Angry With God?
Faith in Difficult Times
Why does God allow bad things to happen?
A father watches his son dying of leukemia. A child loses her mother at a young age. When we experience sorrows such as the death of a loved one, or bitter disappointments like the loss of a job, we can find ourselves becoming angry at God. If we do not manage these feelings in a healthy manner, we can begin to question whether God even exists, or at least whether he’s worth having as a part of our lives.
If you’re angry with God, you’re not alone.
In the Bible, Jonah was angry with God after feeling that he was mistreated (Jonah 4:1-11). Job expressed similar feelings (Job 3:1-26). In a way, it takes faith to be angry with God. If we didn’t think he existed, or if we thought he wasn’t in control of things, we wouldn’t have any reason to be angry. It is because we believe these things that we struggle with God. There are no easy answers here. For thousands of years, people of faith have struggled with the question of evil in the world. As Christians, we believe that God is good and he is all-powerful, and yet we recognize that evil exists. How can all three facts be simultaneously true? This is a mystery that goes beyond the limits of our human intellect and earthly perspective. But if you are feeling upset with God, there are constructive ways to move forward.
Talk to God about your feelings.
If you are angry or disappointed, tell him all about it. He already knows, but he loves you and wants to hear you share what you are going through. As we admit our feelings and express them to God, we can start working through these emotions with him. We can find ourselves growing closer to God, even while we are still struggling. Even if it seems difficult, continue to keep the lines of communication open.
Look with love at the cross.
The mystery of human suffering finds its culmination in what happened on Good Friday, when Jesus gave his life for us on the cross. God loves us so much that he actually became one of us; he freely allowed himself to enter into our suffering. We can reflect on how Jesus was completely innocent, and yet he endured such immense agonies. We can prayerfully unite our own sufferings with his sufferings on the cross.
Consider your blessings.
When we are suffering, it is also helpful to take some time to consider the ways that God has blessed us. For example, if we find ourselves seriously ill, we might thank God for the support of our family members or the blessing of good medical care. Even in the midst of great trials, we can recognize God’s love and his continuing presence.