It’s date night. Your husband is supposed to take you out to dinner. Only he doesn’t know.
It’s your idea, but you didn’t tell him. So he never actually said he would take you to dinner tonight. But still, you’re disappointed with him. Perhaps even angry.
Or your best friend tells an embarrassing story about you to a group of your friends. You get angry because she betrayed your trust. Yet you had never actually asked her to keep it quiet, and she did not realize you wanted her to. Nor had she promised not to tell about the incident.
Are you justified in being disappointed in these situations? Is it fair or logical to harbor anger toward a person who fails to live up to your expectations, even if he is unaware of your expectations? If she didn’t realize how embarrassed you were and made no assurances to protect your “reputation,” is she accountable to keep her mouth shut?
Most people will say, “Of course not.” Others will say, “He (or she) should have known.” That’s how we sometimes treat God. We expect Him to respond to our whims … or to our deepest longings. We implore Him to heal our cancer, to save our loved ones, to solve our financial problems. And when things don’t turn out the way we want, we believe He has failed us.
We expect Him to keep promises that He never actually made.
God is faithful, and He keeps all His promises. But sometimes we misunderstand what He has actually promised. He did not guarantee our lives will be free of pain or free from trouble. And when things don’t go our way, we get angry with Him.
[God] is like a rock; what he does is perfect, and he is always fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong, who is right and fair (Deuteronomy 32:4, NIV).
When God doesn’t meet our expectations, it is never He who fails. It is we who fail to understand that His promises are always good. Even when we are disappointed with our circumstances, He is always faithful.