By Mona Shriver

Do you ever mourn that you’ve disappointed God? You made a wrong choice. Responded in a way that you know did not glorify Him. Didn’t read your Bible or pray enough. I have. More times than I’d like to admit.

Last week as I was leaving Bible study, a friend walked with me as I locked up. She said, “I don’t think we can disappoint God.” I looked at her in surprise remembering how many times I knew I had. She went on to say it was because of the definition of the word disappoint. She began to explain and I realized this was something I needed to explore. As a Bible teacher, I appreciate the difference understanding a word’s true meaning can make.

As I searched the scriptures for the use of words translated disappoint or disappointed one fact struck me. Not once was this word used in reference to God. Rather every time it was used, it referred to us—mankind being disappointed. After reading what the word meant, I understood.

Both the Hebrew and the Greek words translated disappointed mean to have feelings of shame. To be confounded, confused or perplexed. The dictionary says it is to fail to satisfy the hope, desire or expectation of.

Can you see it? Our God, all knowing, cannot have hopes or expectations that fail. He already knows what we have done, are doing, and will do. He is not confused or perplexed by our actions. He knew them before they happened. More than that, He came to this earth as a man, died and rose again, paying the penalty for all that was unworthy of a child of the King. And a pure and holy God cannot feel shame—He has done nothing to be ashamed of.

When others disappoint us, it is because we hoped they would do or respond in a different way. Expectations are what we believe should happen. We thought they would make better choices. But our God knows us intimately. Before we were knit in our mother’s womb Psalm 139 tells us. Jesus told us in Matthew 10 He even knows the number of hairs on our heads. We cannot disappoint Him because He has no expectations. He knows us and loves us anyway. In fact, He knew when He paid the price for our sins.

We may be disappointed in ourselves, may even feel that shame, and rightfully so. But we have not surprised our Lord. We have not confused Him, “I thought she was better than that.” No, He never thinks that. We cannot disappoint God.

This is pure grace. Grace that does not release us to do whatever we want however we want. Rather, grace that frees us to immediately turn back to our Father, humbly accept His gift of grace, and to focus on obedience out of love. It means we can live in the knowledge of God’s love for us—just as we are.

Beth Moore says that the apostle John called himself the beloved disciple not because Jesus loved John more than others. It was because John realized in the depths of his being how much Jesus loved him. Let’s live there and let that be the motivation for our obedience.




Mona Shriver: Mona Shriver worked as an emergency room nurse until the Lord called her out of that profession and into ministry. She is a Precept trained Bible teacher, has been active in women’s ministries, and speaks at special events and retreats. She serves her local church body in central California.

Mona has been married to Gary since 1974 and they have 3 grown sons. She and Gary co-founded Hope & Healing Ministries Inc. which provides support and resources for couples in adultery recovery. They co-authored the book: Unfaithful, Hope and Healing after Infidelity. Learn more at Website:


  1. 11-28-2011

    Outstanding post, Mona. Caused me to re-think this topic entirely. What depth of love God has for us. Thanks for this thought provoking piece.

  2. 11-28-2011

    Well said, my friend. You have such a gift in communicating His truth to others. Bless you.

  3. 11-28-2011

    I can almost hear your soothing voice as I read this. You have such great insights and wisdom, Mona! Keep speaking it!

  4. 7-22-2013

    Yes! Thanks for sharing your revelation on disappointment. Now to make the mental shift and live accordingly.

  5. 7-22-2013

    Pure, pure grace. Thank you for the reminder today, my friend. Much needed.

  6. 7-22-2013

    Loved your title and article Mona. Well said and definitely true.

  7. 10-21-2013

    This just cracks Romans 5:5 wide open: “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”. I always wondered how hope and shame were connected!


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