I grew up in an angry, unstable home. My father was very angry most of the time, and I didn't always understand what he was angry about. When I accepted Christ as my Savior, I took this experience with my father into my relationship with God. I believed God loved me and forgave me of my sin, but I still had this vague feeling that He wasn't pleased with me and He was just a little bit angry with me most of the time. I lived this way for years until I finally realized the truth: God is not mad at me!
I believe many people feel like God is mad at them. One day I put a post on Facebook that said, "God is not mad at you." Within a few hours, we literally had thousands of positive responses from people saying things like, "That is exactly what I needed to hear today." Obviously, this is a message we need to hear.
Getting to the Root of the Problem
So where does this concept of God come from? Maybe it's because of an angry parent who was difficult to please. Or maybe it's due to the pain of rejection from parents or friends who didn't know how to give unconditional love. Or it could be the influence of church and being pressured to follow rules and regulations to make us acceptable to God.
We want to be good and please God, and we may be able to follow the rules for a while, but when we mess up, we feel guilty and condemned again. Because we can't be good enough and do everything right in our own effort and strength. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8 NKJV). Notice this says "while we were still sinners."
Galatians 3:10 (AMP) says, "All who depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment."
What are you depending on to make you right with God? Are you depending on rules and regulations that you follow or try to keep?
Now I realize you can't live a healthy, productive life without having some guidelines, but this scripture is saying that we will have serious problems if we think our worth and value as human beings are based on following rules and regulations. We are only made right with God through the blood of Jesus. And life is marvelous when you know the true character of God and who you are in Christ! That's when you feel good about yourself deep down in your heart, not because you do everything right, but because you know you are special to God and He loves you – unconditionally, constantly, completely.
It Seems Too Good to Be True…but It Is True!
I do want to be clear about something here: Although God loves us unconditionally, He does get angry at sin, wickedness and evil. But He is not an angry God. God hates sin, but He loves sinners! He will never approve of sin in your life, but He always loves you and wants to work with you to make progress in living a holy life in Christ.
Psalm 103:8 (NKJV) says, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy." God is merciful – that's His character. He's gracious – that means He's good. And God is slow to anger.
People who don't know the true character of God – who don't believe He is merciful, gracious and slow to anger – can never have a close, personal, intimate relationship with Him. It grieves me to think there are so many who live in the darkness of constantly feeling guilty and condemned when God is longing to have relationship with them.
The truth is God created us to have relationship with us. He wants to love us and take care of us, and He wants us to love Him. That's where our walk with Christ has to start.
We need to be obedient to God and do the good works He has for us to do, but first we need to understand and believe He loves us. Then we can have a relationship with Him and live by faith in Him with the power of the Holy Spirit in us, giving us the ability to live the way God is calling us to live.
I'm so grateful God opened my eyes to the truth! He has taught me to believe by faith that He is pleased with me, not because I do everything right, but because I believe in Him and trust Him. And this is just as true for you as it is for me.
If you struggle with feeling that God is disappointed in you or angry because you don't do everything right, I want to encourage you to take hold of this truth today and believe it: God is not mad at you!