Jonah 4:1,4 – “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. Then the Lord said, “ Is it right for you to be angry?” NKJV
In my last blog, I touched on the subject of anger in relationship to others. Today, I want to look at anger from another perspective: being angry with God.
I mentioned several reasons why people deal with anger in general, but I’d like to add to that list: grief, illnesses, financial difficulties, loss of job or home, divorce, abuse, war, loss of mobility, and the list can really get pretty long. Sometimes we are afraid to admit it to ourselves, and definitely not to others, but if we were truly honest, we are most angry at God.
Years ago I heard my neighbor was dying of cancer. He was a young man, newly wed, with a lot going for him. And then cancer came calling. Since we are believers, and we believe in the power of prayer, my husband and I went to visit him to offer him some hope. Instead of being happy to hear what we had to say, he was angry with us for coming to talk to him about a God who put cancer on him and was taking him away from his family. At first, I was taken aback because of his intense anger, which seemed to be aimed at us. But then I realized that he was really angry with God.
That young man was not alone. So many people go through life, angry with God. They are mad at God because someone was violently attacked or murdered. They are angry with God because a tornado destroyed their home. They are angry because cancer is eating at their body. They are angry because they have horrible parents or horrible children. They are even angry with Him because they have to blame someone for the mess they call a life. So much anger, and it is wasted anger, because we are in no position to be angry with God.
Jonah was God’s prophet. God gave him an assignment to go to Nineveh and to let them know that in 40 days He would destroy the city because of their great wickedness. Jonah didn’t want to go. As a matter of fact he tried to run away from the assignment that God had for him. (You’ll have to read the full account on your own), but suffice it to say, Jonah ended up in the belly of a great fish. After he was spit out of the fish, he went to Nineveh to share the word of Lord.
Typical of God’s nature, when the Ninevites repent, He forgives them. Then Jonah becomes really angry with God. In verse 2 of chapter 4, Jonah pretty much tells God that this is why he ran in the beginning, because he knew that God would forgive them, if they repented. And he didn’t want that to happen. You see, Jonah knew by the Spirit of God that later on, Nineveh would be responsible for the destruction of Israel. And in his opinion, it would be better for God to destroy Nineveh, then for Nineveh to survive and destroy Israel. So he was pretty upset with God for forgiving them, and God wanted to know what right did Jonah have for getting angry with Him?
The audacity of Jonah! I can imagine that this was a hard place for Jonah. Destruction of Nineveh or the destruction of Israel? No brainer, or so Jonah felt. Except…when God has spoken, who can counsel against God?
Let’s come back to people who are angry with God. When we teach the Sovereignty of God, we teach that God is in control of everything. This is true, but it isn’t truth! Truth is, while God is in control, this earth realm is still in ownership of the devil. He is still the god of this world. As believers, we have been given authority over the works of the devil, so in truth, God isn’t in control over everything that is happening in the earth. He gave dominion to man, through Adam, and Adam gave it to the devil. Jesus came and triumphed over the devil giving us back the authority. But if we just walk around and allow the devil to continue to act like he is in control of everything, then he will act like he is.
I’m not a prophet, and it would be impossible for me to make a prophetic declaration about your situation, but if you are angry with God, I do have to stop and ask you, what right do you have? I cringe every time I hear someone blame God for the tragedy they experience in this life. Jesus told us that we would have tribulations and even be persecuted. Not because God is the author of it, nor because He is allowing it, but because we live in this world. And all too often, the devil is throwing his darts at our shield of faith. If we let down the shield, and the darts hit their mark, our heart, it’s not God’s fault. Or if we do some things that bring about certain situations in our lives, it’s not God’s fault. Or if we are casual with our relationship with God, and lack watchfulness against the devil, again, it’s not God’s fault. And sometimes, stuff just plain ole happen, and it’s not God’s fault. It’s the devil either directly or indirectly! But it isn’t God!
God is a good God! He doesn’t stop being good because we are going through. Even Jonah recognized that God was so good that He could easily see God forgiving Nineveh! Even in his rebellion he had absolute faith in the goodness of God. As a matter of fact, it was God’s goodness that angered him so much!
1 Chronicles 16:34- Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever!
God is good! I don’t know your personal situation, or what you are going through, but the Lord is good. If you can’t focus on anything else right now, focus on His goodness. Maybe you need to listen to “Lord You are Good” by Todd Galberth!
Psalm 34:8- “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him.”
Have you heard of the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir. They sing a song entitled, “Psalm 34”. It’ll take you into a place of worship as you sing with them of the goodness of God!
Lamentations 3:25- “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.”
If you look for His goodness in your life and your situation, I really believe you will find it. This is not trite platitudes, but it is my way of life. I have experienced some things, while I have not experienced some others. For example: My mother died when I was 9 years old. Both of her parents died by the time I was ten. Not many years later, my dad’s father died. And by the time I had turned 14, he had died. I had asked God to save me after my mother died, but by the time my father died, I was not happy with God. But I needed Him so desperately in my life that I decided to cling to Him and hope for the best. He was better than good! He was more than wonderful!
What’s going on in your life may not be good, but God is. He still asks today, “What right do you have to be angry?” Turn that anger towards God into anger towards the devil. Resist his lies about God and shout the truth about God. You’ll soon realize that your misplaced anger is counter productive and how desperately you need the Lord. He’s waiting for you with arms open wide. Step into His embrace and receive His goodness today. Wonderful Jesus!