Is being angry with God ever justified?
Have you ever felt angry at God for something that's happening or not happening in your life? Many people have – and in fact many faithful people in the Bible have. You're not alone.
But is it OK for us to get angry at God? Is it ever justifiable in the sight of God?
Anger at God
In an article I wrote previously I mentioned that anger is not sinful in itself. When anger is directed towards wrong or sinful things, then it becomes a powerful emotion that can cause us to stand up against what is wrong.
The Bible even teaches us to get angry, as long as the reason and the means of expression is not sinful. We are encouraged to get angry at the things that are wrong and sinful, in order for us to fight harder against what is displeasing to God.
But what about getting angry with God. There's something we need to ask ourselves. Why? Why do you feel angry with God? Normally we get angry because we feel an injustice has occurred. We feel like what happened wasn't fair. We can feel like it was wrong and shouldn't have happened. So did God do something wrong to you?
Is it OK to get angry at God?
Friends, I would like to answer these questions from the point of view that recognizes who God is. Many who don't know God very well tend to get angry at Him - just read the comments of many high profile atheists and it will not be hard to see the anger underlying them.
But when you truly know Him, the situation changes.
Most people in this world have experienced injustices and unpleasant things. Before writing this article, I read a post in TheRebelution.com, where the writer admitted he became angry at God for allowing his mom to die. When you get to the comments section, more people admit being angry at God for various reasons.
Dear reader, I confess to you that before I met Jesus Christ I also got angry at God for various reasons: pain, loss, frustration, and all sorts of unwanted things. Even after I became a Christian, there were times when I got angry at Him: when I felt like He left me alone or like He didn't hear my prayers, to name but a few examples. If you've ever been upset at Him for those same reasons, I can relate to you.
When I got to know Him better, however, I realized one thing that made me think it's never OK to get angry at God, even though He understands why we get upset at times:
He is good.
He really is good
You see, friends, many of us get angry at Him because we don't understand why we are in pain. Think about bodybuilders or athletes. They don't get mad at the pain they feel as they lift weights or do strenuous physical exercises. They don't shake their fists at God and say, why did you make my body so weak?! Why didn't You make me born with a six pack?! They understand it's part of the package: "no pain, no gain" is what they say with a smile. They revel in the goal of a perfectly toned body and they willingly put in the work because the thought of the reward makes the pain of no consequence.
When we get to understand God's goodness, the pain we go through as we follow Him becomes part of the package as well. We go with Him for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. We know all that He does for us is good, and all that He plans for us is for our good (see Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11; James 1:13). We also know that He goes through every trial with us (see Joshua 1) and takes on that battle for us (see Exodus 14:14). The Apostle Paul even described suffering as a form of fellowship with the Lord who suffered for us (see Philippians 3:10).
So what makes us think it's OK for us to get mad and angry at such a loving and good God?
- He sent His Son to die for us while we kept making Him mad with our sins (see Romans 5:8). He pursued us when all that we've done was stoke His righteous anger with our sins. We offended Him big time, but He gave the ultimate provision for our forgiveness (John 3:16).
Tell me, then, if you can still get angry at Him.
- He promised to stay with us and never leave us (Hebrews 13:5). He promised to meet our needs as we trust in Him. And those who trust in Him, He will never ever put to shame (see Psalm 25:3; Romans 10:11)
There's no reason for us to get angry at such a good and loving God.
- We make mistakes, suffer the consequences, and we blame Him for it. Did He ever complain? He loved us and showered us with grace, yet we murmur that things aren't going our way. Did He ever complain? He gave up His only Son for our sakes, and yet we get angry at Him because of something we lost or didn't acquire. Did He ever complain?
Friend, people everywhere at this very moment are hating God, insulting Him, hurting Him with their critical words or thoughts, laughing at Him, sullying His name, mocking His Son, laughing at His written Word, lording over Him, tearing apart His wisdom, and calling Him all kinds of rude and unmentionable words. Yet He is bearing all of it silently and continuing to generously call and save those He believes will love and understand Him. Think about His suffering heart the next time you are tempted to feel angry and see if your heart doesn't break.
Truly, friend, God loves you. He's not the enemy – He's the constant friend you'd want to be there for you if you were going through a hard time.