3 Ways to Trade Your Anger for Peace

angry at God

Are you Angry at God? Here are 3 Simple Steps to Calm the Rage.

My anger made me a walking, talking, ticking, time bomb.

If God had shown up on my doorstep there was a distinct possibility I’d have punched His lights out.

My anger wasn’t red hot and raging. More of a smoldering slow burn, built up over time, corroding my heart and soul, straining our relationship. Tick tock, tick tock. I was about to explode.

I’d lost both my mum and sister to cancer way before they were scheduled to earn their heavenly wings, and then, I diagnosed.

Are you kidding me?

The injustice. The grief. The unknown future. My kids, what about my children? Would they be motherless by the end of the year?

Was God deaf and blind to my pain and grief? Didn’t He see the heat-seeking missile of death locked in on me?

I was mad. Deep, dark, smoldering mad. Wouldn’t you be?

But I had no idea what to do with the anger, how to deal with it and move on, and as long as I was angry I had no peace. At all. There wasn’t room for peace with all that anger raging around.

When our world shatters and we’re left merely surviving a life we never sign up for, it’s easy to get angry with the Man Upstairs. He’s the chap who put black holes in the cosmos (why, I have no idea) and those little luminous creatures at the bottom of the oceans (again, why?). He’s the guy who parted the Red Sea and healed the blind and crippled.

Why doesn’t He make it better?

Why didn’t He heal my mum and Jo? Why wasn’t He healing me -parting the waters drowning me?

Getting angry with God may not be something we can avoid but we can do something with our rage before it takes up residence. Our circumstances may not change, but it does take us off DEFCON 1 anger alert, and changes how we feel about them. We’re more able to cope with what life’s hurled our way, and feel His peace and love.

Anger limits our ability to feel loved by God and prevents us from sitting in His comfort and peace.

Here’s what I do to ditch the anger and grab hold of peace.

1. Lament (have a good old moan)

I’ve given up hiding my ugly feelings from Him. I reckon He knows them anyway and is big enough to handle it. When we let it all hang out, lamenting like a psalmist, unloading our frustrations, laying out our deepest fears, screaming questions like How long? Why? Where are you? it’s not only cathartic to get it out, but surprisingly, our venting draws Him closer, rather than pushing Him away

He loves honesty.

When we’re truly vulnerable, laying our emotions naked before Him, it’s an invitation He’ll never refuse.

If we hide our rage He can’t calm its angry rashes or shower us with the peace we so desperately crave.

2. Focus on Who God Is.

Deep in our anger, we begin to believe rubbish about God. He’s off helping more spiritual Christians who pray more than me. He’s angry at me, I just wish I knew what I’d done.

By repeating verses about His character we’re reminded of who He is and His love for us. We begin to feel His presence right in the midst of our pain and are reassured by His promises.

Here are some of my favorites.

I am not distant and angry but am the complete expression of love (1Jn 4:16).

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Mt 7:11).

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand (Jas 1:17).

I am your provider and I meet all your needs (Mt 6:31-33).

Write them on a sticky note, put them on your mirror and repeat them when you brush your teeth or pin them to the fridge.

3. Remember Who We Are To God

As we think about who He is, it reminds us who we are; His children who He loves (no matter what). When we know we are precious and loved, it’s like solid ground under our feet when our world is shaking and it’s so much easier to handle life’s explosions and find peace in the chaos.

It is my desire to lavish my love on you simply because you are my child and I am your father (1Jn 3:1).

I love you with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3).

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore (Ps 139:17-18).

I rejoice over you with singing (Zep 3:17)

Anger with God, whether white-hot rage or the smoldering embers of fury, slowly corrodes our hearts if left unattended. It burns away our peace, consumes our joy and burns brighter and deeper the longer it lingers. It’s exhausting, driving us away from the one person holding the fire extinguisher.

If you’re angry with God tell him how you feel, focus who He is, remember who you are to Him and switch the anger for peace.

This post originally appeared at nikihardy.com, published with permission. 

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Niki Hardy
Niki is a Brit in the USA, a cancer survivor and pastor’s wife, a fresh air junkie and tea drinker. As a speaker and blogger her candid, humorous storytelling helps us, find humor and grace in the darkest place, and learn to laugh when all we want to do is scream. She loves to make new friends, so find her and more encouragement, on her blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. When she’s not speaking, writing or running trails with her Doodles, she can be found trying to figure out how to use three remote controls to turn on one TV.