If you are mad at God, you are not alone! At some point, we all wrestle with God, especially when His will for our lives differs from our own. From the beginning of time, pride has been the battle of our will over God’s and surrendering is hard, requiring humility. Remember, God is for us, not against us, and although common, this anger is not where we should stay.
“Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; this I know, that God is for me” (Psalm 56:9).
“The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me? The LORD is for me among those who help me; therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:5-8).
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31).
7 reasons anger seeps in:
- Because God is sovereign and all-powerful, we don’t like that He has that power over us. He is in control, and we are not.
- Our experience of suffering doesn’t feel good, so we ask how God can be good.
- We did not get our way.
- God did not answer our prayers as we wanted.
- We believe that life should be without pain.
- We believe that life should be fair.
- We mistakenly believe that God may be mad at us, so we get mad back!
Even though we understand that our world is broken and man is sinful, the resulting pain of this can make us angry.
5 ways the brokenness of our world is displayed:
- We make bad choices that cause us trouble.
- Other people make poor choices.
- Disease and disasters bring trouble.
- Satan is the author of some of our problems, causing us to doubt God. Satan sifted Peter (Luke 22:31) and had access to Job with God’s permission (Job 1:6-12).
- God causes some of the trouble we experience in order to refine us and to bring Him glory.
“The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these” (Isaiah 45:7).
“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10).
“And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:2-3).
Is it wrong to be mad at God?
No, it is not wrong to be mad at God. Anger is a powerful emotion and is not itself sinful. However, buried or unresolved anger can lead to all sorts of other problems, such as depression.
So while anger is not wrong, how we respond can be. Keep in mind God is God and already knows when we are mad at Him. Rick Warren helps to understand the difference when lamenting about our situation, “complaining to God is an act of worship, but complaining about God is rebellion.”
We must be careful when accusing God of wrongdoing or mistakes.
People in the Bible pridefully responded to God until they looked to the character of God:
“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” Job humbly admitted, “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know…therefore, I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 38:2-3).
“I heard and my heart pounded; my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones; and I trembled in myself” (Habbakuk 3:16).
We must be careful when handling our anger, knowing that it is possible for it to fester out of our control. For example, if we are angry, we may feel we have the right to further destruction, like breaking things or lashing out at others. The Bible never encourages holding onto anger or letting anger rule, leading to sinful behavior.
7 things the Bible says about anger:
- “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil” (Psalm 37:8-9).
- “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9).
- “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly” (Proverbs 14:29).
- “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end” (Proverbs 29:11).
- “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-31).
- “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (Colossians 3:8).
- “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20).
4 ways to handle anger with God:
- Admit that you feel angry. This will help you move towards a better way to express and work through it.
- Let your honesty grow your faith. Trust God and “lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV).
- Be careful how you speak of God’s will for your life. You may walk with a limp after wrestling with God (Genesis 32:24-30). We must accept that life is not always fair and this world is not our home (Hebrews 13:14-15).
- Recognize when it’s time to move on. Don’t get stuck in anger. It is not a price worth paying.
Even though it is common and normal to be mad at God, this is not where you want to stay. Your greatest place of rest is when your focus is on who God is instead of fuming over why He allowed something to happen in your life. It is at this point of surrender that healing can begin.