It is the day before the beginning of the new year and I'd like to share a guest post I recently wrote for www.mylifeexcel.org. I'm happy to share this piece since we're at the end of 2014 and I believe this is the best time to address "hidden" anger and frustration we might have carried throughout the year.
My hope is that the message in this post resonates with you and helps you greatly.
So, without further ado, here is my guest post, "Be Honest When You're Angry With God" ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Most of us are afraid to admit that we get angry with God.
I mean it’s not something most preachers address in their sermons. It’s considered taboo to even think that you could get angry and upset with God. But the truth remains that there are times when we feel angry at God.
And as the saying goes, “the first step in healing is admittance.”
I can only imagine the number of people angry at God this Christmas season. People that had certain expectations of what God would do for them that did not come to pass. For some of you, you expected to get a “man” by Christmas but you find yourself rocking the “single” hat this December again. For some of you, you expected to have a baby by Christmas but you find yourself still without a child. For some of you, you expected healing from sickness for you or a loved one but it didn’t come to pass. For some of you, you expected to get a specific job or car or relationship or business growth or whatever else…all of which DID NOT HAPPEN.
And so, you’re angry at God. You feel lied to you. You feel like you’ve been shafted. You feel like He’s blessing everyone else around you…except you!
You feel sad and/or depressed.
Well, I know what it means to be angry at God. I’ve been angry at God quite a bit this year. I’ve been angry at God about the increasing number of spiritual challenges and tests I’ve gone through this year. I’ve been angry at God for some of the suffering I’ve gone through. I’ve been angry at God about all the opposition I’ve gotten from people for making a committed effort to live for God and share godly truths through my writing and speaking engagements. I’ve been angry at God about all the people that seem to happily indulge in ungodly behavior yet are “succeeding” (as per the world’s definition) and living the “high life” with no immediate or evident repercussions. I’ve been angry at God quite a bit this year.
And on one of those days this year when I was venting my anger to God with tears streaming down my face, something very funny happened.
I heard God laugh.
Why was God laughing at me?
And so because I believe God answers our questions, I asked why. And the next thing I heard in my spirit was, “Because you are foolish.”
And then the Holy Spirit filled me with the understanding of just how foolish I had been…and unfortunately, how foolish many of you are too.
You see, anger towards God is usually due to one of two reasons:
1. We believe that God is our “sugar daddy” and we are entitled to get everything we want
2. We believe favor from God is supposed to exempt us from suffering.
I’m sorry folks but God has never been and will never be our “sugar daddy”. He does not have “all we want” at heart but instead our “BEST interest” at heart (which isn’t always what we want.)
Now when it comes to the suffering part, I have a bit of tough news – it’s NOT optional.
God does not have “the most comfortable life” planned out for us.
Part of our lives will include test, trials, obstacles, and challenges that are all meant to DEVELOP and ENHANCE our character and faith. (It’s been that way for great men and women of God from the beginning of time).
It serves a GOOD function.
And yes, it is true that we are created to fulfill great purpose and enjoy great promises in our lives; but, all of that is dependent on OBEDIENCE to God’s Will and TRUST in God’s Word (even when we don’t like how our situations look).
That’s what true love for God really looks like. It’s having enough gratitude and respect to obey and trust God.
So, as you enter 2015, I implore you to START GETTING YOUR HEART RIGHT. Stop setting unrealistic expectations. Stop expecting God to have all of your desires at heart. Some of the things you desire are not actually good for you; and in some cases, you’re just not ready to have them yet. Start expecting God to have your BEST interest at heart.
Stop running around upset that you are not receiving the promises of God when you have refused to follow the instructions of God. Start studying and obeying God’s Word. (I know there are some godly instructions I haven’t followed and because of that there are some godly promises I am yet to receive. If I want that to change, I have to increase my level of obedience!)
Stop remaining in anger towards God for testing you and taking out your frustrations on everyone around you – understand that suffering breeds strength and there is no growth without “growing pains”.
Stop trying to “hide” your anger from God. Tell Him the truth instead.
Pour out your anger to Him. Pour out your frustrations to Him. Tell Him you love Him but you don’t understand why things are the way they are. Tell Him you don’t understand His ways sometimes. Tell Him you don’t like His ways sometimes. Tell Him the truth! And then after you tell Him the truth, do the most important thing: Ask God to help you understand His ways and give you peace about His ways.
And then you’ll begin to understand that His ways are ALWAYS the BEST – even in those times when it feels like pain, suffering, and disappointment. His ways always lead to His glory, your fulfillment, joy, and redemption.
Make 2015 your greatest year yet by being honest with God about your feelings, every step of the way, and accepting that there’s a PROCESS to PROGRESS. Start counting and actively thanking God for every blessing you do have and stop tallying all the things you think you’re “without”. Don’t allow hidden feelings of anger and unrealistic expectations of an unchallenging journey to keep you from the great life meant for you.
Let’s step into 2015 with renewed faith in God, honesty with God, and complete trust in God.