Am I allowed to be angry with God?

We often feel anger when we do not understand why something is happening. It is only natural, then, that there will be times when we do not understand why certain things are taking place in our lives and find ourselves angry with God. Is this wrong?

First, it is clear that there are occasions when anger can be good. Ephesians 4:26 says, "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger." We can be angry yet use it in either a positive or negative manner. Even Jesus was angry at times, turning over the tables of those who misused the temple as a place to make money (Matthew 21:12-17).

Second, while anger can sometimes be positive, anger at God is not. Jonah 4 provides a clear example. In this chapter Jonah was angry because God did not bring about the judgment upon the city of Nineveh He had promised because the people of the city had repented. God also allowed a vine to grow to give Jonah shade and soon allowed it to wither, causing Jonah more anger. In the end, God questioned Jonah's anger, stating that His plan was to save lives as well as the animals of the city. His plan was better than Jonah's selfish anger.

This is often the same situation we find ourselves in when we become angry with God. When He operates in a way we do not agree with or understand, we can become angry with Him instead of seeking to understand or to worship Him regardless, knowing that He works out plans according to His ultimate good (Jeremiah 29:10–14; Romans 8:28–30).

Scripture calls us to trust the Lord, relying on His goodness and compassion as revealed in the Bible and in times past. Psalm 34:18 affirms, "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." Second Corinthians 1:3-5 also notes that our suffering can allow us to serve as an encouragement and help to others: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too."

Understood from this perspective, it is wrong to be angry with God. Why? Our anger toward Him is based on our selfish or limited perspective of situations fully under His control. When we become angry with God, it can reveal our lack of trust in His leadership, His wisdom, and His plan for our lives and the lives of others. Instead of anger toward God, we are called to worship Him, to pray to Him, and to seek wisdom when we lack understanding (James 1:5).

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