What should you do when you’re angry at God? Angry at God? Are we crazy for even asking the question? Well, it’s a question with which a lot of people have honesty struggled. But doesn’t it feel like we’re betraying Him if our emotions turn angry at our creator?
There are many people who face issues so tough that their emotions are turned inside out enough that they get very frustrated with God. Even so, God knows our hearts and He wants us to be honest with Him, even if our emotions have gotten a bit out of control.
We can be respectful of Him and know that He has our best in mind, even if we get angry. Sometimes we may simply be angry at the situation. At other times, the anger may be pointed quite a bit higher.
How can we deal with those emotions in those situations?
What To Do When You’re Angry At God…
When you are angry at God you should first be honest with Him. Don’t stuff it down in your gut and try to hide it. Tell Him how you feel and what’s going on in your head and heart. He knows it anyway. Do you know that you can question God about something without being disobedient and disrespectful?
Tell Him that you’re angry, but also try to confess to Him that You know he is never wrong regardless of how we feel. Remember that He is still God, regardless of your emotions. He never has been wrong and never will be. He has a plan for you and wants the best for you, even if you don’t understand what’s going on right now.
Now, let’s take a look at this a little more thoroughly and also look at some steps we can take that can help us quite a bit.
That’s a simple answer to a complex question so let’s just take a bit and explain a little deeper. There are no perfect answers here, but we do have some clues from scripture concerning what to do when you’re angry at God…
Do you remember King David? Yeah, he was the one who, as a youngster, took Goliath down with a rock and a sling. That was a pretty big deal. He also grew up to be King, had his ups and downs, and committed some big sins too, However, He came back to God. He loved God. the prophet, Samuel, said that David was a man after God’s own heart.”
“But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” 1 Samuel:13
So, would you believe that David got really angry at God? He certainly did. A lot of people miss this in scripture.
When David was trying to get The Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem something happened and David actually blew his top at God. Somewhere along the way, the oxen stumbled and it looked like there was a danger that the Ark could fall off of the cart.
Well, if you are familiar with the Ark of the Covenant you might know that no one was allowed to touch the Ark. If they needed to pick it up, they could do so with two long wooden poles that they stuck through the rings on the side. But – not physically touch it.
So, as the oxen stumbled, David’s friend, Azzah, reached out and touched the Ark to steady it, which they knew no man should ever do. The moment he did so, God struck Azzah dead.
So, there was David looking at the dead body of his friend, Uzzah.
“When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.
Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.” 2 Samuel 6:6-8
“Perez Uzzah” meant “Outburst Against Uzzah.” David was angry. He must have thought that surely God had overreacted by killing his friend who touched the ark. Can you see yourself reacting in anger to God the same way that David did if it was your friend? Maybe so.
Let’s continue this story for a bit. There is a purpose here. You see, David didn’t stay angry at God. He eventually realized the truth. We can believe that because later in the same chapter, David was sacrificing to God and worshipping and praising Him with all of his heart.
We see that David got angry at God then repented and worshipped God. However, there is a bit of backstory here that might play into our answer.
First of all, David put his friend in this position anyway. They were in the process of violating God’s instructions to them. God had specifically given instructions concerning how the ark was to be transported. But David had a better idea.
There were rings on the side of the ark in which long wooden poles were inserted. The priests were to carry these two poles on their shoulders, thereby never touching the holy ark.
David thought he had a better idea than God and specifically disobeyed God. David had the cart built to carry the ark rather than obey what God had said. This caused the situation in which God had to keep His word and punish anyone who touched the Ark.
What to do when you’re angry at God? So, why this story? Why is it important?
Let’s look at several points.
1. Realize That Someone Who Trusts God Can Get Angry With Him
If you are a Christian can you get angry with God? Yes, you can. That doesn’t mean that you should or that is the best thing to do. It just means that it can happen and it doesn’t mean that you are some kind of heathen. We have human emotions that sometimes react in a way that might question or even blame the very One who loves us the most.
Know that it doesn’t mean that you are the worst low-life in the world and beat up on yourself if that happens to you.
It’s not great to make a habit of it, but it can and does happen to people who actually do love and worship God.
2. Realize That God Is For You and Worship Him
I’m not sure of the timeline for David in terms of his anger and then him worshipping God, However, I do know this. You can turn your mind and give Him praise and thanks for Who He is, His great power and love, and for giving you life.
In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he encouraged them to “pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances.” If you find yourself tempted to be angry with God, you certainly should talk to Him. Also, notice that Paul didn’t say give thanks FOR all circumstances but to give thanks IN all circumstances. God is always in control.
He is always loving, and He is always deserving of praise and thanksgiving even when our situation is horrible. Say, for instance, if you went through a tough divorce or lost a loved one. God did not cause that. The author of death and destruction – Satan, and therefore the nature of this sinful, fallen world caused your pain – not God.
You can praise Him and be thankful even when your emotions are still rumbling with frustration and anger. Our emotions do not represent who we really are. If you are a child of God, having trusted Christ as your Savior, you don’t have to function according to what your emotions are telling you. Make the decision that God is worthy to be praised and for whatever situation that angered you, it is not His fault.
You may think that worshipping, or honoring God when your emotions are still feeling anger is hypocritical. It is not. What is your true identity? Your true identity is a born-again child of God who has the Holy Spirit in you. Your true self which the Holy Spirit has renewed is not angry at God.
It’s your emotions. So, choose to praise God. That doesn’t mean you have to be thankful for a terrible circumstance that you are facing. It simply means that we can honor God and still offer Him praise even when our feelings say that we can’t. What to do when you’re angry at God? Worship Him regardless of what you’re feeling.
3. Recognize Where You Are At Fault
God knows that our emotions can get out of control and our emotions may turn our anger toward Him. He also wants us to learn and grow from the situation. That may well require us to make changes in our lives or repent to God for our actions.
In King David’s story, his disobedience to God’s word actually was what started the event that led to God having to take the life of his friend, Azzah. Now, that doesn’t mean that situation for which you are frustrated at God was your fault. Sometimes bad things happen and it’s no one’s fault. It’s just because we temporarily live in a fallen world where bad things happen.
However, if your emotions are burning with anger at God, that is a definite signal that you could take spiritual inventory and let God work in your life.
If you find yourself with anger towards God, accept and confess any wrong actions or attitudes that you’re having. He knows anyway.
4. Ask God To Use Your Situation To Help You Trust Him More
We could fall into the trap of being angry with God when we depend on human reasoning and emotions to guide our actions. When that happens, focus your mind and heart on Him and ask Him to work in your life to help you build more trust in Him and to lean on Him and not your own understanding of the bad situation.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Wouldn’t it be great to look back and see that God used your time of pain, frustration, and anger as something that helped you develop a deeper sense of trust and fellowship with Him? Would that mean that the pain of that event would be totally erased? No. It would mean that God did allow you to grow in a way that you will be able to walk in more peace and more joy eventually.
Ask Him to let you grow spiritually as a result of the tough circumstance you have faced. Familiarize yourself with the truth about God’s grace and Bible verses about grace and you will see that God loves us enough that He can handle our emotions – even when our emotions toward Him need correction.
5. Place the Needs of Others Before Your Own
So, why do we say this as part of the answer to what to do when you’re angry at God? It’s because sometimes we can lose focus of what God asks us to do and place our focus on our needs, our wants, our feelings, and our rights. We can do that to the point where we get blinded to the truth of the greatness of God and how He asks us to serve others.
We can become so self-focused that we filter everything that happens to us as being about us. We may begin to think that any bad thing that happens to us is God’s way of getting us, or that any good thing that happens to us is because we did something good. We can simply have an “I” or “We” mindset much or all of the time.
“Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39
6. Choose to Trust In His Grace
Grace is God’s unmerited favor and love for us. We should never take it for granted. It is a free gift from God that we could never earn on our own. Set your mind on the depths of that as much as you can. The reason that we can survive bad times or even horrible tragedies is because of God’s grace in our lives. Because of the sin in the world and the sin
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians:15-16
What to do when you’re angry at God? Place your trust in, and try to relax in His grace and love. He is there and He is not the one who has caused your pain.
7. Live In the Fact That He Is a Good Father
We want to live in the constant awareness that our Heavenly Father is aware of our circumstances and has the bigger picture of our existence in mind. As an earthly father, I can’t imagine wanting harm to come to my child. I also can’t imagine not feeling their pain when they are going through hardships. So much more so for a Heavenly Father who is absolute perfection as a Father.
“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” Luke 11:11-13
When I say “live in the fact” that He’s a good Father that is more than just remembering it from time to time. Live daily with the love, grace, and presence of God in mind. The King James Version of the 1 Thessalonians verse we cited earlier says “Pray without ceasing.”
That doesn’t mean to keep your head bowed all of the time, but to go through your day at work, at home, or during leisure time. Always keep your mind open to communication with God and communicating with Him as you go about your day.
What to do when you’re angry at God? Know and meditate on the fact that He is good, He cannot be unkind. He is not the author of trouble in your life.
What To Do When You Are Angry With God – A Personal Illustration
There have been a few occasions where I found my emotions all jacked out of shape and blaming God for the circumstance. I remember one time in particular when I was so troubled by some bad circumstances that had come into my life. God was working, however, my mind and emotions told me that I couldn’t get a break from God.
I got so emotionally distraught that I literally yelled at God. I don’t remember the exact words but I told Him that He was not doing anything to help me. I poured my thoughts out to Him with tears and anger. However, I didn’t deny God or curse God.
But, I think I let it get to a point of sin from which I confessed to Him. When I thought much about the issue I realized (as David probably did) that some of my actions were a part of the root cause of the circumstance about which I was mad.
I think about that occasion from time to time and it serves as a reminder to me that God is not to blame for the bad things that happen to us.
We can and should call on Him, feed our souls with His word from the Bible, and serve each other in love. As we do that faithfully we can see that he can calm our emotions as we learn to trust Him in a greater way.