There’s a guy in the Old Testament – David. He was a shepherd boy turned king and wrote some of the most famous parts of the Bible, which can be found in the Psalms. He is described (by God!) and remembered as ‘a man after God’s heart’. In the books of the Bible, 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Chronicles, we can learn a lot about the life of David, which was filled with a lot more drama than you might expect from a man who loved God and was chosen to be the king of Israel! What’s also revealed through the Psalms is that sometimes (understandably) David got angry with God.
‘God, how long are you going to stand there doing nothing?’ Psalm 35:17 MSG
In this instance, David was being chased by people who wanted to kill him for no good reason. He felt like God was doing nothing and he got angry.
What can we learn from this?
Firstly, it’s okay to be angry with God. Life is hard. Sometimes things happen that we don’t understand, or that don’t seem fair and this can lead to us feeling angry with God. But secondly, and more importantly, the place to express your anger with God, is to God. If we are Christians, we are in a relationship with God. And as with other healthy relationships we have with people we love, if we are angry with them, the best thing is to speak to them about it.
When we come to God in prayer, He doesn’t expect us to be 100% at our best, He wants us 100% ourselves. He wants to talk to us as we are, He wants the real deal. There’s no use trying to hide what’s going in our heart from the One who made us (He knows anyway!)
We aren’t supposed to go to God after we’ve pulled ourselves together and worked out all our negative emotions. The place of prayer is the place to work them out.
The book of Psalms is a great book to learn about relationship with God. In it we can find the full range of human emotions from David and others who really loved God, and who experienced some amazing highs and some really horrific lows throughout their lives. It teaches us that all of life is to be lived before God. He meets us at our worst and our best and He is a faithful Father and Friend through it all.
And as David so wonderfully said himself…
‘O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.’ Psalm 62:8 NLT