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Denise and Me on a mountain top in Greece – 2015

Have you ever been angry with God? Has there ever been a time when you asked the Lord for something and it did not happen? Have you ever prayed a hard, long prayer for something specific and the answer was no?

I have had a few “No’s”, but I can truly say that up to this point in my life I have never been angry with God. There have been occasions when things and people just did not make any sense, but my attitude in faith is to press on, hold on, and walk on through the darkness until the light of God points me to a new awareness.

The lesson from the Bible I would like to draw upon today is the story of Jonah. Jonah was a prophet who was directed by God to travel to the city of Nineveh and preach that they should repent or die. Instead of going to Nineveh, Jonah takes a boat to Tarshish. Along the way, a storm arises and the sailors throw Jonah overboard because he admits that he is running from God. Jonah is swallowed by a big fish and for three days and nights he dwells in the belly of the beast, praying to the Lord. Eventually, the fish spits Jonah from the fish and he makes his way to Nineveh. To his disappointment, the people of Nineveh heed the warning of God and repent. The story ends with Jonah, stomping off in anger and expressing his displeasure with God in not blowing the roof off of Nineveh. You would think Jonah would be pleased with the repentance of the city, but instead he pouts in anger.

As I have considered the anger of Jonah, I believe there is a progression of steps that cascade into his bitterness and anger with God. First, Jonah attempts to define God. What we are really doing when we define God is to secretly make ourselves into little gods. Jonah moves from defining God to disagreeing with God. His disagreement with God leads him to distance himself from God. The next logical step in this theological progression is to become angry with God.

Thank you for reading this post. I encourage you in faith to resist the temptation to allow disappointment in life to cause you to become angry with God. I encourage you to hold on in faith and the Lord we serve will bless, keep and strengthen you in all ways.

 

Jonah 4 But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” And the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city. [1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Have you ever been angry with God?
  2. How do you handle disappointment in life and maintain your faith in God?

 

Prayer: Lord, walk with me through disappointment. Hold my hand when life becomes difficult to understand. Jesus, help me to rise above the temptation to define you, disagree with you, and distance myself from you. Lord, your mercy is great. Your grace is sufficient. Your love is everlasting. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev.Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, missions, and books, (“The Test, The Strength, The Endurance and the Way Out” and “African American Passover Celebration”) by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at http://nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Jon 4:1–5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.