May 4

May 4
by Pastor Jonna
“Permission to Be Angry”

Read: Psalm 13

A couple weeks after the reality of the global pandemic of the coronavirus settled in, I was angry. Why did so many people have to suffer and die? Why did so many Christians act with such carelessness and get whole congregations and communities sick? I was angry about the loss of employment for many, the loss of safety in many homes, the loneliness of those confined to care facilities. I was angry that this wasn’t prevented, that viruses like this exist.

In a meeting during that time, Susan Lovelady commented that we are all experiencing grief. We are in different stages of that grief, but grief is common to us all. 

Hers was a welcome comment, because I realized that I was experiencing the grief emotion of anger. And I needed to let it out.

Anger is something that we all experience, and anger with God is something that we all experience, too. Anger may not be easy to recognize or an emotion we readily welcome, because many of us have been taught that we ought not be angry with God. But the amazing thing is that Scripture encourages us to express our anger with God, and demonstrates that it is not an example of a weak faith. We find it expressed in Job, Lamentations, and quite a number of times in the Psalms. 

The Psalms are an invaluable gift to the church, because they give voice to the cry of our hearts – sometimes the cry of joy, sorrow, and yes, even anger. “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?” The Psalms give permission for our hearts to cry out to God to come and rescue us. They give us permission to lay our hearts bare before God and to show Him what He already knows.

Scripture gives us permission to be angry, to weep, to beg. Scripture reveals a God who can handle it, a God who does not avoid pain, but steps right into it.

If you are experiencing anger, or when you are experiencing anger, give it to God. And eventually, you will again “sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with [you]” (Psalm 13:6).

Heavenly Father, our ways are not Your ways and our thoughts are not Your thoughts. We give to You the cry of our hearts. May You strengthen our character throughout this time and mold us into the likeness of Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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