It is possible to hold a grudge or become bitter at someone without having all the facts. One may feel justified in their anger towards another based simply on a false perception of a situation. Many times when all the facts are laid out, we learn that our anger and resentment was not justified. Our anger may also be directed at God in the same way.
Our world contains the most horrific, violent, senseless acts of cruelty and pain. Heartbreak touches our lives, our children, our loved ones everyday. God does not micromanage the world to the extent that we are protected and insulated from real evil, at times, we may feel forsaken or invisible to God. We do not possess the perspective of God to make sense of it. All we grasp is suffering of our fellow-man. Our tears of rage come from the fact that others suffer and we suffer with them.
Forgiveness not only involves real injustices committed but also perceived ones.
“Love God? Sometimes I hate Him!” ~ Martin Luther
Most of us, naturally take it personal when we face suffering, Job took the tragedies in his life personally. Sometimes the most difficult act of faith is to believe that God loves us and gives a damn about what happens down here.
It has been said, “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen”. Many believers have been taught, If I do this.. God will reward me with that. If I live a good clean obedient life surely God will begin to bless me and my house.
I have heard many say, “I tried Christianity and Jesus and it did not work.” Old school preachers used to say, you tried drugs, now try Jesus.
People who have come to faith in Jesus hopefully do so… not because it works or doesn’t work, but because they have had an existential encounter with an eternal being.. they recognized to be Christ. An event like that in someone’s life is a huge paradigm shift. I still remember thinking, “Oh God help me, this Jesus thing is really real… now I have dress and act like a dork?”
I don’t claim to know a whole lot, but I know this.. Only one who has believed in God and known God, if only for a moment.. can truly mourn his absence, demand he show himself, curse him and demand answers.. Tell him they will never believe in him again… This belongs to people who feel they have a right to be angry at him, because they know he exists and yet He is silent. Almost every person in scripture has been angry with and wrestled God… Being angry at God is not a bad thing; it sometimes means the belief in Him…. will not die.
For us in this natural order, we can barely even grasp the concept of God and his attributes. We would never allow our children or friends and family to be destroyed by disease and famine. However, in this life tragedies and suffering grind up believers and non believers every day. Anger should be a natural response when tragedies destroy lives, If one becomes so “spiritual” as to not grieve and feel a sense of frustration over pain and suffering then that person might just be a sociopath. Is there a better answer for evil and suffering than, “Everything happens for a reason?” Yes there is but I will leave that for another day.
Making peace with God may involve giving up the false expectations of what we were taught about Him. In other words, our peace may begin with forgiving God for not running things the way we thought He should. Many times, forgiving God also involves forgiving ourselves for unknowingly being misled. I had to forgive myself for wanting to believe that God will always provide for and protect us. One should hope that He would but there is no guarantee. The Bible has examples where He does protect and provide for people, and in many other places where He does not. Gods’ ways are not mechanical cause and effect movements.
Losing faith in God is a traumatic experience; however the journey back is also equally traumatic, because not only do you not trust God, you may also have a difficult time trusting yourself.
I have been there. It is a process, it takes time and yea, it is humiliating and painful. More thoughts on this later
- “I Don’t Ever Feel The Need To Forgive” (bpsfuelforthought.wordpress.com)