Saturday, November 21, 2009

Angry at God?

I can recall in my teenage and early 20 years hear individuals say things like it was okay to be angry with God when you experience tragedies like the loss of loved ones and illnesses. In Edward Welch's book, "Addictions - A Banquet in the Grave," he writes the following about being angry with God in relationship to how God's holiness has been forgotten today:

Over the last thirty years, one of the remarkable changes within the Christian community has been the fact that we not only acknowledge anger with God, we tacitly approve it. Throughout history, people have wrestled with God's hand in our suffering, and some people would harbor anger against him because they deemed him unfair or unjust. Rarely, however, would such anger be voiced. When it was, there was always a sense that lightning could strike momentarily. Yet now, under the banner of openness and "God can take it," it is acceptable to be angry with God. But God is God. He is the king, and we are his servants (Rom. 6:22). We are his, and he has the right to bring whatever he wants into our lives. And who are we to stand in judgement of God's justice? Isn't that saying that we are the epitome of justice rather than saying that God's justice is holy, higher than our own? Who are we to critique God's love, especially when we are witnesses of the cross? God's love is a holy love. We cannot compare it to the love of a person. Instead, it is greater than anything we can imagine. If we don't see it in our immediate circumstances, it is because we are equating love with getting what we want. God's love, however, always has a larger view. It is more sophisticated - deeper and more multifaceted - than we know.
How true this is. We often think it is God's job to give us what we want or He really does not love us. Let us read how those of the past who have patiently endured suffering and tragedy in their lives and endures them knowing that God's love was true and His works in their lives were always from His love and for their absolute best. Welsh goes on to say:
The corrective is to keep the cross and resurrection in view. The cross displays holy love. The cross also indicated that sin is not something to be trifled with. It called down the wrath of God, and demanded a payment that we could never make ourselves. Only the cross can speak simultaneously about holy justice and holy love.
I am sure if Jesus would have demonstrated our view of God's love at times, then he would have questioned the love of the Father towards Him. But scripture proclaims that the Father has always loved the Son even when He bore the wrath of the Father for His people. May we with the Hebrews writer remember:
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:7-11)

Angry with God? May it never be. Not when what awaits you is peace, holiness, and righteousness.

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