Angry … with God?

Bev became ill 9 years ago.  In March, 2014, we learned that her diagnosis was grim.  I remained hopeful, prayerful, expecting that God would reveal Himself in a miracle. A year passed and she seemed to be getting better, regaining strength until that awful day in April 2015 when the oncologist’s words brought our world to a trembling halt, full of tears, as he told us that her cancer had returned in a way that would no longer respond to treatment. God did give us a different gift than the one we expected. Those final months of her earthly life were filled with love – love of friends, love from our children, our love together which became deeper than ever. Then, she died.

I found great comfort in the story recorded in John’s Gospel, 11, of Martha and Mary. Jesus loved this family from Bethany, spending time in their home and enjoying their hospitality.  One day He received word that His friend, Lazarus, was very ill. “Come and heal your friend,” those sisters requested. But, He did not go!  Finally, after four days delay He traveled to that village, where He was told that Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days.

When Martha heard He was in town, John tells us this: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:20-21, NIV)  There is anger in her words. When needed most, Jesus did not show up. What kind of friend is that?  Then we read this: “And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you. … When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”” (John 11:28, 32, NIV) There it is again, that muted anger, respectful, but there.

Are you angry with God, wondering where He was when you felt you needed Him most?  

Do you look at the state of the world, or your family, or your own heart and wonder where He is, what He is doing?

That story teaches us that Jesus does not take offense to our doubts or anger.  When Martha and Mary dumped their accusation on Him, He was tender and invited those grieving women to trust Him. John tells us that He entered into their emotion. “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” (John 11:33, NIV) He wept openly!  Then, He invited them to trust Him implicitly.

If you are angry with God, do not bottle up the emotion or cover it up with so-called ‘faith’ words.  Get alone and tell Him about your stormy emotions. Admit your confusion. He will not reject you, nor turn away from you. Then, wait. Don’t spread your anger far and wide, rehearsing your resentment. Share a trusted, godly friend to help you pray, but wait … patiently.  

David wrote of a time of anguish in his life with this song. “For the choir director: A psalm of David. I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:1-3, NLT)

I cannot promise you the miracle you want. I cannot tell you that God will do what YOU think needs to be done. However, I can assure you that He will be present, that His Presence will be healing, and that He will accomplish HIS purposes in those who wait on Him.  For Martha and Mary it was the restoration of their brother to life.  For me it was the renewal of His grace in me, the gift of a more gentle spirit, and the opportunity to see Him use me to share comfort and hope. And yes, He healed my heart, too.

Faith is not always easy nor is it simple. It is God-focused and willing to live with things that find no explanation within our limited understanding. If we will turn to Him, open up to Him honestly, He will love us still. So, are you angry, fearful, doubtful?  Be honest with God and yourself and then pray for faith to wait on His ways to become clear.

Here is a word from the Word. Let it encourage you today.
“And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering.
We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us.

Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don’t need to hope for it.

But if we look forward to something we don’t have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently. And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray.

But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:23-28, NLT)  How about an Amen?

(Video of this blog at this link)


Keeper Of My Heart

From the first to the last breath I breathe
The Lord watches over me
You hear my cry and You know ev’ry need
The Lord watches over me
You never fail me God

I lift my eyes
I lift up eyes up
Maker of the heavens
Keeper of my heart
I lift my hands
I lift my hands up
Standing in Your presence
You are never far

I look to You where my help comes from
The Lord watches over me
Your mercies are new with the morning sun
The Lord watches over me
You’ve never failed me God

Keeper of my heart
Keeper of my heart
Jesus You are
(Keeper of my heart)


My strength
Your never-ending love
I know You have overcome
I’ll sing when all is said and done
(You’re) My hope my only hope

Chris Tomlin | Jason Ingram | Kari Jobe

© 2014 Kari Jobe Carnes Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

S. D. G. Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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