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  • Writer's pictureJack Selcher

Is God Unfaithful?

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Is God unfaithful? Sometimes it seems He is. He frequently disappoints our requests and expectations. We don’t always receive what we want when we want it. I’m sure you have noticed.

The underlying reason is that we don’t understand God’s ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:8–9). Because we don’t, our requests and expectations often are inconsistent with what’s best for us and others in the long haul. Or what’s best to advance God’s kingdom.

God is faithful but not predictable. We sometimes confuse the two. It isn’t a new development.

About 4,000 years ago, Job didn’t understand God’s ways either. He said, “But it is God who has wronged me, capturing me in his net. “I cry out, ‘Help!’ but no one answers me. I protest, but there is no justice” (Job 19:6–7 NLT). He blamed God for his calamities.

From torturing stocks, the prophet Jeremiah charged God with lying to and taking advantage of him (Jeremiah 20:7–9). God promised to be with and protect him when he was young (Jeremiah 1:8). It didn’t seem to be happening.

The children of Israel complained because God provided manna for them but not meat (Numbers 11: 4–6). Their pattern of complaining continued. They didn’t believe God was treating them fairly or giving them what they deserved.

Moses complained that God was treating him harshly (Numbers 11:11), saddling him with the burden of all the problems and complaints of the children of Israel.

Asaph complained that the wicked prosper (Psalm 73). He was envious. He wondered whether living a pure life was all in vain.

David complained that wherever he went, his enemies were setting traps for him. No one cared about or would help him (Psalm 142).

Jonah complained that God was showing compassion toward Nineveh, an enemy of Israel. He was so depressed, he wanted to die (Jonah 4:1–3).

Ray Stedman wrote, “I do not know how many times people have said to me, referring to the word of God, well, I know what it says, but it doesn't work! That is just another way of saying, God has deceived me; God's a liar!”1

A woman in Africa sent me this Facebook message: “How come you people pray and God answers but I have prayed but nothing.”

She went on to say, “I have really suffered and am giving up. I’m tired.”

She explained, “It’s painful to see a man leaving you with kids to go live with another woman. Having his family support him and reject me for no reason. Am an orphan being rejected by people I have called family.”

Sometimes I’m disappointed in God too. Some prayer requests I mark as same-day delivery seem to get lost in the mail. Some take forty years to receive a yes from God. Others never do.

Here is how I deal with God’s seeming unfaithfulness. Looking back, I see that some of the things I asked for would have been as bad for me as smoking six packs of cigarettes a day. God’s no to those requests was His highest heart-sent blessing.

I have received enough of His yeses to feel the warmth of his love. Any one of them was more than I deserve. Some of God’s seeming unfaithfulness flows from an overblown sense of what we deserve.

I trust God’s wisdom for the unresolved things that have been disappointing, depressing, inconvenient, and painful. I recognize that He has used most of them to shape me for a more fruitful ministry to others.

I haven’t arrived, but I’m learning to be content with God’s seeming unfaithfulness. I believe that one million years hence, it will be clear His seeming unfaithfulness while we were on the earth was an illusion (Philippians 4:11). #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources

1. Daily Devotion: Jeremiah's Complaint (Jer 20:1-10) (

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at

God has equipped and empowered me to write His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength. It’s a free devotional discipleship resource. Pastors have used it in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to lead people to Christ and teach the basics of Christianity to 2,034 people to date. I invite you to check it out.

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