We have all prayed for things only to feel that our prayers were not answered. Following our heart (feelings) can be a satanic trap (Jer. 17: 9), as there are many things, both good and evil, that can influence how we feel. Strong feelings can diminish our ability to see clearly.
Perhaps you are one that prayed for such things as success, protection, or a healing, but received just the opposite. I encourage you to read on.
Of all the assignments that police officers can be given, one of the most difficult is to be dispatched to a home at 3 am to notify the next of kin of an unexpected death. Before any conversation begins, the facial expressions on both sides of the doorway are forever etched in memories of all involved.
Initially, people react differently upon receiving startling, unexpected news. But in the long run, there is a tendency to blame someone or something for either causing the event or allowing it to take place.
God is often the one blamed for allowing unexpected events to take place. "After all," the devil whispers, "Did not God have the knowledge, the power, the opportunity, and the means to intervene?" "Did He not hear your prayers?"
The objective of the devil's innuendos is clear (1Pet. 5: 8). Satan can do nothing to undo the work of God (John 5: 24/Eph. 4: 30/Titus 3: 5/etc.) that took place at the moment one was born again, but can do much to destroy the intimacy, trust, confidence, and the production of one's post salvation spiritual life if one chooses to give him an open ear.
In truth, all prayers ARE answered with an immediate yes, no, or a not right now response. The challenge comes into view when the answers received are not what we expected.
Job was blameless, upright, being a man who shunned evil and feared (respected) God (Job 1: 1). Never the less, he suffered the loss of family, health, wealth, and great social status in the midst of spiritual combat.
Over the course of the Church Age dispensation, the post salvation spiritual life of many born again believers result in persecution, torture, and the loss of property, liberty, and life (Heb. 11: 35b - 38). Such believers never experience the earthly blessings that many other Christians receive (Heb. 11: 39).
Adding salt to the wound can be the simultaneous prosperity of the wicked (Psalms 73: 3) who seem to glide right along throughout life (Psalms 73: 12) and die experiencing minimal difficulty (Psalms 73: 4). But when the eternal consequences (Rev. 20: 15/Mark 8: 36) of the wicked are taken into consideration (Psalms 73: 17), the mature believer will no longer be envious (Psalms 73: 3).
One way to avoid or to handle disappointment is not to have unrealistic expectations in the first place. In order to do this, one must learn the difference between conditional principles and unconditional promises found in the Word of God. With this knowledge, one will avoid the trap of blaming God for not doing something that He never promised to do.
This does not make dealing with unexpected disappointments easy. In his darkest hours, Job cursed the day he was born (Job 3: 3), but did not blame God. Job acknowledged the sovereignty of God and that both blessings and adversity are parts of God's plan (Job 2: 10).
Note that it was not actually God who did the Job 1: 21 "taking away." In Job's case, it was Satan who did the taking away using the forces of nature (Job 1: 19), evil people (Job 1: 15, 17), and biological weaponry (Job 2: 7), after receiving God's limited consent (Job 1: 12/Job 2: 6).
God has His reasons for sending or allowing unexpected and undeserved pain and suffering.
I have an axe to grind with evangelists and/or pastor-teachers who speak only of the upside of Christianity and fail to mention the cost of discipleship. Those who accomplish the most are often those who suffered the most along the way.
When the inevitable bill (Matt. 13: 21/ Matt. 7: 27) comes due, the discouragement can be devastating to the post salvation spiritual life of believers who were never taught or equipped to handle this area of spiritual combat (Eph. 6).
If we are not to be caught off guard, we must learn to expect and accept adversity as well as blessing in our walk with the Lord.