3 Ways to Grow in Faith When You're Mad at God
“I think I’m mad at God,” writes Mary DeMuth.
Can you relate to that feeling?
Many of us, after years of following Christ, are suddenly faced with circumstances that stop making sense to us. We lose a loved one. Relationships break off or shift. We fail at something, face depression, or start seeing the world through sadder, more jaded eyes. DeMuth wonders,
What am I doing to work through this disappointment? Or what can be done? I don’t want to stay in this place forever. Just as it’s uncomfortable to be in an on-earth relationship where animosity exists, life feels off kilter when I nurse anger toward God.
1. Share her disappointment with God directly
2. Reconcile with others
3. Let God be unique
I need to let God be unique today, to do things beyond my expectations. And I also need to lay down those expectations (and they are many) at the feet of the cross like worship. This Christian life is a great letting go. So let’s stay low, shall we? And in that low place, we are more apt to welcome God’s mysteries.
In Overcoming Sadness that Overwhelms, Kelly Balarie reminds us that God’s love is present in places of abandonment; his hope is offered to us instead of rejection. If you’re feeling mad at or distant from God, Balarie recaps these encouraging biblical truths we can hold onto:
- God has a hope and a future carved out for us. It is waiting for us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Christ is at work to strengthen us. (Philippians 4:13)
- Jesus makes us MORE than just an ordinary conqueror. (Romans 8:37)
- Power, love and a sound mind rule us not fear and timidity. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- We are protected, loved and secure. (Hebrews 6:19)
- God is an ever-present help in a time of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
- God will never abandon us. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
- When we call on God, he hears us. (Matthew 7:7)
- Even when we are faithless, God is faithful. (2 Timothy 2:13)
So what does it look like to follow Jesus even when we’re disgruntled with the divine?
Well, Cliff Young thinks it’s a lot different from following someone on Facebook or Twitter, that’s for sure.
I wonder how each of us would respond if Jesus appeared right now and asked us point blank to “Follow me.”
Would we immediately click “follow,” only later to un-follow, or maybe ask Jesus to follow us just until we were ready to follow him?
…If Jesus was just a Facebook or Twitter friend, I may have quit on him, but he’s not. When I decided to follow Jesus – I did it for life and with my life, no turning back.
Too often in our world we leave when the going gets tough, we quit because it’s easier, we want instant relief from our pain and we don’t want to try anymore, but in the long run, that makes us weak in our character, in our thinking and in our will.
…[Jesus] said to “Follow me,” period (Matthew 4:19), not follow me when you get married, not follow me when you have someone to do it with, not follow me when you get things in order, not follow me when you need to, and not follow me just for the good times.
At iBelieve.com, Kristen Leigh Evensen also has words of advice for Increasing Your Faith in Times of Doubt.
First, trust in the Lord:
All of God’s promises are true, wise and faithful. His love is steadfast. Therefore, we can trust that He will never leave us or forsake us (Psalm 9:10), that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), and that He will see our journey of holiness through to completion at the day of Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
Second, worship the Lord:
It is especially powerful during fighting times (and at all times) to remind ourselves of the gospel, the good news of what Christ has done for us. Revel in Ephesians 1:7-10, which proclaims, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”
How can we not worship the Lord knowing all of this? Our sins are forgiven. His grace is lavished on us. His will is made known to us. The gospel has the power to dispel the darkness!
And finally, remember the Lord’s faithful works:
How has the Lord been good to you? Make a list of all the ways you have seen God work in your life. Consider where you would be if not for salvation in Christ; that in itself is enough! Consider also how He has been conforming you into the image of His Son.
Also consider the daily blessings God provides, His marvelous creation, the fellowship of believing friends and family, and even the dark seasons and trying hardships from which He rescued you.
Are you going through a time of anger toward God? Do you perhaps have a friend or loved one wrestling with their faith? Let these words encourage you, and share in the comment section how you find comfort when life seems bleak!
Debbie Holloway is the Family Life Editor at Crosswalk.com
Publication date: April 8, 2015