I’m angry at God. I’ve even surprised myself at the reservoir of wrath, which has so easily invaded my heart. This attitude is not beneficial to anyone, which has led me to ponder two important questions. Firstly, where does anger come from? And secondly, how do I deal with it?
When I think of my present predicament, the immediate cause is not what concerns me (I’m sure I’ll forget it eventually). What alarms me is that anger is always simmering under the surface, just waiting for a trigger to set it free on its destructive course. Why is it there in the first place? I’m not a psychologist, but my guess is that, at its core, anger is a reaction to the imperfections of our world and how they affect us. Layers of unmet needs, injustices, hurts, and insecurities combine to form the perfect soil where anger grows.
Unfortunately, if we’re not careful, our wrath, even when justified, will destroy us. If we let it grow uncontrolled, it becomes an untamed monster that turns against its master and smashes everyone in its path. Anger is like a burning ember that’s too hot for us – humans – to handle. So as I deal with my less than positive attitude towards God, I realize the only wise path is to get rid of it. But how?
As I read the Bible, I’m comforted to notice that I’m not alone. The Psalms have their share of angry rants. If we read that obscure book of Habakkuk, we find the prophet pouring out his anger at the Lord because of Israel’s suffering. So I’m in good company.
I don’t mean to imply that it’s okay, only that it’s universal. Why do we get angry at God? For one, when something goes wrong, he’s an easy target to blame. And when he doesn’t act in the way we think he should, it’s only natural to cry out, “why?”, convinced he could effortlessly intervene in our situation. After all, he’s all-powerful, isn’t he? But are such accusations reasonable?
As much as I’m mad at God, I admit that I’m probably not treating him fairly. When it comes to the grand scheme of things, my understanding and knowledge are microscopic. I could never fathom all that takes place behind the veil of the visible eye, which means that I’ll never be able to judge adequately the situation that’s so upsetting to me.
Fortunately, those same biblical passages expressing anger also provide a roadmap on how to overcome the wrath that fills our hearts. The writers never dwell on what triggered their outrage. In the end, they always switch their focus to God’s attributes and past actions, to his love, mercy, and kindness.
So it all comes down to this: despite my emotions, do I trust God? Do I believe that he knows what he’s doing, even when my feelings scream something else? These are the answers I must answer as I try to navigate out of the rough waters of anger towards trusting God in my circumstances.
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Thank you, Carol! What a timely, honest, and God-glorifying post. I was reading in Deuteronomy 7:18 today the importance of remembering (Hebrew “remembering remember”) God’s past acts of faithfulness, most importantly our redemption, lest our fear of our enemies (fear being closely connected with anger) overwhelm us.
I recently read the book No More Faking Fine by Esther Fleece. My takeaway is that we should allow ourselves, as David the Psalmist did, to truly lament the sorrows, hurts, unfairness, and fallenness of this life. Sweeping our true feelings under the rug gets us nowhere, and actually holds us back with unresolved emotions that turn inward, and often times, into anger. Christians so often dwell on “giving thanks in everything” and not on addressing the true hurts of this life. God will meet us there and we will find that we lean into Him more closely, causing us to deepen our love for and trust in Him.