When You Are Angry
Daily Devotional Jonah 4: 1-10
Picture the scene for a moment. The Old Testament prophet Jonah is hunkered down on the outskirts of Nineveh, pouting because God did not do what he wanted. The scene may seem laughable to us. But if we’re honest, we will admit there are times when we too get irritated with God.
Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
Jonah was so angry that he asked God to “take away” his life (v. 3). Jonah had no right to be angry at the Lord for His compassion toward the Ninevites (3:10). Yet Jonah did not hesitate to express his frustration. What should we do when we feel angry with God? Tell Him! God already knows what you are feeling. God perceives our thoughts “from afar,” and before a word is on our tongue, He knows it “completely” (Psalm 139:2, 4). He is big enough to absorb any anger we may feel.
However, analyzing Jonah’s anger toward God may help us moderate our own. Although Jonah felt his anger was justified, he is clearly mistaken. First, he has overstepped his bounds. God is the only One who is in control. Jonah could not even make the plant that gave him shade grow (v. 10). Why would he think that he should control the fate of other nations? Second, Jonah was thinking mainly of himself. Jonah seems to take God’s grace for granted just as he did the shade from the plant that God caused to grow up over his head (vv. 2–3). Third, Jonah’s anger failed to consider the larger scope of God’s interest. God is interested in us. But He is also interested in those around us. God cares about us, but He also cares about the rest of creation (v. 11).
>> You should not be afraid to express your anger to God. But do not think that you can pressure God into doing what you want. God hears our prayers and responds to them. But He is not at our beck and call.
Pray with Us
You are justified to rebuke our anger, yet so often You respond to our doubts, fears, and anger with grace. When our outlooks and desires are twisted by sin, be gracious to correct us and remind us what is true.