The anger erupted out of me like a volcano. I screamed at God as I threw the cards in my hand across the room. The frustration was no longer contained. In a moment of unfiltered honesty, I told God how angry I was at Him. What was it all about? What it boiled down to was failed expectations. I expected God to act in a certain way, and in my mind, He’d failed to deliver.
You might be thinking that the way I acted was dishonoring to God, and I agree. Relationships can be messy, and we don’t always handle things the way we should. Our relationship with God is no different. On the other hand, it’s a lie to believe that it’s more God honoring to abide in a place of silent offense towards Him. God already knows what’s in our hearts, so He wasn’t shocked by my behavior. And yes, repentance was called for, and I needed to walk through that process.
It’s easy to do this, because deep down we tend to believe that “good” Christians would never be angry with Him. This often leads to emotional stuffing. We take those ugly feelings and place them in lockdown. Over time, those feelings of offense turn into bitterness. Left untended long enough, the relationship grows cold and broken.
So what do we do if we recognize that we’re offended by God? How do we move forward so we can connect emotionally with Him again?
Accept that God is Sovereign. His house, His rules. While His Sovereignty can be comforting, it can also feel crushing at times. We can either submit to Him, or resist Him. It isn’t always easy. Yet in the end, we need Him to stay on His throne. What a mess heaven would be if He yielded to our desires every time. His judgments are ALWAYS just, true and good. They just don’t always look that way to us. We don’t always know what love looks like. Or justice. Or goodness. The good news is that He does. We can trust Him.
We can either accept His judments or despise them. Sometimes we just need to get off the judment seat and yield to Him. His ways are higher than our ways. We don’t always see the big picture. We either choose to trust Him or not. We cannot depend on our feelings or perceptions to tell us what is true about God. The Bible is our plumb-line. Every opinion we have of God needs to be measured against it.
The second step toward reconnecting with God is to be honest with Him. Tell Him how you feel, even if your feelings aren’t pretty. Express the disappointment you feel toward Him. Tell Him if you’re angry with Him. Be honest if you’re struggling to accept His verdict in a situation.
The 3rd step is to ask yourself if your expectations of God were rooted in truth. Did God promise that He would do what you were expecting of Him? If not, He wasn’t obligated to fulfill those expectations. Sometimes we can run ahead of God and assume that what we desire or expect is from Him. Sometimes we just need to back up the bus and ask for His perspective.
Something that I believe needs addressing in our day is prophetic words. It seems like prophets were coming out of the woodwork this past year. I wasn’t familiar with most of the people putting out these words, so I began to just watch and listen. I’ll be honest, in the moment these words seemed to encourage me. Most of the words I was seeing were filled with promise of breakthrough, prosperity, and everything we would hope for. Many of these words promised that NOW is when they were being fulfilled. Then the NOW came and went, and things remained the same. (or got worse) Big picture, these words began to stir up feelings of disillusionment and disappointment. I do believe that there are prophets in our day that are speaking for the LORD. However, we need to test every prophetic word. We’re wise to examine the fruit of these words. We examine them against the word of God. We consider whether or not these words come to pass. We consider whether or not these words resonate as true or false. If we get a check in our spirit, it’s a red flag.
The last step toward reconnecting with God is to reaffirm our trust in Him. Without this last vital step, all we’ve done is gripe. This is where our honor of God is reestablished. This is where we trust even though we don’t understand. It’s also where we submit even though it feels like doing so might break our heart. Brothers and sisters, He is trustworthy. Psalm 36 reassures us:
Beloved, let’s lay aside any offense, disappointment or critical judment of God. He deserves our trust. May your hearts find rest in His faithfulness,