What should you do when you are angry at God? This is a question we wish never had to be asked. We all want to be content and fully in love with God all the time.
But things happen in life. Problems arise. Jobs are lost. Singleness lingers. Marriages disintegrate. People who we love die. And for some Christians, this results in anger towards God.
So is it ever right to be angry at him? Or is it a sin to be mad at God? And if it is a sin, how are you to deal with that anger towards God?
Honesty Is Always Good, But Anger Towards God Is Always a Sin
There are two easy mistakes to make when it comes to dealing with anger towards God. We can deny our feelings because we know it is wrong to be angry at God. Or we can embrace our feelings and give full vent to our rage because we do not think it is a sin to be mad at God.
The proper response, however, is to be fully honest with God. If you are honestly mad with God and that is where you are truly at emotionally because of your circumstances, it does you know good to try and trick yourself and God that you are not mad at him. Tell him the truth, but remember to always treat God with the utmost respect.
God is a loving Father who wants to walk with you through everything. But he is still God, and to be angry with him is a sin. Therefore, while you must always be authentic with God and yourself, when you do admit you are angry at God, you must repent. If you stop at honesty you are missing the healing God is always offering. We should not deny our feelings of anger, but we must not let them linger either.
There is never a reason to be mad at God. Anger towards God is always wrong because it is an expression of a faulty belief, mainly that your ways are better and more important than God’s ways. Anger occurs when we have unmet expectations that do not match the reality which God has ordained for us to live in.
To repent from your anger towards God, one of the most helpful things to do is to figure out why you are mad at him. Your emotions will not change by accident. You have to figure out what is going wrong in your heart and mind that is causing your valid hurt to turn into invalid anger towards God.
Are You Angry at God Because You Misunderstood His Love?
Perhaps the most common reason for being mad at God is misunderstanding what the love of God really looks like. Many of us have been attending churches for years whose main message is that “God loves you.” Of course this is true and this is an amazing message for a church to profess. However, the Bible says so much more than this. Not only does the Bible tell us that God really does love people, it also gives us great details on how God loves us.
When we do not understand how God actually loves us but we are expecting a different expression of love than he is giving, anger can occur. God’s love for us is not expressed through giving us everything we want the way we want. His love is not always expressed through saving us or others from pain or death (John 11:3-6). God’s ultimate expression of love for you and me is to do what will most shape us into the image of Christ for his glory (Romans 8:28-29). In Dr. Henry Cloud’s and Dr. John Townsend’s book called Boundaries, they explain:
When Paul planned trips that didn’t work out, he accepted the sovereignty of God. He asked God repeatedly for a certain kind of healing that God would not give him. God said, ‘No. I do not choose to love you in the way that you want right now. I choose to love you with my presence.’ Paul did not reject God for setting that boundary.”
So what should you do if you are angry towards God? You should look inside yourself to see if your definition of love is the same definition God is using. He may not always change your present circumstances the way you want, but he is always present, which can always change you.
Are You Mad at God Because He Is Acting Like God?
One of the primary requirements for being God is doing what you want. God is omnipotent and is free to write our stories the way he wants. This is a truth that can bring immense anger or peace. If we want to find peace in God rather than live in sin by being mad at him constantly, we have to respect our boundaries with God.
God has given us certain control of certain things in life. The fact that God is sovereign does not mean that we do not have freedom to make real choices that actually affect the details of our lives. One sure way to get angry at God is to blame him for something your own actions caused.
Another way to abuse boundaries with God is try to overstep his right to do what he wants. Again, Cloud and Townsend explain:
God expects his boundaries to be respected as well. When he makes choices, or says no to us, that is his right, his freedom. If we are to have a real relationship with him, we need to respect that freedom. When we try and put him into binds where he “has to do something,” we are testing his freedom. When we are angry with him for what he does not do we are not allowing him the freedom to be who he is.
The basic problem in human relationships is that of freedom. We call people bad because they do not do what we want them to do. We judge them for being themselves, for fulfilling their wishes. We withdraw love from them when they do what they feel is best for them, but it is not what we want them to do.
We do the same thing with God. We feel entitled to God’s favor, as if he has to do what we want him to. How do you feel when someone asks you for a favor but does not give you a free choice? This childish entitlement gets many people dissatisfied with God the same way that they are dissatisfied with others in their lives. They hate the freedom of others.”
So What Should You Do When You Are Angry at God?
To have a real relationship with God, we must respect his freedom. We must deal with that anger towards God, no matter how painful the process. He loves us and desires to comfort us through everything that happens.
He is a good God. He has a plan. We might not understand everything right now, but even in our confusion we can find peace rather than anger if our trust in God’s love outweighs our doubts. Stick with him through the storm. He’s the only one who can bring you out alive on the other side.