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

(Photo: Unsplash/Marcos Paulo Prado)

Towards the middle of last year, we embarked on a journey to explore relocating to Christchurch. We bought a 'land and build' down south and as the build began to develop and progress, we started looking into moving down as an option.

When we finally made the decision to move, I had to look for a new job. I updated my curriculum vitae and started sending it out to schools. The closing dates came and went, and I started receiving rejection emails, one after another.

Though "we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose" (Romans chapter 8, verse 27), the repeated rejections slowly tugged me down the path of disappointment.

Despite knowing God has our best in mind and greater things are yet to come, it was still hard not to feel dejected when disappointment kept knocking and there wasn't anything to hold onto other than God's promise.

What do we do when God's promise seems like the peak of a mountain slowly falling out of reach instead of coming closer; when we are in a bleak situation spiralling downhill further from our goal?


"Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence 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 that we do not have faith? Would we never feel down if we have faith? If only we have enough faith, does it mean we will never face disappointments and rejections?

I have come to realise that disappointments come our way whether or not we have faith. In other words, the disappointment we face has no correlation to having faith or even a lack of it.

Disappointing circumstances are not a punishment for those lacking in faith. Disappointing moments are basically just disappointing moments.

In its time

Habakkuk chapter 2, verse 3 reassures us, "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."

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

There is no need to rush before the appointed time. While it might seem belated to us, we do not need to worry, for to God there is never a delay. God has made everything appropriate, suitable and fit beautifully in its time (Ecclesiastes chapter 3, verse 11).

A powerful testimony

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

When disappointments come like waves knocking us down over and over, don't fret, for God is with us; His staff and His rod guides us and pulls us up every time we fall. He strengthens us through the disappointments, giving us peace and even joy through it all.

I am a living testimony that God's promise will certainly come to pass – we are moving to Christchurch with a job secured after so many rejections! My testimony is not that I have never had to face any disappointments, rather that I have faced countless disappointments yet by His grace emerged unscathed.

As the song 'Promise' by Maverick City Music goes, "Though the storms may come and the winds may blow I'll remain steadfast. And let my heart learn when you speak a word it will come to pass."