When God Gets Angry

 In Sermons, Teachings

JR. Forasteros - October 29, 2017

Sitting with Grief

Good Grief

Grief is uncomfortable. In the face of tragedy, no words are sufficient to salve our pain. Yet in the face of others’ pain, we find ourselves offering platitudes and speaking for God so we can avoid their pain. But Lamentations 1 is a funeral dirge. We hear the woman’s honest, unflinching cries of pain and see the prophet join her, offering nothing but his presence. How can we learn to be honest about pain so we can begin the process of reorientation?

From Series: "Good Grief"

We avoid pain and grief as much as possible. When faced with someone else's grief, we avoid or offer platitudes. But the book of Lamentations invites us to sit with grief, to enter into the prophetic process of Lament. In this series, we'll explore how to grieve and how to be a friend to the grieving. Ultimately, we'll see how the process of lament invites us to be agents of healing in the larger world.

Manuscript     Discussion Guide

More From "Good Grief"

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What does it feel like when God is angry at you?

Off the cuff, you might wonder if hitting more red lights than usual is a sign of God’s wrath. But more seriously, when we hit hard times, it’s easy to feel like we made someone up there mad. When we get sick, or when we have one of those weeks, months or years when it’s one thing after another, we want to blame bad karma or say the universe is against us or question what we’ve done to make God mad at us.

It doesn’t help that, whenever tragedy strikes, there are plenty of pundits who want to make sure we know God’s to blame.

Every natural disaster, every national tragedy, you can find at least a few crazy Christians trying to explain how and why we’ve angered God so God threw a hurricane or tornado or airplane at us.

And in times of personal tragedy, that happens too. Well-meaning people put a gentle hand on our shoulder and ask if we are right with the Lord, implying that we’re probably not, and that’s why this is happening to us.

Is that what it looks like when God gets angry?

Well… no. Like all the best lies, this one has a grain of truth in it

But the idea that God is essentially Thor, throwing lightning bolts at those who cross him is just plain wrong. Understanding God like that makes us afraid, and it actually keeps us from responding correctly to God’s anger.

Let’s talk about what it looks like when God gets angry, and how we can respond to that anger. Because God’s anger – like every other aspect of God – arises from God’s love, a perfect love that casts out fear. And ultimately, God’s anger is about life and hope.

Join us Sunday as we learn how God’s anger can be good news.

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