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Dealing with Anger at God When You Believe He's Let You Down

Do you struggle with trusting God when your circumstances are difficult? Do you even harbor anger towards him? Here's how to change our perspective and see him (and ourselves) more clearly.

You're angry.

And you probably have good reason.

Telling you not to be angry is like telling a fire not to be hot.

The heat has a source, and if you're tired of burning, you're going to have to deal with the fire.

My fire burned while on the mission field of Haiti. I wrestled with God for an entire nine years over our children's impossible adoptions.

Of course I was angry... I needed help with my five kids. I longed for the freedom to bring our three Haitian kids to the U.S. for a break like everyone else. We were in constant danger. I was exhausted...

"It was summer now, which meant intensified heat, increased breakdowns of generators, inverters, and vehicles, and worst of all, it meant missionary friends on vacation. While Tom and Helen were gone, Jarod was placed in charge of the ministry. The increased responsibility did mean a little less help from him, but even worse was the knowledge that we were the only missionary couple that couldn’t pack our family’s bags and take a break. It was like attending summer school while all our classmates experienced the thrill of no homework, pool parties, and trips to Disney.

This was our fourth year in Haiti—a length of time in mission work typically marked by a yearlong furlough. I’d been through summers before; watched others fly off to the joys of family gatherings, air-conditioning, and ice cream. I thought I’d grown accustomed to it, but somehow this one was unbearable.

As the sun set behind the mountains each evening, my heart fluttered. What if tonight is the night thieves come back for revenge? Each time the dogs barked at a lizard or rat, I’d startle out of sleep with a pounding heart. When the sun rose and Brendan’s cries coerced me out of bed, I felt no joy or motivation to live. Knowing my friends were being refreshed while I slaved on embittered me. Every time the kids bickered, spilled, cried, and demanded, I felt a flame of white-hot anger kindle in my core. Though I would’ve laid down my life for my children, I could also begin to understand why mothers would do unthinkable things to those they loved most. My fury seethed right below the boiling point, and I felt myself losing the last threads of control with every wail, demand, and tantrum. Not only did I hate my lot in life, I hated myself."

(Excerpt from In a Sun-Scorched Land)

If you are wrestling with anger, wrestling with God, you understand completely. The hatred builds against God, everyone we love, and especially ourselves.

We face a bitterness, a fury like no other when we find ourselves believing God has let us down.

And I did.

But my anger, just like yours, is founded on the oldest lie our enemy ever posed... that God doesn't really want what's best for us.

Yet the truth has never changed: "As for God, his way is perfect..." Psalm 18:30

Perfect. That thought hurts sometimes. God's ways are so mysterious, so much higher than our ways, and you and I are just never going to understand his ways completely.

But He is love. He is faithful. He is in control.

And He asks us to surrender. To believe. To trust.

To quench our fire with truth.

Friend, I believe you have real reasons to be angry. Life is frustrating, and circumstances are painful.

But God has real reasons for everything in your life right now. He can redeem every single thing.

Will you allow Him to work? Will you seek His face? Trust His heart? Surrender?

I'd love to pray for you. Please leave a comment if you'd like prayer for help in this area.

And if you'd like to read more about the Lord's work in my life... how I found restoration, you can find more here and here.




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