We know who God is; we know we have to revere Him. But sometimes, usually, after an unanswered prayer, we experience more than disappointment. We are angry with God. What to do with this feeling?
It is natural to be angry with someone who has betrayed, abandoned, and lied to us. We can also get angry when we ask someone to do us a favor, and that person does not do it. Since God is one of those people we turn to for all kinds of requests, it is also very possible that we will feel anger at Him when our prayers are unanswered or when we do not receive the help that we were hoping for. It is not uncommon for a Christian Single to feel anger against God when the years go by and no suitor shows up.
Anger is a very natural feeling. It is not even a product of the flesh, for Jesus got angry with the vendors in the temple (Matthew 21:12-13), and even God the Father was angry with His people in the wilderness (Numbers 32:13) and many times against the ungodly nations who attacked His people. Just like many other negative feelings that we can have, anger is a feeling that wants to teach us something. When we take the time to talk to ourselves, we can better assess our situation and take the right direction. “Why am I angry? Could I react differently?” We can change our attitude by evaluating our hearts. That is true when we are angry with someone and when we are angry with God.
For anger is not a sin, but it is a door that can lead us to sin. Cain was warned. “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:7 NKJV). David also learned this lesson. “When you are angry, do not sin. Think about these things quietly as you go to bed” (Psalms 4:4 NCV). And of course, this advice is repeated in the New Testament. “When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day. Do not give the devil a way to defeat you” (Ephesians 4:26-27 NCV).
We will not always be able to settle our scores before sleep, but we can talk to ourselves enough to at least let go of the anger and think of a healthier way to approach the situation. That is what we should do with people who make us angry. But also what we should do when we are angry with God.
It is important not to ignore this feeling. Sometimes we are ashamed of being angry with God, so we hide the incident. But our sour hearts harden, and it is easy to fall into sin. As if sin becomes a way of punishing God, which is ridiculous, of course! Yet this is what can happen, and this is why it is so important to identify and address this negative feeling. God will never reject one of His children who comes to Him angry and disappointed that He did not have the answer or the blessing we wanted. We only have to read the Psalms to see that these feelings can happen often, and God listens to them with a listening ear. But as the psalmist does, raising our frustrations to God, confessing our anger against Him, is not an endpoint in our discussion. We must also keep a listening ear so that God can explain Himself and make us see the situation differently. That is how our circumstances will follow the pattern of the Psalms: a negative and tumultuous start and an end filled with hope and love.