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Session 5

What to do when God doesn’t meet your expectations

Read: Exodus 5

You can’t seem to please anyone — your boss, your spouse, your parents. Maybe you’ve been rejected, made to feel like an outsider because of your obedience to God. You’ve been doing everything right. You’re reading your Bible, going to church, praying. You expected God to give you more than He has right now. Your circumstances stink. Your expectations haven’t been met, and in the space between what you expected and reality, you’ve grown disappointed. 

It’s easy to shake your fist at God and ask, “Why?” But complaining and turning away from God does not remove the disappointment. Instead the despair deepens. 

Consider for a second this possibility: That God’s plans for you are greater than the greatest plans you could ever make for yourself.

In Exodus 5, the Hebrews’ lives were made harder when Moses and Aaron obediently went to Pharaoh and requested the Hebrews be let go to hold a festival honoring God in the desert. Pharaoh, not knowing God and thus unable to understand obedience to Him, not only denied the request, but made the Hebrew plight much worse. Under the circumstances, the Hebrews turned on Moses and Aaron rather than trusting God had greater plans for them. 

God is at work in all of our circumstances, even the painful ones, and He wants more for us than we could ever want or imagine for ourselves. So what if we stopped asking why, and instead asked,“What can I learn in the midst of this?” Neither question changes our circumstances, but the second changes us. It shifts our attitude from victim to victor. It turns our eyes from the earthly to the eternal, and allows what was meant to harm us to help us. 

Reflect:

  • Is there an area of your life where you’re deeply disappointed, suffering or feeling like you just can’t win? What’s one area of your life where you just want to ask, “Why?”
  • How does your perspective on that situation change when stop focusing on why and start asking, “What can I learn?”
  • God can work through our pain to show us things about ourselves and about Himself. What’s one thing you want to learn about God in this situation? What’s one thing He might be teaching you about yourself?

1

What if the right thing costs you everything?

What if the right thing costs you everything?

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2

Are you in need of rescue?

Are you in need of rescue?

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3

Help is on the way

Help is on the way

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4

Looking for a sign that God is with you?

Looking for a sign that God is with you?

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5

What to do when God doesn’t meet your expectations

What to do when God doesn’t meet your expectations

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6

Will you let God set you free?

Will you let God set you free?

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7

Great success often starts with failure

Great success often starts with failure

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8

How to break a cycle of regret

How to break a cycle of regret

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9

What is your purpose in life?

What is your purpose in life?

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10

When you can’t see clearly

When you can’t see clearly

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11

We are all enslaved to something

We are all enslaved to something

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12

Freedom comes from following instructions

Freedom comes from following instructions

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13

How remembering the past shapes the present

How remembering the past shapes the present

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14

How to win the war

How to win the war

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15

How to celebrate life, even when it sucks

How to celebrate life, even when it sucks

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16

God’s presence is greater than His presents

God’s presence is greater than His presents

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17

God is our banner

God is our banner

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18

The gift we never knew we needed

The gift we never knew we needed

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19

The one person who never breaks a promise

The one person who never breaks a promise

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20

A new way to think about God’s commands

A new way to think about God’s commands

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21

Revenge isn’t as sweet as you think it will be

Revenge isn’t as sweet as you think it will be

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22

What if you are the thief?

What if you are the thief?

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23

Timing is everything

Timing is everything

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24

The key to effectiveness in the church

The key to effectiveness in the church

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25

Why you should give God your best

Why you should give God your best

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26

Worship is more than singing on Sunday

Worship is more than singing on Sunday

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27

What it means to be set apart

What it means to be set apart

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28

You were made to make a difference

You were made to make a difference

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29

Is impatience getting the better of you?

Is impatience getting the better of you?

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30

You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

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31

You can come to God after a mistake

You can come to God after a mistake

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32

What happens when everyone gives what God says

What happens when everyone gives what God says

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33

How to do more than you ever thought possible

How to do more than you ever thought possible

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34

How to prepare our hearts for worship

How to prepare our hearts for worship

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