Have you ever been so angry at God you wanted to cut Him out of your life? Maybe you prayed for a loved one to be made well but they died. Or perhaps your marriage fell apart and you felt God should’ve helped you but He didn’t. Or you felt God led you into a certain career but it took you down the path of disappointment and heartache.
Those who reach retirement age have had many opportunities to become angry at God. It isn’t a question of this has happened to you. But it is a question of what do you do when you are angry at God?
I’ve never written or talked about it until now: but I confess this has happened to me. In one of the churches where I served as the lead pastor, there was a critical issue which needed addressed. I felt God leading me to confront the problem. I worked carefully through the challenge, seeking the advice of trusted mentors and friends. But as I did what God wanted me to do, I became the victim. Many good friends in the church turned on me. I was deeply wounded.
I recall a moment sitting in my office with tears streaming down my face, trying to regain my composure before another person came into my office to personally attack me. It seemed that, in spite of all I had done for God, He had abandoned me when I needed Him the most. I felt disappointed and angry. God had let me down.
When times get tough, and we feel God doesn’t come through, the natural reaction is to become angry with Him. And if we don’t handle the anger, it will drive us further from God. Eventually, if the anger is not addressed, we will break our relationship with Him.
If you are harboring anger toward God you must resolve it before it’s too late. Don’t allow years of accumulated anger at God to keep piling up.
Here’s a few of the things I did which helped when I became angry at God.
1. I allowed myself to be honest with God.
It’s too bad many Christians feel like they can’t tellGod they are angry at Him. But you may as well tell Him. He knows anyhow. Be honest. Let Him know of your hurt and disappointment. He’s big enough to handle whatever you dish out.
2. I refused to walk away from my faith.
I had an inner assurance that I had the correct belief system. It wasn’t that I knew the answer to everything or that I had become superior to everyone else. But I knew God was real and that He had rules in place. I made the decision not to throw in the towel on what I knew to be right.
3. I kept doing the right things even though it felt like I was only going through the motions.
This is a followup thought to the previous one. If you can hang on to your faith then you ought to keep doing what you know are the right things. When I went through my period of disappointment and anger at God I kept putting one foot in front of the other and did the right thing. This approach, even though feeling disillusioned, kept me on the right track.
4. I reached out to a few trusted friends for help.
You cannot survive being angry at God if you make the decision to walk that road by yourself. You must reach out to other people in whom you have deep trust. Tell them what you are experiencing. Be honest with them. Because they are removed from the picture they can give you a valuable outsider’s perspective.
5. I reminded myself that God’s ways and plans were far bigger than I would ever understand.
Here’s the place where everyone who is angry at God must arrive if they are to survive. I realized only God saw the big picture. From my wounded vantage-point all I could see was my own hurt. But God always sees the big picture. To borrow a metaphor, I could only see the float in the parade in front of me but God sees the entire parade in a single glance.
Let me encourage you to step up to the plate and deal with your anger at God. To fail in this challenge is to spiritually slip away into the abyss. To succeed is to bow before God and rest in the knowledge that He really does know best.
Part of the ReFIRE process is to let go of the past. You cannot let go of the past until you make peace with God.
Have you ever been angry at God? Are you brave enough to admit it? How can I help you?