m saying is that time has the ability to change your perspective.

    There were times in my life that I blamed God for everything, times I cursed God, times I told him I hated him. Looking back, I’m glad that God is big enough to take the blame and shoulder the responsibility of me and everyone else. It was probably a little easier and a lot more healthier for me to blame God and hate God at the time than to blame and hate the real people that hurt me and even accept my own responsibility in things not working out as I expected.

    So I’m sorry if you or your readers have experienced being let down. I’m sorry if life is not working out as you hoped and expected. I hope that in the long run, when your story is more complete, you will be able to say through it all God has remained faithful. I hope that song that bothers you one day will bring you Joy!

    Much love, respect, and peace.

    Rich

  • CO Fines

    Trust me, if God hasn’t let you down yet, just give it some time and it will totally happen. I promise you.”

    Really? Really??? Keith, I am 80 years old and have been a committed follower of Jesus for 45 of those years. A lot of difficult things have happened to me in all that time, a lot of lessons and tests. I can unequivocally say that God has never let me down, and I have every assurance that He never will. Doesn’t mean that I won’t go continue to go thru some hard lessons. I figure that as long as I’m not hanging nailed up to something I’m doing good, and even then it would just be a really difficult test that I would either pass or fail, like all the others. I figured out a long time ago that God is not Santa Claus. Life on this planet is a school, and a hard one. Schools have lessons and tests, and here even if you fail your test you get to do it over. And over and over and over if necessary until you either get it right or decide to stay in the second grade for the rest of your life.

    I realize that you are speaking rhetorically and that elsewhere in this piece you talk out of the other side of your mouth, but you just made me a promise that God has deceived me in saying that He will never leave me or forsake me. I take promises seriously, even as I have been let down by people and myself many times over, and all I can say here is that I have a great deal more faith in the promises of the Lord Jesus than I do in yours. A little less rhetoric please.

  • Patrick

    We feel let down when God doesn’t meet our expectations. It’s our expectations that need examination and adjustment. I think a reasonable bottom line is that we let ourselves down with unreasonable expectations, though they certainly seem reasonable enough at the time. We’re sure we have God all figured out.
    We have a couple of sayings in my 12 step program; “Do the footwork and trust God with the results”, and one my sponsor shared with me, “Plan for, don’t plan on.”

  • Jura Naumov

    Love by default

    Our Father is Love, our God is Love, our Creator is Love, our Life is Love, our Jesus Christ is Love, our Cross is Love, our World is Love, our Freedom is Love, our Unity is Love, our True Love is our Essence Love, our Existence is Love ours Essence Love, our Savior is Love, our Teacher is Love, our Healer is Love, our Church is Love, our Temple is Love, our House is Love, our Fortress is Love, Our Pier is Love, our Refuge is Love, our Rest is Love, our Protection is Love, our Connection is Love Our Faith is Love, Our Hope is Love, Our Kingdom is Love, our Sky is Love, our Earth is Love, our Homeland is Love, our Fatherland is Love, our Vision is Love, our Hearing is Love, our Feeling is Love, our Purity is Love, our Holiness is Love, our Worship is Love, our Food is Love, our Bread is Love, our Flesh is Love, our Blood is Love, our Spirit is Love, our Power is Love, our Kingdom is Love, our Sense is Love, our Sensation is Love, our Humility is Love, our Grace is Love, our Knowledge is Love, our Understanding is Love, our Request is Love, our Mind is Love, our Prayer is Love, our Ascension is Love, our Salvation is Love, our Perception is Love, our Treasure is Love, our Riches is Love, our Eternity is Love, our Wonder is Love, our Admiration is Love, our Astonishment is Love, our Shook is Love, our Weapon is Love, our Joy is Love, our Happiness is Love , our Light is Love, our Word is Love, our Language is Love, our Glory is Love, our Rise is Love, our Awakening is Love, our Birth is Love, our Resurrection is Love, our Day is Love, our Pleasure is Love, our Sweet is Love, our Wine is Love, our Conscious is Love, our Enlightenment is Love, our Peace is Love, our Sun is Love, our Transformation is Love, our Sky is Love, our Truth is Love, our Path is Love, our Goal is Love, our Meaning is Love, our Mind is Love, our All is Love, Lord and God our Jesus Christ, the Most Holy Trinity. Amen. Praise the God of Love Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, for everything. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dcc6c40db01f89c743f7e5181d9bb217fa0831f7c24347571bfb29f6fde1ee43.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6584820448b06b1b0d1624caed7bce15f7931553d62c68f51f32136deec179e9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ca4795d57a96306c0353b1aa14c83048d96a52eadcb5233d6a0be1f66895aa18.jpg

  • Jura Naumov
  • Jura Naumov
  • Jura Naumov
  • Jura Naumov

    Saint Silouan the Athonite
    In the first year of my life in the monastery, my soul knew the Lord with the Holy Spirit.
    The Lord loves us a lot; this is known from the Holy Spirit, whom the Lord gave me by His mercy alone.
    I am an old man, and I prepare for death, and write the truth for the sake of the people.
    The Spirit of Christ, whom the Lord has given me, wants salvation to all, that everyone will know God.
    The Lord gave the robber paradise; and to any sinner will give heaven. I am worse than the stinking dog with my sins, but I began to ask God for forgiveness, and He gave me not only forgiveness, but also the Holy Spirit, and in the Holy Spirit I knew God.

    See the love of God for us? And who will describe this mercy? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c34b0c32a3392919401317858cd0be3dcd9d2b60d58fd75149ce5e0b60341dc2.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dcc6c40db01f89c743f7e5181d9bb217fa0831f7c24347571bfb29f6fde1ee43.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d3a4a5cba2e1895d2a1ca5ce29521bd9e5bbdcebffac93fb407bc69464bbbfff.jpg

  • Herm

    Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
    On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.