Angry God – Know God’s Character
Is God an angry God? Many people simply do not know the true character of God, leaving them with deep questions and anxious concerns. Is God angry with me, with humanity? Is He looking to destroy those who cross Him? Does He enjoy punishing people? Questions and concerns like these are legitimate for many Christians and those searching for truth. It is hard to move forward in faith without the right answers.
Learning God’s character and developing an understanding of who He is takes purposeful effort. It takes diligence to find the answers to the questions that are most prevalent about Him. What is His personality? What are His expectations? How does He respond to our mistakes? Does He truly love us?
One of the most known Scriptures is John 3:16. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This Scripture provides a deep look into the character of God. His character is not one of hate or anger but of loving sacrifice. He wants to bless not curse. He demonstrates this through the giving of His son to die as a sacrifice for the sins of man; that they would not have to pay the price themselves. This is love. God Himself is the definition of love. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8).
To know God’s character, people have to desire Him, to seek Him through prayer, worship Him, and study the Bible. They must follow godly teaching and mentorship and quietly listen for His voice as His spirit speaks to theirs. To quote an interlude called “Know Your God” from the Cross Movement album “House of Representatives” one must “…be discontent until you know your God, what He’s like, what He likes, what He doesn’t like, what He said, what He hasn’t said. What kind of things would He say? What kind of things would He definitely not say? Learn Him.”
Angry God – God’s High Standards
Knowing God’s character is also knowing that God is holy. Knowing and understanding what it means to be holy brings an understanding that God has high standards.
Matthew 5:17-19 says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus is telling us that He has solved our greatest problem; fulfilling the requirements of God’s law. What is impossible for humans to do, Jesus has done. However, He also tells us that in following Him we must practice a healthy spiritual lifestyle. Not doing so dishonors God. On the other hand, living in unison with God’s design honors Him and places Him upon the throne of our heart.
At the end of Matthew 5 the Bible says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Again, it is an impossibility. However, God is willing to teach us throughout our lives so that we come closer to Him. It is about striving to be more like Him, and when we do, He leads us forward.
Angry God – A Fathers Discipline
Hebrews 12:4-13 informs us that God is our Father and we are His children. It teaches that just as we discipline our children so our Father disciplines us. Verses 5-7 specifically say, “’My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.”
Children of God need not be scared of the Lord. He is not out to get or destroy them, nor is He waiting for an opportunity to condemn them. God is a good Father who desires the best for His children (Psalm 100). He knows that there are things in this world that can and will hurt His people if they engage in them. These things are attractive to our flesh and become temptations that the enemy (Satan) uses to lure people away from God (1 Corinthians 10:13a). In view of this, “…God disciplines us for our good” and warns us to learn from His discipline “that we may share in his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10).
Understanding the purpose of God’s discipline reveals His character of love and brings strength and peace to the life of a believer. Verse 11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Without this understanding, one can think that God is angry when hardships occur. However, His word dispels this idea as we learn that “the Lord disciplines those he loves” (Hebrews 12:6).
Angry God – God’s Grace
God’s discipline is a reality. So is His love. God’s discipline, in the light of His love, is grace. Through His discipline, we learn to avoid spiritual, emotional, relational, and even physical harm. Titus 2:11-13 says, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”
Jesus has covered and paid the price for our sins through His death and resurrection. He has saved us. Therefore, our disciplines do not fit the crimes that we commit. Realizing this drives a person to their knees in humility. Through His grace, we fall more in love with Him and fall out of love with the world and all its enticements. We end up living a life that conforms more directly to God’s call and design.
God’s grace is His favor on our lives. He is for us and thus, nothing can be against us (Romans 8:31). He is walking with us every day at every moment. He is love. His anger is just and is expressed as discipline in our lives. He will judge all persons for their actions, however, that is for a time after this. Therefore, until then we walk in His love and grace, and learn from His discipline so that our lives bring praise and honor to His name and so that when that day of judgment comes, we hear from His voice of love, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25).
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions