Community Bible Chapel
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
A place to grow.... where everybody is somebody and Jesus Christ is Lord.
 Where Do I Turn When I’m Angry At God?  “Venting Your Anger at God”  5/7/17

Jack has been struggling at work.

-You wouldn’t believe his boss.

          -Ornery would be an understatement.

          -Just downright mean, or even “evil” would be closer to the truth.

          -The guy gives directions and leaves out the most important details.

                   -And if you dare to ask him a question, be ready for a thrashing in

front of everyone just to make an example of you.

          -And just try making an honest mistake! 

                   -Actually, there is no such thing in this office.

-Jack has been fired 3 times because of something the boss messed up

and passed the blame off on Jack.

          -The whole office is quiet because everyone is on pin-and-needles.     

          -Working here is exhausting, humiliating, and difficult, but it’s the only job

Jack can find right now.

-As of late, Jack has been turning into an “if only” junkie.

     -You know what that’s like – right?
          -“If only” God changed my boss.
          -“If only” God gave me a new job.
          -“If only” God helped me win the lottery.

    -Jack knows enough Bible to know that it says that God answers our prayers

and that He gives good gifts to His children.

          -So what’s up with this boss, or more importantly, what’s up with God?

          -Where is He?
          -Why hasn’t God fixed his boss?

          -Why hasn’t God answered his prayer for a new job?

          -Is God even real?  If He is, then he must not care.
 

Today we turn once again to answer the question:

“Where Do I Turn When I’m Angry At God?”

          -We have been tackling some common thoughts that we all have when life’s

challenges come knocking on our door.

-Personally, these are all thoughts I have had, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

So, as we consider Jack today, we see his thinking is leading him astray

as he floats away from Biblical truth into the abyss of his own thinking.

          -As Jack calls a friend from church, that well meaning friend tries to

encourage Jack with these words.
  

“You can vent your anger at God.  He’s a mature lover and mature love can absorb the anger of the beloved.  Don’t be afraid to tell him exactly what you feel and think. 

God wants an honest relationship.  Many of the psalms portray anger at God, so if other godly people have let out their rage at him, you can too.  Don’t censor your feelings and language, say it like you feel it so you won’t be a hypocrite.”

         

Let me begin by considering life’s circumstances against a Biblical backdrop.

-We have anchored this series in Heb. 11

          -After holding up many who lived by faith, this wonderful chapter of faith says:

          X “These were all commended for their faith, and (they all received the earthly

 blessings they asked for. . . . . . . NO!)  . . . . . yet none of them received
 what had been promised.” 

-Did God let them down or not answer their prayers?

-Did their faithfulness account for nothing?
-Is God unfair?

 “God has planned something better for us so that only

 together with us would they be made perfect.”

          -No, God did not let them down and God is not fair.

          -He chose to give them something infinitely superior to any earthly security

                   they might have hoped for, and gave them eternal security as they looked

 ahead to the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for their sins.

          -And that is God’s goal for us as well.

-He is willing to allow the brokenness of this world HAPPEN.

-And He allows it to happen to destroy whatever security we

 might find in this world, so we might find a security that is infinitely

 more valuable in Christ.

          -That we might be made perfect on that last day, when we finally take on

 that righteousness of Jesus as we stand before His throne. 

          -So, it’s against that backdrop that we look to Biblically correct this

 “venting of our anger” toward God.

 
X  Missing The Heart of the Issue

          -This advice is the “mantra” of the self-help gurus of our day.

                   -Give full vent to your anger – punch a pillow – or go on a facebook rant.

          -Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t ever remember a time when I gave full

  vent to my anger and anything good came from it.

-My mom didn’t even give me the candy bar I wanted.

          -And even when I resisted the temptation to “vent” to their face,

but instead punched a pillow to death, still no benefit!

          -We might say that is better because it didn’t destroy the relationship,

and that is partially true, but short sighted.

          -The venting of our anger misses the heart of the issue because it asks

 the wrong questions.

-It needs to ask

                    -How has my anger helped me to have compassion on them?

                    -How has my anger helped me to love them as Jesus loves you?

                    -How has my anger helped me to transform your mind toward them?

-How is God been glorified in a dead pillow? . . . . . . 

 . . . . . . One that has the face of my boss on it?

          -The heart of the issue is my own selfishness, not the other person

and my anger has hindered me from seeing it.

-Sin is deceitful and though it might produce a good “feeling”, it has only served

 to move the relationship a step down the road of a slow death.

          -The venting of anger is never helpful for our relationships because it never

points out the issues of our own heart.

-Well, it does point them out, but only to everyone else!

          -And if that is what happens in our horizontal relationships, what happens

when we become hostile toward God.
          -That is not a pretty picture.

-You aren’t venting about your circumstances, you are angry at God!

He could have stopped this . . . or changed that, but He didn’t.

            -You rubbed the lamp and didn’t get what you wanted and you are angry at God.

          -In your hostility, you have judged God and found Him lacking.

                   -How does that make you any different than your non-believing neighbor

          who says “there is no God?”
 
          -Job shows us how this ends up.

          -Job continues to ask for a hearing with God so he can defend his

 righteousness and prove how unfair God has been.

          -Be careful what you ask for . . .  God comes to him and we have three chapters

                   of God questioning Job.
          -To which Job responds in chapter 42

                   “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for

me to know. . . Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

          -Job recognizes his total depravity and repents in the loving arms of God.

          -God allowed Satan to take everything from Job so he would be at this point of

                    recognizing his desperate need for God’s grace. . . . which gives him

 everything he needs.   
 

Now, to those who think the Psalms portray a hostile anger toward God and that gives us license to do the same. . .

X  The Psalms

          -And I love exposing false idea’s with truth. 

     -Turn to Psalm 44 begins with a history of God’s blessing to Israel.

          -Verse 9 begins a passage that might sound like a rant against God and ends in

v. 22 by saying “Yet for your sake we face death all day long, we are

considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

          -While we may consider this an angry rant against God, it isn’t.

                   -Yes, there is depression.

-Yes there is discouragement over the circumstances.

                   -Yes there is a certain amount of complaining.

          -But it all happens in the context of a strong faith in who God is.

                   -Faith that God is good.
                   -Faith that God is powerful.

                   -Faith that God will restore in His time.

          -It’s not a Psalm of anger, but a Psalm of hope as is evidenced in the last verse.

                   “Rise up and help us, redeem us because of your unfailing love.”

          -The Psalmist isn’t ranting in anger, he is crying out to God for help.

         

     Psalm 77 asks the questions we ask in the midst of difficulty.

       X v. 7  “Will the Lord reject forever?  Will he never show his favor again?  Has his

unfailing love vanished forever?  Has his promise failed for all time?  Has God forgotten to be merciful?  Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”

          -Now, if those questions were to remain in our thinking and we answered them in

                   our anger over the circumstances, we would be in trouble.

          -Thankfully, the Psalmist goes on to answer them Biblically.  V. 13

“Your ways, O God, are holy.  What god is so great as our God?  You are the God who performs miracles, you display your power among the peoples.  With you mighty arm you redeemed your people . . .”

          -That is the Psalm of faith.

          -A Psalm that is struggling with the challenges of life, but finds

comfort, peace, and hope in the living God.

    X Psalm 73 is a Psalm that looks around at the wicked and see’s them prospering!

          -How could God let my evil boss live in a million dollar house while I can barely

                   scratch out a living?

          -That is so unfair and if God if righteous, He would not allow it.

          -And then the rant seemingly begins in v. 13 

X “surely, I have kept my heart pure, in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.  All day long I have been plagued, I have been punished every morning.”

          -The Psalmist is saying – this is so unfair!

-But the direction of that rant is once again arrested by faith in the living God.

                   -He remembers the eventual end of those that reject God.

                   -It’s the opposite backdrop of Heb. 11.

                   “Surely you place them on slippery ground, you cast them down to ruin. 

    How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors.”

          -Faith in God’s justice is the context of the Psalm, and it ends

                X “But as for me, it is good to be near God.  I have made the Sovereign Lord

 my refuge, I will tell of all your deeds.”

          -That is nothing like someone who sets themselves up against God in anger,

but is a Psalm of faith – looking to God and trusting in Him. 

   -We could work through all the Psalms and find that, like us, the writers faced

 challenges to our faith that may cause us to question, because we can’t see what

 God is doing, but turns to cry out to Him in faith. 

          -We are not censoring our dissatisfaction with our circumstances, but we are

 expressing our faith of God in the midst of life’s difficulties.

    Psalm 4:4 gives us good advice

          “In your anger do not sin, when you are on your beds,

search your hearts and be silent”

          -The temptation is to reverse the advice of the Psalmist.

-To be angry with God for our sin or the consequences of sin.

          -Adam blamed God for giving him Eve, Cain was angry because he thought God

was unfair, and just like Jack, you and I can easily blame God for our sin.

                   “I wouldn’t be so angry if God just answered my prayer”

          -That is the statement of a hypocrite who is rejecting God’s grace given to him.

-The teaching of God’s Word is to express our faith in the midst of the

challenges of life.

          -Sure, we pray for better circumstances, but we also leave room for God using

                   the challenges to grow us more like Jesus.

 
X  Why Suffering

          I said we would visit this issue all through this series from different angles.

          -The first week we spoke to the reality that sin causes suffering.

                   -My sin, the sin of others, or the sin cursed world we live in.

    X -I made the statement that the consistent message of Scripture is not that God

 will give us earthly security, but that God uses our lack of earthly

 security to lead us to eternal security in His Son.

          -Today I want to consider this:  If sin causes suffering, and God can eliminate

sin, then why is there still sin?
          -It gets voiced like this: 

“When I came to Christ, why didn’t God zap me and make me holy?”

          -That makes perfect sense to me, but that is not what God does.

          -There are times when God takes away our desires for sin immediately

and He often uses those folks for specific purpose.

          -But most often, God leaves us to battle with our sinful hearts.

         

-He doesn’t leave us unarmed or alone as He gives us His Spirit to help us,

but rest assured that we are in a battle.

          -So, why doesn’t God just take those sinful desires away?

          -Now, there may be many reasons, but let me suggest two.

               1.  Trust

-We learn to trust God more in our struggles with sin than if we didn’t.

          -We learn about His strength and wisdom.

                             -And even in our failure, we learn about God’s faithful forgiveness

In a deeper way than we would if we didn’t sin.

                             -Now, that isn’t a reason to sin, but should result when we do.

               2.  Our Hearts

-We learn that we can’t trust our hearts.

                    -In that struggle, we learn that our hearts will lead us astray.

                   -The humility that comes through that struggle destroys any thoughts of

 self-righteousness that would certainly develop if God zapped us

to make us perfect.

 Again, the consistent message of Scripture is not that God will give us earthly

 security, but that God uses our lack of earthly security to lead us to

 eternal security that comes only in His Son.

          -The ongoing battle with sin turns us from becoming secure in our self-

                   righteousness and having no choice but to turn to His righteousness.

          -The answer to suffering and the sovereignty of God always has to lead back to

                   for God’s glory and for our good.

          -We might be confused because we can’t figure out how God might be glorified

 through our evil boss or how He uses that boss to grow us.

          -But that is exactly what we see all through the Psalms.

                   -The Psalmists all point to God’s glory and our good.

 

So, again, let’s take these Biblical truths and formulate a response to help Jack grow

in his faith in the midst of this challenge.
 
X 1.  Listen
                   -You want to listen to Jack.

                   -In the midst of an avalanche of stuff, there will be some things that

           come out that you will be able to prioritize and begin to work

with him on.

                   -And here is what to listen for.

                   A.  Listen to his pain.

-When you hear it, you will be able to respond with compassion.

                             -You need to truly enter his story so you can come alongside him.

 
B.  Error in Jack’s thinking.

                             -Not so you can thump him, but so you can lovingly come next to him

 and begin to help him.

-It may be in the area of God’s sovereignty or His goodness.

                             -He is thinking selfishly and not focused on the spiritual needs

of his boss.

                             -He is not thinking about how to help his co-workers and their

 spiritual need for Christ.
          X 2.  Love

                   -You need to love Jack enough to help him to grow in all the ways that God

has allowed this circumstance to bring.

                   -Not that you know them all, but some will stand out as you listen.

               A.  Pray

-I Timothy 2:1 urges us to pray for those in authority over us.

-It would help Jack grow if he began to pray for his boss rather than

 for a new one.

               B.  Serve

-Jack has an opportunity to teach his boss, his co-workers, and his family,

what Christ like service looks like.

-I have counseled many parents who don’t understand where their

      kids learned how to be rebellious from.

          -Take a look in the mirror folks.
          -How to you respond when you don’t get your way?
          -How do you respond when your boss starts yelling?
          -How to you respond when the government leader fails?

-It’s how your kids will respond to you.

                   -John 13:15 – Jesus says

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”  -What was the context of that statement?

                   -The washing of the disciples feet – even Judas. 

              C.  Resist the Devil

                   -How do we do that?       Obedience!

Romans 2:1 tells us to “not pass judgment because we do the same things”

                   Romans 12:21 tells us to “return good for evil”

Romans 14:12 tells us Jack will have to give an account of how he

      responds to his boss, and he won’t be able to say “but my boss . . . .”

                  

               D.  Help the leader – don’t follow him.

                   -It is so easy to point out all the mistakes others make.

-What a great opportunity to come alongside someone and help them be

a better leader.

                             -You can avoid pointing out their mistakes to other workers.

                             -You can ask your boss how you can help him accomplish his goals.

                             -You can pray for him

                             -You can do your best to make him a success.

 

We have this wonderful opportunity to celebrate the church of the Living God this year, and that is more than just getting together for dinners and pretending things are going great.

-We live in a broken world, everything is not okay.

-And we, as the Church of the Living God have to continue to grow to

learn how to respond to pain and disappointment that is caused by this

 broken, sin cursed world.

          -And we do that by connecting people to the life changing and hope giving

 truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
 
 
 
 

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