"During counseling," stated the Psychologist/Pastor, "I often get to the place when I have to ask, "Are you angry at God?" The response I hear most often," he continued. "Oh, no, not me. I'm a Christian. I love God!' "Placing blame and being angry at God, is one of the main causes for believers turning their back on their faith," he concluded.
After the death of a loved one, a divorce, losing a job, or after an unexpected, negative outcome resulting from what we thought was the best decision of our life, anger is not an unusual emotion. It is a normal, human response. Every action that affects us will lead to a response. First, there may be unmet expectations, followed by disappointment, emotional confusion and hurt. Anger usually follows. Also, we may have unconsciously formed perceptions of the responsibilities we expected to be fulfilled. When they are not fulfilled, the response will probably be the same. Even as a Christian, we may find ourselves placing blame and directing anger toward God.
How many times have we been told, "God is in control?" Questions and doubts bombard our thoughts. This response occurs more than we are willing to admit. The thought process may go something like this: ,I>"If He's in control, He should change my situation. I'm a Christian! I did everything right! Why is He allowing this to happen to me?"
If you are angry at God you are actually acknowledging that you are in a relationship with Him. Anger usually occurs in the context of a relationship. Those we are closest to tend to make us angry more often than a casual acquaintance. Within a relationship, we apply our personal expectations, our perceived responsibilities of another and expected responses. When these are not met, we are left with disappointment, confusion and hurt. One person alone cannot deal with this appropriately or resolve the resulting anger because it involves two (or more) individuals within the relationship.
Our anger toward God results from unrealistic expectations of His character. This type of anger is very different from the "righteous anger" Jesus expressed toward the money changers in the temple. This was justifiable anger against wrong actions and dishonor to His heavenly Father, as opposed to worldly anger [self-centered anger.]
Example: expressing anger because of our unfulfilled hopes and dreams that we mistakenly believe to be God's responsibility. Colossians 3:8 commands us to put away this type of anger.
God does not cause difficulties in our lives or make bad things happen in order to punish us. The consequences of our actions are sufficient punishment. He created the world and put the natural order of things into motion. We are subject to the order of creation, i.e. gravity, nature, germs, etc. Many of the trials and tribulations we encounter are a result of being a part of this world. Also, evil does exists on this earth. Unfortunately, we may be on the receiving end of an evil act. The hard truth is that in some circumstances, our own choices result in difficulties, trials and tribulations.
God disciplines His children as any good father, "It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as sons..." (Hebrews 12:7 NASB) For additional study see James 1:2-4, & 12-3. He does not punish His children through an auto accident, terminal illness, or other similar tragedies. However, adversity teaches valuable lessons and God uses them for our good. If we never experienced problems, we wouldn't know that He is able to solve them. We wouldn't know what faith in God could do.
Scripture Explains Scripture In the book of Job, scripture teaches, God may allow trials and tribulations and use them for good in our life for the purpose of demonstrating true faith and trust. God's discipline strengthens us in preparation for His service in bringing others to faith in Christ [salvation.] "...God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28 NASB)
Read about the outcome of Job's witness and the blessings that followed his endurance of tribulations through his faith. "It is for discipline that you endure..." (Hebrews 12: 7, 10-12) Additional evidence may be found in reading about women of faith: The Book of Ruth, Anna's faithful witness in Luke 2:34 and Sarah, Hebrews 11:11. God did not take them out of their situations, however, He was with them providing grace and mercy through the difficulties.
"...Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, and you are mine! When you walk through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you...For I am your God." Isaiah 43:1-3 "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good..." (Genesis 50:20 NASB)
The Enemy Will Use Anger. The enemy attacks us in our thoughts and feelings. Satan is the enemy of God. His strategy is to place doubt and discouragement in our mind. He wants us to turn away from our Lord and Savior and rob us of our faith and eternal life. His goal is to take us to hell with him. He knows the ideal time to deceive us is when we are vulnerable during times of disappointment, emotional confusion and anger.
Have you ever heard these words whispered in your ear? "Where is your God?" The enemy approaches and taunts believers at every opportunity. He stalks us like a lion pursuing its prey. Having the ability to disguise himself, Satan can plant deceptive thoughts with those seemingly innocent whispers in your ear. He rejoices when he can plant even the smallest amount of doubt into a believer's mind, as he is already planning his next attack in attempts to destroy our faith.
Understand and Defeat Worldly Anger. Morally, anger in itself is neither positive nor negative. Our response to the emotion of anger is what determines the positive or negative outcome. Allowing worldly anger to teach us will place the steppingstones that will lead to a trusting, supportive, mature relationship with the Father.
"In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials." (I Peter 1: 1-6)
Anger toward God is not a sign of disbelief or disrespect. Anger emerges from our humanness [carnal nature.] We are victorious when we turn our emotional distress into a process of growth that develops understanding and wisdom. "...overcome evil with good..." (Romans 12:21 NIV)
The best defense is always to deal quickly and directly with the one we believe to be the source of our anger. Instead of remaining in a place of "being angry with God," we need to go to Him in prayer with a searching heart. Our loving, compassionate Father will show us the way to use our anger for good. He will reveal our unrealistic expectations, heal our spirit of anger and put us back on the pathway of His will for our life.
Own Up To Your Responsibility. God is willing to bear your burden. His name is Adonai; the God who created heaven and earth and the God who takes responsibility for His creation, but we have a major part in this as in any relationship. We must honestly search our heart. It is necessary to recognize and own up to our responsibility, when we find ourselves in undesirable situations.
God has given us free will. Sometimes we make premature decisions that lead us down dangerous paths. He understands, because He is the one who knows and loves us unconditionally. Therefore, He already provided guidance in His Word telling us to, "seek wise counsel..." and "Wait." We are naturally impatient. We act on feelings, impulse and personal desire as opposed to waiting for clear, indisputable direction from the sovereign God, El Roi, the God who sees and knows all.
Everyone Deals with Anger. God acknowledges anger in our lives when in Psalms 4:4 He says, "Be angry but sin not." In times of confusion and anger, it is essential to go directly to the one we are angry with; not with a clenched fist, but with a searching heart. When you find yourselves caught in the trap of anger and blaming God for a specific situation, take it to Him with honesty and humility. Seek answers from the one who has them. He will listen to every word, thought and feeling with His unconditional love and compassionate care. He will impart wisdom, understanding and peace. Resolution and forgiveness can be obtained through open communication [prayer] with God.
The Father wants us to express and resolve anger safely. He doesn't deny our human emotions, He created them, but he teaches and commands (Psalms 4:4) that we need to be in control of our emotions. He provided the instructions that will give us peace and joy for our earthly journey. Maintaining a personal, relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will get us through all of life's difficulties. He promises to go with us through each and every day.
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13 NASB)
Take The Anger Challenge: Allow God to speak to you. Read Psalm 25 at the beginning of every day until you and God have resolved all worldly anger.