Are You Angry At God?
Have you ever been told you shouldn't be angry at God? Or worse yet, that it's a sin to be angry with Him and if you are angry then He's not going to answer your prayers? I have, and let me tell you what happens when we teach misinformation. It causes people to walk away from God.
After all, if I can't even be honest with God how I feel, who can I be honest with?
Just because we tell someone to not be angry it doesn't stop the person from being angry. In fact, when we are justified in our anger and someone tells us not to be angry, oftentimes, it makes us feel more angry. I know it does for me. I don't magically stop being angry because someone tells me I shouldn't be.
Anger is an emotion, and just like energy it doesn't disappear. It simply transfers into different forms. Take for example a balloon. If you blow air into a balloon the balloon fills up with air. If I pop the balloon the balloon deflates. The air that is in the balloon doesn't suddenly disappear simply because I got rid of the vessel it was contained in. Instead, the air that was contained in the balloon transfers outside of the vessel into the air, until it is contained again into a different type of vessel.
Does this make sense? Okay, so our emotions work the same way. They are a type of energy. They don't just go away. They must be transferred into a different type of vessel. Therefore, if you are angry about something, whether justified or not, you are angry.
If someone does something to you that hurts you and you become angry and I tell you not to be angry, you don't stop being angry just because I told you not to be. If the anger is not properly dealt with, depending on whether you are more of an extrovert or an introvert will most likely predict your response to the anger.
Someone who is more of an extrovert will most likely go outward with their anger, i.e., road rage, verbal abuse, angry outbursts, or even domestic abuse or other acts of violence. A person who is more of an introvert will more than likely go inward with their anger, for instance, depression, self-mutilation, eating disorders, or possibly other vices such as alcohol, drugs or porn.
That's not to say that just because you're an extrovert you can't or won't revert to the other outlets for anger or vice versa. The main point here is that anger is a human emotion that was given to us by God. Yep, I said God. So, that means our anger in and of itself is not wrong. It's merely a gauge to indicate something is wrong.
It's like the temperature gauge on your car. The gauge lets you know if your car is overheating. The gauge isn't bad. It's simply giving a reading that something is wrong. It lets the driver know that they need to do something or the car will overheat. The gauge is an indicator to let the driver know they need to take action.
Our anger is a gauge. It lets us know that something is wrong. It's an indicator to us that action needs to be taken. That is the purpose of our emotions. Imagine if we had no emotions and a child is being abused by a perpetrator. We wouldn't be moved to action because there would be no anger towards the injustice. The anger towards the injustice against this child causes us to act in order to protect the child.
The anger itself is not the problem. It's when anger comes and we stay in a state of anger and don't acknowledge or respond to our anger in a positive way that it becomes a problem. When we bottle it up and don't deal with our anger is when it ends up coming out or going inward in destructive ways.
"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Neither give place to the devil." - Ephesians 4:26-27.
That's the goal of the enemy, to produce provoking situations over and over again to get you angry with God so that eventually, as one pastor I heard say, "You give God the finger." But, I am here to tell you that if you are angry with God, if you want to cuss him out, give Him the finger or are ready to walk away from church and God forever, I want to let you know, God isn't angry with you.
Nor does He hate you. Nor is He sitting up in heaven with a check list of all the times you've been angry with Him saying, "Well, because you got angry with me, now I'm going to punish you. You're not going to get your blessing because you were angry."
I know there are people in the church who suggest this, that to be angry with God is wrong or sinful, or if you have doubt God won't give you your blessings; and I'm not saying they are purposely trying to mislead you, but I'm here to tell you they are wrong. And this is why. The bible is full of people of great faith, friends of God, who doubted and got angry with God. Let's take a look.
Here's what Job said to God in the midst of his storm:
"Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?" - Job 3:11
"I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil." - 3:26
"What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospect, that I should be patient?" - 6:11
"When I lie down I think, 'How long before I get up?' The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn." - 7:4
"Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again." - 7:7
"Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul." - 7:11
".....Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?" - 7:20
"Even if I summoned him and he responded, I do not believe he would give me a hearing. He would crush me with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason. He would not let me catch my breath but would overwhelm me with misery." - 9:16-18
"Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked?" - 10:3
And instead of comforting him in his pain, Job's friends condemned him saying:
"He repays everyone for what they have done; he brings on them what their conduct deserves." - 34:11
".....Will you condemn the just and mighty One?" - 34:17
"If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment." - 36:11
In essence Job's friends were saying he must have sinned or done something wrong to deserve this because God blesses and brings prosperity to those who follow Him. They were telling him he brought this misery on himself, and to add salt to his wounds they were now even condemning him for his questioning of God in his agony.
But this is what God had to say to Job's friends for their condemnation of Job:
"After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, 'I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has." - 42:7-8
"After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before." - 42:10
But, Job was not the only legend of the bible to question God and be angry with Him. Here's David saying this to God:
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer me, by night, but I find no rest." - Psalm 22:1-2
Even Moses expressed his anger with God:
"...Why Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all." - 5:23
Jeremiah the great prophet was so angry and in distress about the process he was going through that he laments his birth to God:
"Cursed be the day I was born! May the day my mother bore me not be blessed! Cursed be the man who brought my father the news...." - Jeremiah 20:14-15
"Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?" - 20:18
Another one of God's great prophets Elijah expressed his frustration to God:
"while he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom brush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, Lord,' he said. 'Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.' " - I Kings 19:4
Each one of these men were great people of faith and used mightily by God, and yet each one of them openly expressed anger and frustration towards God. Even Jesus Himself as He hung on the cross cried out to God:
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" - Matthew 27:46
If Jesus Himself, who is the Son of God questioned His Father, how much more might us, mere humans, have questions, doubt and frustration with God? In none of these circumstances do we see God condemning, abandoning or punishing these people for expressing their anger or doubt towards Him.
In fact, just the opposite happened. Jobs friends were condemned for judging him and Job received a double blessing. After Moses expressed anger towards God He led the Israelites out of Egypt, taking with them the Egyptians plunder and opened the Red Sea for them to cross over into freedom.
After Jesus questioned God His agony on the cross stopped and His spirit left Him and "the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life" (Matthew 27:52) and they went into the holy city after Jesus' resurrection.
After Elijah expressed his frustration with God it says he traveled forty days and forty nights and there the Lord's presence encountered him and the Lord spoke to him and told him to go anoint three people - a king, a son of a king, and the prophet Elisha who would receive a double anointing of Elijah.
Jeremiah may not have liked the process, but God tells him under no uncertain circumstances that he is called. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)
David was referred to by God as a "man after My own heart," (Acts 13:22) and God went on to tell David, "Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever." (2 Samuel 7:16) Even Jesus Himself was born from David's ancestry.
In no way were any of these men ostracized or abandoned by God for their anger or frustration. Instead, their relationship with God was strengthened because they came to God rather than man with their complaints.
They understood what many others don't, that people can't solve your problems for you. They can't make your anger go away. Ignoring or suppressing their anger would have only made them go outward with it on people or inward on themselves - both destructive behaviors.
But, because they went to God with an unveiled face - no masks, no pretenses - just raw, transparent, ugly, snot-faced tears and anger, they were able to get the help and healing that they needed. They kept the line of communication open between them and God, even when it wasn't pretty.
And because they kept going before the face of God even in their anger, instead of being silent or walking away in condemnation, God was able to speak to them and they were able to hear what He had to say. And this resulted in their being blessed by God.
If they never went to God with their anger and questions, the anger and doubt wouldn't have magically left them. It would have festered inside them, making their souls toxic and bitter towards God and others.
Anger is like an infection. If we don't get it out it can become deadly. When we go to God with our anger He helps to get the infection out of our spirits and our bodies. He already knows what's in our hearts, so why do we try to hide it? Why do we act like it's not there?
So, the next time someone tries to put condemnation on you for being angry with God, just know that many great legends before you were angry with God too and He didn't condemn them. Instead, He loved them, spoke to them and blessed them.
I'm not suggesting that if you're not angry with God you should try and conjure something up and get mouthy with God, but if you've been suppressing it because of condemnation from others who don't truly understand the depth and power of God's love for us, I want to give you some relief today and encourage you to go to God in raw form and tell Him exactly how you feel.
And I promise you, you will leave that conversation feeling God's love. It's okay to be angry. He still loves you and He's not going to leave you. God is big enough to handle your anger.