I know a preacher whose son became sick with cancer. He prayed and believed with all his heart that God would heal him. But his son died. He became angry with God and cried out to Him, “Where were You when my son died?!”
A woman who works for me was divorced after thirty-nine years of marriage. Her husband left her. One day she found a note from him telling her he was leaving; he didn’t even discuss it with her. She said to me, “Joyce, please pray for me that I won’t get mad at God, because if I don’t have Him, I don’t have anything.”
Have you ever said or thought, “If You’re really God, then why is this happening to me?” Or “If You really love me, then why haven’t You gotten me out of this mess when I know full well You could do it. Why are You letting me sit in this mess?!” Or “It’s not fair and it’s not right. What about me?” Or just “Why, God, why? When, God, when?!”
Most of us have hoped and prayed for something to happen a certain way but it didn’t. And when this happened, we had a choice to make: to react with offense toward God or to trust Him anyway.
Jesus said that offense is a stumbling block. In Matthew 11:6 He says, “Blessed…is he who takes no offense at Me and finds no cause for stumbling in or through Me and is not hindered from seeing the Truth” (The Amplified Bible).
The Problem with Being Mad at God
There are many people in the body of Christ who are offended at God because they didn’t get something they wanted the way they thought it should have happened. This attitude is dangerous because being offended with God causes our relationship with Him to stop progressing. And it’s foolish to be mad at the One who can help you when you’re struggling.
I understand what it’s like to be mad at God. I was sexually abused for many years while I was growing up, and there were many times during those years that I begged God to get me out of that situation. But He didn’t.
I remember one day when He said to me, “You may never fully understand it. Give it to me, trust Me, and see what I’ll do with it. If you’ll trust me and do things My way, I’ll give you double blessings for the shame you had in your youth.”
My testimony is that God has used all of the horribly wrong things that happened to me to do great things in my life and through my ministry. I’ve learned to really trust Him and lean on Him as my source of love, peace, righteousness and joy in ways I may never have experienced if I didn’t need Him so desperately because of the abuse.
How to Resist Offense and Keep Trusting God
Trusting Him is the key to being free of worry, fear, anxiety, bitterness and distress when we experience disappointments or we’re mistreated. I know God is good even when I don’t understand and I’m hurting. And I don’t have to know everything because I know the One who knows.
There are five things you need to say when you’re tempted to be mad at God:
• God, I love You and I believe You love me.
• I trust You.
• You are good.
• I refuse to be afraid.
• All things work together for good for those who love You and are call according to Your purpose – You will work this out for good if I will continue to trust in You.
Don’t live your life questioning God about things you just can’t understand. Don’t fall into the trap of demanding to know why. Everything in life is not fair and doesn’t make sense, but if we will have simple, childlike trust and faith in God, we can live free of offense and have true peace and joy through it all.