Someone sent me a book by Philip Yancey, a free-lance author and editor-at-large for Christianity Today, titled, Disappointment with God. It grew out of counseling sessions the author had with young Christians, all of whom were disappointed with God and whose complaints boiled down to three accusations: (1) God is not fair; (2) God is hidden; and (3) God is silent- he does not answer prayers.
I am sure these accusations are genuine, and I appreciate Yancey's answers. He replies that "fairness" would send each and every one of us to hell; that God unveiled himself as fully as possible in the person of the historical Jesus Christ; and this it is out of his periods of silence that God draws forth the precious perfume of human faith.
Yet what stuck with me most about the book is its title; Disappointment with God. For I found myself reflecting, particularly since I was beginning at the same time to work through this great eighth chapter of Romans, how any Christian could possibly be disappointed with God.Disappointed with God? When He sent Jesus Christ to die for us so that we might escape His just wrath and condemnation?Disappointment with God? When He sent His Holy Spirit to free us from our own sinful and debilitating natures and join us to Christ?Disappointment with God? When He has made us His very own daughters and sons, with all the privileges that come from it?Disappointment with God? When He has drawn us into a great cosmic drama of redemption, in which the heavens and earth have a part?Disappointment with God? When the Spirit intercedes for us, conforming our ignorant and incomplete prayers to the good, pleasing, and acceptable will of God?Disappointment with God? When He has set in motion an invincible chain of saving action, beginning with His affectionate choice of us in eternity past, proceeding through His predestination of us to be saved from sin and conformed to the image of His own blessed Son, His effectual calling of us to faith in Jesus as the Savior, and justification, and ending with glorification in which all the blessed purposes of God toward us are fulfilled?Disappointment with God? When He has fixed such a lasting love upon us that nothing in all creation can separate us from it?Disappointment?Brothers and sisters, what are we thinking of? Or is it that we are not thinking? Or thinking only of ourselves? Perhaps our disappointment (if we have it) means only that we are unhappy because God has not done exactly what we wanted Him to do when we wanted Him to do it, regardless of the fact that He has a much better plan for us and is actually working it our day by day, and will until the end of time.
Quotation from: James Montgomery Boice, Romans, Volume 2: The Reign of Grace, Romans 5:1-8:39 (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1992)