Anger is a common human emotion that we all experience from time to time. But what about when that anger is directed towards God? Is it ever acceptable to be angry with our Creator? Or is anger towards God always sinful? In this post, we’ll explore what the Bible says about getting angry with God.
- Expressing anger to God is not necessarily sinful in and of itself. Several godly people in the Bible expressed anger or frustration with God.
- However, anger that leads to sinful attitudes like bitterness, pride, or rebellion against God is sinful.
- Bringing our honest emotions to God in prayer allows Him to guide us towards righteousness.
- God is patient with us in our anger and wants to restore us to a right relationship with Him.
- We must remember that God is sovereign, trustworthy, and has good plans for us even when life is painful.
Examples of Anger Towards God
First, it’s important to note that Scripture contains several examples of godly people expressing anger or frustration towards God. Consider these examples:
- Moses was angry with God for allowing the suffering of the Israelites under Pharoah’s oppression: “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all” (Exodus 5:22-23).
- Job expressed his frustration with God allowing him to go through such horrible suffering: “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me” (Job 30:20-21).
- David openly poured out his pain, doubt, and anger towards God: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1).
- Jeremiah accused God of deceiving him and overpowering him: “O Lord, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me” (Jeremiah 20:7).
So we see that expressing raw, honest emotions—even anger—toward God is not necessarily sinful in and of itself. In fact, God wants us to pour out our hearts to Him!
Anger that Leads to Sin
However, there are certainly times when anger towards God can be sinful:
- When it turns into bitterness, pride, or ongoing rebellion against God. The book of Hebrews warns: “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).
- When we demand God explain Himself or His actions. As Job learned, we must accept there are things we simply cannot understand about God’s wisdom and ways: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” (Job 40:2).
- When we allow anger to fester into resentment against God. Joseph chose to forgive and see the good in his suffering when he told his brothers “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20).
The key difference seems to be whether we allow the anger to turn into sinful responses, or whether we bring it to God in humility and faith.
Bringing Our Anger to God
So how should we handle anger or disappointment with God? Here are some healthy ways to process these emotions:
- Pour it out in prayer. Follow David’s example of raw, uncensored prayer: “I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears” (Psalm 6:6). Remember that God already knows our hearts!
- Seek God’s perspective. Ask Him to reveal any sinful attitudes or remind you of His sovereignty and goodness. The prophet Elijah was emotional and discouraged, but God spoke to Him in a gentle whisper, reminding Him He was not alone (1 Kings 19:9-18).
- Wait patiently for God’s timing. Refrain from demanding instant answers or solutions from God. Often God allows times of waiting to build our character. As Psalm 27:14 encourages, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
- Look for reasons to praise God. Even when we don’t understand God’s plan, we can praise Him for his unchanging nature. “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind” (1 Samuel 15:29).
- Trust God’s sovereignty and goodness. Remember that God can use everything for His good purposes. Paul declares: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
As we walk through these steps, God will heal our hearts and restore us to a righteous, trusting relationship with Him.
God Understands Our Anger
Not only is it okay to bring our anger to God – He understands it far beyond what we realize. God knows intimately what it is to suffer injustice and watch the innocent suffer. As Peter writes, “when they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23).
Jesus understands anger, pain and grief – yet He responded perfectly in submitting to God’s plan. And God promises to be patient with us, even when we don’t understand His ways. The Psalms remind us that “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8).
Moving From Anger to Trust
As we walk through the process of bringing our emotions to God, He removes our sinful attitudes and restores peace, hope and trust. We may never get all the answers we want – but we can still place our faith in God’s perfect plan.
Paul encourages us to set our minds on heavenly truths rather than earthly troubles:
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:2-4).
As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can trust Him to heal our pain into new joy and purpose.
So in summary – is it a sin to be angry with God? Not necessarily. God created us as emotional beings and He wants us to pour out our hearts to Him. However, we must be careful not to let anger fester into bitterness or rebellion against God. As we walk through our anger in a healthy way, God will guide us to righteousness, restoring our trust in His unfailing love.
Conclusion: God Understands and Restores
When we feel angry with God, we can take comfort that He fully understands our pain and frustration. Yet He lovingly guides us through these emotions, using them to build our maturity and faith. As we lift our hearts to God, we can be confident that He will redeem our anger into new hope, purpose and intimacy with Him. Rather than condemn us in our anger, God reaches out His hand and restores us to righteousness. By His grace, our anger can become the doorway to knowing God’s heart more deeply.