Don’t Give Up: Tell God Exactly How You Feel
By Rick Warren
“I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak” (Job 7:11 GNT).
God can handle your emotions — he gave them to you, after all! He can handle your anger, doubt, fear, questions, grief, and even your complaints. Be honest; tell it to God. Get it off your shoulders. Spill your guts! Tell God exactly how you feel: “God, I hurt!” This is exactly what Job did.
Job was brutally honest with God: “I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak” (Job 7:11 GNT). He continued to unload in the verses that follow: “Why do you keep me under guard? Do you think I am a sea monster? I lie down and try to rest; I look for relief from my pain. But you — you terrify me with dreams; you send me visions and nightmares until I would rather be strangled than live in this miserable body. I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone. My life makes no sense. Why are people so important to you? Why pay attention to what they do? You inspect them every morning and test them every minute. Won’t you look away long enough for me to swallow my spit? Are you harmed by my sin, you jailer?” (Job 7:12-20 GNT).
If you were God, how would you react to that? Maybe get angry? Is that what God did? No! Because God understood Job. God understands you, too, and he understands your hurt. God isn’t surprised when you say, “God, I don’t like this. This stinks. It hurts!” Who do you think created those emotions? Who do you think gave you the capacity to get angry and express those feelings? God did. God is not surprised by your emotional state.
God let Job get it off his chest. It was a catharsis, a kind of cleansing so that Job could get clean and be healed.
The right response to unexplained tragedy is not “grin and bear it” or pious platitudes but honestly telling God your struggle. Lamentations 2:19 says, “Cry out in the night . . . Pour out your heart like water in prayer to the Lord” (NCV).
Job questioned God’s actions, but he never stopped trusting God. Did you know that trusting God with your feelings is an act of worship? “Job stood up, tore his robe in grief, and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and worshiped” (Job 1:20 GW).
Go ahead. Express all your feelings. Release your frustrations. God can handle it!
Talk About It
How does it feel when you tell a close friend exactly how you feel?
When you find yourself questioning God’s actions, do you continue to trust God, or does that become a struggle?
What difference is there, if any, between releasing your frustrations to your best friend and releasing them to God? What is the effect?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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