Even Though I’m Trying So Hard, Why Does God Still Seem Angry With Me?

No trouble, no disappointment, no defeat, can ever separate us from the love of Christ.

Even Though I’m Trying So Hard, Why Does God Still Seem Angry With Me?

June 23, 2022

“I don’t understand. Why is God so mad at me? What did I do wrong?”

Filled with compassion, I searched for the right words to answer her. For the last several months my friend had suffered through a seemingly never-ending stream of disappointments and hard times. She tried to stay positive and hopeful, but she finally reached her limit. Bewildered, she concluded God must be against her. And that meant she must have done something to offend Him.

I’ve been there, too. For so many years I believed the same lie. When I faced hard times, or when I felt defeated by life’s trials, I immediately assumed God was disciplining me for my sins. While it’s true God does use hardship as a form of discipline (Hebrews 12:4-7), I’ve learned sometimes He allows us to face hard times for other reasons. 

The author of Psalm 44 describes such a situation. He opens the psalm by recounting many of the Lord’s past blessings to the Israelites (Psalm 44:1-8). But then the mood of the psalm changes:

But now you have rejected and humbled us;
     you no longer go out with our armies.

You made us retreat before the enemy,
     and our adversaries have plundered us.

You gave us up to be devoured like sheep
     and have scattered us among the nations.

You sold your people for a pittance,
     gaining nothing from their sale. (Psalm 44:9-12 NIV)

In these verses the psalmist begins to describe the current hardships of the Israelites. They suffered defeats in battle and endured the victories of their enemies. The psalmist even felt the Lord had sold His people to their enemies for next to nothing. He then describes the Israelites’ emotional distress caused by the scorn and taunting of their enemies (Psalm 44:13-16).

Like me, the psalmist searches for the reason behind their troubles. But unlike me, he confidently maintains the Israelites were not being disciplined for their sins:

All this came upon us,
     though we had not forgotten you;
     we had not been false to your covenant.

Our hearts had not turned back;
     our feet had not strayed from your path. (Psalm 44:17-18 NIV)

If not as a discipline for sins, why did the Israelites suffer these hard times? The psalmist gives us this answer:

Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
     we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. (Psalm 44:22 NIV emphasis added)

Simply put, sometimes suffering is part of God’s larger plan and therefore serves His purpose. His thoughts and ways are not like ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). We may not understand the plan, but we can trust the One who makes it.

The Apostle Paul referenced this psalm when he wrote the following:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
        we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 NIV emphasis added)

When hard times come our way, they come from the One who loves us. Not because we’ve made Him angry, nor necessarily as a response to our sin. But they come for His sake, His purpose, His plan.

And through His love we can conquer anything. Nothing ~ no trouble, no disappointment, no defeat ~ can ever separate us from the love of Christ.

Wherever the road takes us next, let’s hold fast to the love of Christ. As we go, I pray we can remember that some hardships are simply a part of the greater plan and purpose of the One who loves us. 

Even Though I’m Trying So Hard, Why Does God Still Seem Angry With Me?

June 23, 2022

No trouble, no disappointment, no defeat, can ever separate us from the love of Christ.

“I don’t understand. Why is God so mad at me? What did I do wrong?”

Filled with compassion, I searched for the right words to answer her. For the last several months my friend had suffered through a seemingly never-ending stream of disappointments and hard times. She tried to stay positive and hopeful, but she finally reached her limit. Bewildered, she concluded God must be against her. And that meant she must have done something to offend Him.

I’ve been there, too. For so many years I believed the same lie. When I faced hard times, or when I felt defeated by life’s trials, I immediately assumed God was disciplining me for my sins. While it’s true God does use hardship as a form of discipline (Hebrews 12:4-7), I’ve learned sometimes He allows us to face hard times for other reasons. 

The author of Psalm 44 describes such a situation. He opens the psalm by recounting many of the Lord’s past blessings to the Israelites (Psalm 44:1-8). But then the mood of the psalm changes:

But now you have rejected and humbled us;
     you no longer go out with our armies.

You made us retreat before the enemy,
     and our adversaries have plundered us.

You gave us up to be devoured like sheep
     and have scattered us among the nations.

You sold your people for a pittance,
     gaining nothing from their sale. (Psalm 44:9-12 NIV)

In these verses the psalmist begins to describe the current hardships of the Israelites. They suffered defeats in battle and endured the victories of their enemies. The psalmist even felt the Lord had sold His people to their enemies for next to nothing. He then describes the Israelites’ emotional distress caused by the scorn and taunting of their enemies (Psalm 44:13-16).

Like me, the psalmist searches for the reason behind their troubles. But unlike me, he confidently maintains the Israelites were not being disciplined for their sins:

All this came upon us,
     though we had not forgotten you;
     we had not been false to your covenant.

Our hearts had not turned back;
     our feet had not strayed from your path. (Psalm 44:17-18 NIV)

If not as a discipline for sins, why did the Israelites suffer these hard times? The psalmist gives us this answer:

Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
     we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. (Psalm 44:22 NIV emphasis added)

Simply put, sometimes suffering is part of God’s larger plan and therefore serves His purpose. His thoughts and ways are not like ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). We may not understand the plan, but we can trust the One who makes it.

The Apostle Paul referenced this psalm when he wrote the following:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
        we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 NIV emphasis added)

When hard times come our way, they come from the One who loves us. Not because we’ve made Him angry, nor necessarily as a response to our sin. But they come for His sake, His purpose, His plan.

And through His love we can conquer anything. Nothing ~ no trouble, no disappointment, no defeat ~ can ever separate us from the love of Christ.

Wherever the road takes us next, let’s hold fast to the love of Christ. As we go, I pray we can remember that some hardships are simply a part of the greater plan and purpose of the One who loves us. 

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4 Comments

  1. Joanne on June 24, 2022 at 7:46 AM

    Shirley,
    This is such a great reminder to so many who love God.
    Thank you for this encouragement and discernment.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on June 24, 2022 at 7:48 AM

      Thank you, Joanne. I’m glad you found it helpful.💕

  2. Armelle on June 29, 2022 at 10:04 AM

    Dear Shirley, these are exactly the same passages that helped me accept my recent burn-out at work. I had the feeling I had done everything I could to stay close to God, had even taken a professional coach to help me go through tough times at work. Even with all these actions steps, I saw that new deadlines and new unexpected events (involving more work) kept coming. I eventually got sick with Covid and Burn out. It was very painful until I read Romans 8 and then the Psalm 44. It has been such a comfort. Yes sometimes we feel like sheep to be slaughtered and I felt consolation in the fact I can feel more than a conqueror in Christ even in the middle of what seems to be a setback. I felt special in a way that brought tears to my eyes and comfort to my heart. Thank you Shirley to have written this. Lots of love.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on June 29, 2022 at 1:32 PM

      Armelle, you are so welcome! I’m sorry you had such a rough go of it between COVID and burnout. These passages are ones I definitely need to keep close. I’m glad you found the post helpful. I’ll keep you in my prayers. All my love in Christ, Shirley. 💕

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