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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

God, I'm Mad at You

Lori Wilkerson Stewart - 700 Club Producer

During a recent Sunday morning service, I was lifting my hands during worship, and I told God something that might sound schizophrenic. In my heart, I said, “God I love you, You’re my Lord, You’re sovereign, and I will always serve you. But I want you to know I’m very mad at you!” Now, I won’t go into the heart-breaking situation I was facing, but I will say that I can relate to Jacob who wrestled with God. Unfortunately, I was losing.

I left service that morning convicted about my admission and determined to hear from God. During a time of fasting and prayer, I found great encouragement in the following story.

Soon after Jesus completed his 40-day fast in the wilderness, his ministry took off and the crowds quickly became multitudes. Back in Jerusalem, the apostle John’s ministry ground to a halt after being imprisoned by Herod. John sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the coming One, or do we look for another?” (See Matthew 11) Perhaps John thought it would be a subtle way to bring attention to his predicament, you are the Messiah—get me out of here!

Jesus confirmed His deity to John’s disciples, adding these peculiar words, “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” This seems like an odd thing to say, so what does it mean? Perhaps Jesus was really saying, John, I am who you say I am, but it is not in God’s plan that I stop what I’m doing to set you free. Whatever you do, please don’t let your dire situation present a stumbling block to your belief in me.

Jesus says that to us today. Like John, some of us might be trapped in a grim situation, and we can’t understand why God doesn’t rescue us immediately. Perhaps God is not answering our prayers for a loved one, a marriage, a sickness, a financial crisis, etc. We feel abandoned in our suffering, and we wonder why God doesn’t answer our desperate cries for help.

In times like this, our reaction is everything. First, we must simply trust Jesus. His ways are higher than our ways. His understanding of the big picture is something we can’t even begin to comprehend yet. In the meantime, we can’t allow ourselves to be offended by the only One who loves us unconditionally. He alone can “work all things together for good.” Once a human being like us, our savior truly understands and feels compassion for our situation.

Let’s look at this scripture again--

“Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” Matthew 11:6 ESV

In this case, the word blessed means “for a long duration you will be happy, so much so that congratulations are in order.” As one can see, it is clearly to our benefit NOT to get mad at God. Don’t be offended by what Jesus isn’t doing for you at the moment. Don’t be offended at the prayers He’s not answering. Instead, choose to accept the blessing that is promised.

In the time of Jesus, an “offense” was “a bait-stick of a trap” used to catch an animal. Metaphorically, an offense is something that will “cause to stumble.” The enemy would love to trip you up. Satan does NOT want you to fulfill God’s calling on your life. Why give Satan the pleasure of seeing you caught in the trap of offense? Avoid the trap altogether—trust Jesus.

Serving Christ will cost you everything. Sometimes it will cost you so much that you will be tempted to get mad at God. The enemy’s voice will whisper in your ear the words of Job’s wife, “Curse God and die.” In times like these, remember the words of Jesus, “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Note from author: I read the verse Matthew 11:6 during my quiet time; simultaneously, I was reading Mark Batterson’s book "The Circle Maker". He talks about a couple in his church who had every reason to be offended at God; I knew God was trying to get my attention when I came across this verse twice. Don’t you love how God speaks to us—He always confirms His word too.

Copyright Lori Stewart © 2012, printed with permission.

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