Monthly Archives: November 2016

Being Angry At God

The LORD is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works – Psalm 145:17 NKJV

I have often heard how if you are disappointed with God and angry at Him, you might as well express your anger.  After all, so the line of thought goes, if He knows everything you think and feel, you might as well tell Him.

I do agree, He does know what we think and feel, but I am not convinced that gives us the right to spout off at God.  Rather than expressing words of anger, maybe you should look at the root cause of your emotional outburst.   Maybe you need to examine why are you angry and why is your anger is aimed at God.

Other than Jesus driving out the money changers in the temple, anger isn’t a human emotion which is portrayed in a positive light in Scripture.  This seems especially true when one is angry at God.  Jonah comes to mind as someone who was angry at God – how did that work out for him?

Some have said David was angry at God but I don’t see David as directing anger at the LORD.  He was discouraged and may have felt lonely and temporarily abandoned, but I don’t think he was angry at God – at least not in the sense we think of as being angry.

I wonder if one’s anger at God is less about their circumstances and more about a lack of surrender.  In my way of understanding this idea, if one is truly surrendered to Him, then they can’t really be angry with Him.

From this verse of Psalm 145, David says, “The LORD is righteous in all His ways.”  If I really believe God is “righteous” in everything He has done and is doing, then who am I to stand up to Him and give Him a piece of my mind?

People find themselves angry at God when events happen out of their control or there seems to have been some unfairness directed their way.  They don’t understand and cannot find easy answers to the disappointments they are facing and therefore, aim their anger at God.  Somehow thinking God owes them better than what they are experiencing.

Living a life of submission to Jesus isn’t always easy.  There will be many times when I don’t have all the answers, when I don’t understand and I might not even like what He is doing.  But if I am surrendered to Him, if I can say, “LORD, You are righteous in all Your ways,” then I won’t be angry with Him.

The next time you are tempted to react in anger to God, ask yourself, “Am I surrendered to Him?”  If you are, then you have no right to be angry but you must submit to His will – even when it hurts, even when you don’t understand, even if you don’t like it.  That my friend is walking in obedience.  I believe over time, a person who lives their life in this manner, surrendered to Jesus, will find they can better understand His ways.

He is righteous in all His ways and gracious in all His works.

Blessings my friend!

-jm

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Three “C’s” of Worship

Worship is a term we use to describe an event, or a segment of a church service, usually corporate singing.  We’ll make comments how the “worship was very good today” or maybe it’s a negative remark, “I didn’t enjoy the worship music.”  Few issues have caused such disagreements in churches as worship.  We even throw around a term, “The Worship Wars” when describing the issue.  But is that how “worship” is supposed to be?  Is it a performance that we attend and participate in to a degree?

In reading the first 9 verses of Mark, I find this story of a woman (we know her name was Mary from the John account of the same event) who worshiped Jesus.  There are a few quick thoughts I have on this passage covering this concept of worship.  I’ll call them the 3 “C’s” of Worship.

  1. Worship Comes With A CostAnd being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. – Mark 14:3

The woman anoints Jesus using perfume made from the “oil of nard.”  This was a very costly oil made from the stem of a plant found in India.  The oil was worth a year’s salary for the common laborer.  The oil was kept in a special flask, called an alabaster, which had a sealed lid.  She breaks the lid and pours the perfume on the LORD.

I often wonder if we miss something with worship.  I think it needs to cost us something.  Worship when we give something of value to him. It can be financial, but it’s service, time, humility etc.  Too often, I expect worship to be a simple event I attend.  I stand and participate or read a passage of scripture, but miss this vital point.  Worship is costly.  To worship Him, I offer Him something of value to me.

  1. Worship Will Often Draw CriticismBut there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.- Mark 14: 4-5

The people in the house who witnessed this event could worship and rejoice with her.  Instead they spoke harshly about her.  The term indignant is used here, meaning they were pretty upset about this.

 Sometimes, our worship can upset people.  Because others see no value in what we are doing (they ascribe no “cost” to our activity) and find it a waste of time or resources.  We must always be careful when we look upon another church or organization and find their worship so different than ours that we become “indignant” about how other believers worship.

  1. Worship is Commended By Jesus – But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. – Mark 14:6

 Jesus sees this woman’s act as worship and commends her for it.  He defends her and accepts her worship.

 When one comes before the LORD with proper motives, with an understanding of serving and/or giving honor to Him, it’s worship.   It’s not a pre-set list of activities or singing in 4 part harmony.  It’s not a manner of dress or speaking in King James English, but it is a heart issue.  It’s pleasing to the LORD and He appreciates it.

Remember the 3 C’s of worship, Cost, Criticism and Commendation.  Worship is not about you or your feelings.  It’s much more than 30 minutes of music on Sunday.  It’s about Him.

Blessings My Friend,

-jm