Believing in God’s promise when all you see is setbacks



(Photo: Unsplash/Marcos Paulo Prado)

About the middle of last year, we embarked on a journey to explore relocation to Christchurch. We bought land and built in the south and as construction started to grow and progress we started to consider moving as an option.

When we finally made the decision to move, I had to look for a new job. I updated my resume and started sending it to schools. Closing dates came and went, and I started getting rejection emails, one after another.

Even if “we know [with great confidence] that god [who is deeply concerned about us] makes all things work together [as a plan] for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his plan and purpose” (Romans chapter 8, verse 27), the repeated refusals slowly led me down the path of disappointment.

Although we knew that God had our best in mind and that greater things were yet to come, it was still hard not to feel discouraged when disappointment kept hitting and there was nothing wrong. other to remember than the promise of God.

What do we do when God’s promise is like a mountain top slowly falling out of reach instead of coming closer; when we are in a dark situation that is moving away from our goal?


“Now faith is the assurance (title, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the proof of things not seen. [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]” (Hebrews chapter 11, verse 1).

Does being disappointed mean we don’t have faith? Would we ever feel depressed if we had faith? If only we have enough faith, does that mean we will never know disappointments and rejections?

I have come to realize that disappointments come our way whether or not we have faith. In other words, the disappointment we face has no correlation with faith or even the lack thereof.

Disappointing circumstances are no punishment for those who lack faith. Disappointing times are basically just disappointing times.

In his days

Habakkuk chapter 2, verse 3 reassures us: “For revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not turn out to be false. Even if she is late, wait for her; it will certainly come and will not delay.

God’s promise will certainly come; even if it lasts, all we have to do is wait for it – and by wait I mean actively seek God during this period before the appointed time.

There is no need to rush before the appointed time. Although it may seem late to us, we need not worry, for with God there is never a delay. God has made everything proper, appropriate and perfectly suited to his time (Ecclesiastes chapter 3, verse 11).

A powerful testimony

If we have faith, disappointing times can be more than just disappointing times. Disappointing times can turn into powerful testimonies – testimonies of the promised end despite the struggles, despite the waiting.

When disappointments come like waves that knock us down again and again, do not worry, for God is with us; His staff and his rod guide us and lift us up each time we fall. He strengthens us through disappointments, giving us peace and even joy through it all.

I am a living testimony that God’s promise will surely be fulfilled – we are moving to Christchurch with a secure job after so many rejections! My testimony is not that I have never had to face disappointments, but rather that I have faced countless disappointments and yet, by His grace, I came out unscathed.

As Maverick City Music’s song ‘Promise’ says, “Though the storms come and the winds blow, I’ll stand firm. And let my heart learn when you speak a word, it will come.”

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