I wanted to perfect this message in my mind before writing, but no matter how much I tried to give it greater sense and direction, it simply didn’t add-up; at least not in the way I wanted it to. The Lord even gave me a specific verse, but writing a message about Being Angry With God isn’t as straight-forward as I imagined.
To make matters worse he made it quite clear it must be the first message of this year – A message for those who are angry with God.
So here I am on a Sunday morning, sitting on a wooden bench in a shopping mall next to the church I attend. I’m sitting in the mall because I left home early to pen a significant portion of it before service begins. Not by my own doing but as a result of the Lord’s instruction. Trust me, I would much rather be in bed.
There I was enjoying a very unexpected Sunday lie-in (church service commences at 10.30am), and….actually I must emphasis the word ‘lie-in’ here, as I very rarely have one. I’ve always been an early riser, irrespective of whether it is a weekday or the weekend. Indeed, I’m one of those irritating individuals who quite literally jumps out of bed at the crack of dawn. I have just two modes – wide awake or asleep; no in-between.
Back to lie-ins.
I just don’t do them. Don’t get me wrong – I really wish I could, but I’m fundamentally incapable. In-fact, as a result of my foolishly presuming everyone enjoys getting up early, my close friends banned me from calling them before 10am on Saturdays and Sundays.
However, every now and then, I’m tired enough to have no other choice but to stay in bed a little longer. I so cherish those ‘every-now-and-agains’!
This particular Sunday morning is an ‘every-now-and-again’. There I was enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime Sunday morning lie-in when the Holy Spirit reminded me of this rather awkward article.
“Get up, my dear son. I want you to get to church one hour before the service begins. But rather than head straight into the church building, go to the shopping mall next to it and start writing that message.”
For once, I did exactly as directed. Besides, I rather like the comfy red sofas in the mall – perfect for typing on my blackberry.
But upon getting to the mall, and to my immense displeasure, I found all four sofas already occupied by customer service personnel.
Let’s just say I was a little irritated. So much so I failed to recognise that customer service personnel have just as much right to a little comfort in their down-time as anybody else – ‘these people shouldn’t be hogging all the sofas. Don’t they know they’re for customers??’.
I ended-up having to sit on one of the wooden benches. Not how I pictured myself writing this morning, but no doubt exactly what the Lord knew I would be doing; which leads me to my first point.
The fact that the Lord has asked you to do something doesn’t in any way mean it will be easy or stress-free. Rarely does the process unfold the way we imagine it.
He usually gives an overview of something he wants us to do, or a glimpse of our future, but very rarely shows us the journey or process. If you or I were shown the journey /process we would not only decline the offer but run a mile or two in the opposite direction!
And so to the crux of this message.
Are you angry with God?
Has he let you down in some shape or form?
Has your anger towards him turned into bitter resentment?
You’re not alone.
First of all, do not feel bad that you have been angry with him all these years. Feel no shame or guilt, because you’ve simply been true to both God and yourself. And trust me, he would far rather you be yourself as against pretend.
If you’re upset with God, tell him; and tell him why. But after you’ve done so, spend some time being quiet, so-as to listen to what he has to say. His response will always be one of love.
A few years ago, I had such an experience. I was not only furious with God but resented him with every fiber of my being. Something I felt I deserved didn’t materialise. As far as I was concerned, he was entirely insensitive and unfair. So, one night, I unleashed my anger and frustration. After several minutes of venting, I finally stopped, and just lay there, waiting for some-kind-of response. But all he said to me was, “I love you, Segun. You’ll be fine.”
As I’m sure you agree, such a response wasn’t good enough. It did not answer my questions, and certainly didn’t guarantee my getting what I felt I deserved. In-fact his response simply exacerbated my anger and resentment towards him.
But when I recall those requests now, I’m eternally grateful they weren’t granted immediately. For if they had been granted during that period, I’m fairly certain my life would have imploded beyond repair.
I don’t know why God has so far not granted your request, or why he didn’t answer your prayer at that particular time. What I do know is that he always has your best interest at heart. Why else would he have your name written on the palm of his hand???
“See, I have written your name on the palm of my hands..”
Isaiah 49 vs 16: NLT
Think about the meaning of this verse for a few moments.
I’m sure you’ve seen or heard about couples with each other’s names tattooed on their bodies as public proclamation of a never-ending love for one another; conveying to the world and each other that there is nobody more important to them. Having your name engraved on the palm of God’s hand is very much the same; except with God there is no break-up, and no desire or attempt to remove your name.
You may have been angry with God for what seems like an eternity, but he was never angry with you. He has never desired to remove your name from the palm of his hand. His love for you is as strong and as firmly established in his heart today as it ever was.
There is nobody more precious to God than you.
Maybe you fervently prayed for him to heal someone you love dearly, or pleaded with him to heal a broken relationship, or desperately sought his help for a break-through of sorts – be-it finding your life-partner or having a baby, and your request has so far not been answered. I can’t tell you why but be rest assured that everything he does is for your good.
Sometimes, the journey and process is more important than the end result.
Finally, take a little time today to count your blessings. We are often so focused on what God hasn’t given us that we fail to see his numerous miracles and blessings in our life.
There is a general consensus as to what a good life pertains – a wonderful wife / husband / children / family, a beautiful house, and unlimited resources to cover our needs and wants, to name just of few. These are some of the things the world tells us lead to happiness. We desperately crave them. Hence, we find ourselves continuously comparing ourselves to others – resulting in a never-ending lack of contentment.
However, maybe by paying a little more attention to those blessings we take for granted and appreciating the wonderful gifts right in front of us, we stand a better chance of attaining that peace and contentment we all yearn for.
It’s okay to be angry with God.
Tell him why you are. Then listen to what he has to say.
He will never be angry with you because Jesus has already paid the price for your anger and resentment.
Rather, he chooses to love you, no matter what, and will never stop doing so. And by listening to him after your rant, you will no doubt be able to see that in truth, you really are dearly loved and already tremendously blessed.