Lately, I have been running into people who are angry and bitter at God because He didn’t come through for them when or how they thought He should. Because of offense in their heart, they disconnected from God and stopped praying as often as they had been. One even stopped going to church. Maybe you have never experienced this type of disappointment with God. If not, praise the Lord. But if you want to prepare ahead of time to insulate yourself against offense toward God, keep reading.
There were several people in the Bible who were offended toward God. Some examples include:
Jonah – He was angry with God for wanting to show mercy to the people of Nineveh (Jonah 1). Jonah thought they should be destroyed, and he wanted no part in their redemption. Therefore He harbored offense against God in his heart and literally tried to run away from Him because God would not adopt his judgmental agenda.
Job’s Wife – She lost her children in a freak accident, her life was turned upside down when her husband got ill, and they lost everything they had. She told her husband to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). That was a clear indication that she was offended by God and had stopped talking to Him.
Followers of Christ – When Jesus told them “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (John 6:56), many of His disciples left and rejected Him for what they perceived as foolishness. When the Master’s requirements were too “out of the box,” they couldn’t handle it. His statement didn’t make sense to them, and in their eyes, He was a madman. Unfortunately, they took offense and left.
Sometimes we get offended at God for various reasons: God isn’t doing what we want when we want Him to do so. Somebody died. We can’t seem to get healed. We get hit with one financial crisis after another although we paid our tithes and offerings. What God has asked us to do seems too “crazy” (like forgiving someone for a seemingly unforgivable sin against us), and we can’t fathom it. So how do we deal with the times when we feel offended by God?
- See God as the only viable alternative. Remember what Peter said to Jesus in John 6:68 when several followers walked away, and Jesus asked His disciples if they wanted to leave, too? He said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” Make up in your mind that no matter what happens, nothing will turn you away from God. Things may not go the way you expect or like, but your commitment to God must be unshakable come hell or high water. Do not disconnect yourself from the only Power Source available to help you to get out of your difficult situation.
- Examine your motives. Ask yourself this question that I heard Bishop T.D. Jakes pose: “Do I love God for what He can do for me or for Who He is?” Even if the money never comes, the healing never manifest, the mate never shows up, or someone dies that you prayed for, let your love for God be unwavering. Don’t let the devil deceive you into abandoning God and thinking, “Things were better when I was in the world.” If the Lord never does another thing for you, be thankful for what He has done and look forward to the reward of Heaven that’s ahead.
- Forgive God. As strange as that may sound, some people need to forgive God. They need to recognize as Job did, that God knows exactly what He’s doing. If you need to forgive God today, why not pull away, get in a room by yourself, and have a conversation with the Lord. It’s time to reconcile with Him. Release your offense toward Him and replace it with forgiveness and trust.
- Stay hopeful. As long as you have breath in your body, there is hope. When the sun rises in the morning there is another opportunity for God to break through. This could be the day! Be a prisoner of hope (Zechariah 9:12) and believe God anyway in spite of your seemingly unchanging circumstances. Remember, everything is subject to change but the Word of God.
Have you been praying for a long time and still have not gotten your prayers answered? Are you feeling offended at God on some level because, in your estimation, He is taking too long to move? Are you feeling that you did everything you were supposed to do, and things still fell apart? These things can be difficult to deal with and can rock your faith to the core. However, if you will continue to trust God even when you don’t understand, learn the lessons He wants you to learn, and give Him the response that He wants you to give, in the end, you’ll receive a double recompense for your former shame (Isaiah 61:7).
If you have ever been offended toward God, what did you learn from the situation? Please leave a comment below.
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