One day I put a post on Facebook that simply said, “God’s not mad at you,” and the response was overwhelming. In just a few hours, thousands of people responded, desperately needing to be reassured of this fact. Through my own personal relationship with God and through ministering to other people, I have come to believe a large percentage of people either vaguely or perhaps even wholeheartedly believe that God is mad at them.
Where does this belief come from? Perhaps from a parent who was difficult to please, the pain of rejection or maybe even from the church. Wherever these misconceptions about God’s wrath originate, I want to help shed some truth on these false beliefs so you can fully know that God is not mad at you!
“God will never accept me like I am.”
The Bible is a record of sin, deceit and immorality of every kind. It’s also a record of God’s amazing grace and love. The heroes we admire were people just like us. They failed miserably at times, and yet they found love, acceptance, forgiveness, and mercy as free gifts from God. His love drew them into intimate relationships with Him, empowered them to do great things and taught them to enjoy their lives.
Since they experienced that acceptance, I believe we can experience it too. God doesn’t and never will approve of sin, but He does love sinners and will continue to work with us toward positive change in our lives.
I wasted many years living with a vague fear that God was angry with me. Thankfully, over the last few years I have come to know the amazing, passionate love of God, and I now know that God is not angry with me; He isn’t even annoyed with me! And it isn’t because of anything I’ve done or haven’t done; it is simply because He’s in love with me.
“I’m not doing enough for God.” … “When can I know that I am doing enough?”
Perfectionism is fueled with the tyranny of the shoulds and oughts. It is the constant nagging feeling of never doing well enough or being good enough. We think things like, I should pray better, read the Bible more, and be kinder. We instinctively want to be pleasing to God, and we are deeply afraid we aren’t. As a result, we believe God is mad at us because we just don’t measure up.
But the pathway to God is not perfection. Some people in a crowd asked what they needed to do to please God, and the answer Jesus gave was, …Believe in the One Whom He has sent … (John 6:29).
That is so simple that we often miss it. More than anything, God wants us to trust Him and believe His Word. You can stop trying to attain perfection because you cannot buy or earn God’s love or favor. It isn’t for sale—it’s free!”
“My Dad was mad, so God must be too.” if someone had an angry father, it is quite natural to view Father God as angry too. Hopefully you are one of the blessed ones who had an awesome dad, but for many that is not the case. One of our most urgent needs in life is to feel safe. But children who grow up with angry, absent or abusive fathers often don’t feel safe. They have a feeling of impending doom or danger hanging over them most of the time. But God is not like people. If your father was absent, you need to know that God will never leave you. If your father was abusive or angry, your heavenly Father wants to give a double reward for your former trouble (see Isaiah 61:7)
No matter how unfaithful your father may have been to you, I urge you to not let it ruin your life. Make a decision to believe that your heavenly Father is faithful and loves you dearly.
“God couldn’t possibly forgive me.” Satan remembers every tiny thing we have ever done wrong and will do his best to remind us of them every chance he gets. He is vigilant in his efforts to make us cower under the weight of our own shame.
We all sin and come short of the glory of God. No person is without sin, and we all feel guilt at times, but when we keep that guilt long after we have been forgiven it turns into shame. Guilt and shame make us feel that God is angry, and so we withdraw from His presence and don’t live the life God intended for us.
We need to understand that God forgives completely—not partially, or almost, but completely! Take a moment and think of the worst thing you have ever done. Now, realize that you are completely forgiven. The goodness of God is greater than any bad thing we have ever or could ever do. That should bring a sigh of relief and a sensation of joy sweeping through our soul!
“God is punishing me.” Some people may believe that when they have problems in life it is because God is angry with them for some past sin. I have heard people say things like, “I had a miscarriage and I wonder if God is punishing me for the way I lived in the past.” Statements like this prove that people have an incorrect view of God. He doesn’t punish us for past sins by bringing bad things into our lives.
Our troubles are not a sign that God is angry with us! We are in the world and Jesus said that in the world we would have tribulation. He also told us to cheer up because He had overcome the world (see John 16:33).
Staying positive and continuing to believe in the goodness of God during times of trial and tribulation will prevent you from losing your joy. Each difficulty that I have gone through in life has helped me go through the next one better. God is faithful, so continue to rely on Him when times get hard.
When you can begin to fully understand His grace, forgiveness, mercy, and unconditional love, you can know with certainty His attitude toward you is merciful—not angry. I can assure you that no matter what you’ve done in life or no matter how many misconceptions you have about God’s feelings toward you, God will never stop loving you. God is not mad at you!