I’m Afraid God Is Angry With Me

There have been times in my life when I’ve feared God’s anger. Before I was a Christian, this was a healthy fear, meant to show me my need for a Savior.  I still remember many nights as a little girl when I was afraid to go to sleep because I thought God would judge me in His holy, righteous anger because of my unbelief.

Five years ago, God drew me to Himself and showed me great mercy through the cross.  I understood for the first time that His death paid the penalty of my sin and that I am now raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6).  His death declared me righteous and His life enables me to live a life satisfying to God (not in my own ability, but rather through the strength of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit).

Since becoming a Christian, however, there are still times when I feel like God is angry at me.  Typically these are during times when I am painfully aware of sins I’ve committed against God.  I know God has forgiven me and accepted me as His child, but I fail to recognize that He sustains me every day.  I don’t think He likes me, because I can see that I’m not “good enough” to earn His favor.  And it’s easy at that point to find myself slip back into legalism and thinking that it’s up to me and my good works to keep God’s favor.

It’s especially during times like this that I need the gospel.  I need the reminder that there is nothing in me that earned God’s forgiveness and grace. There is nothing in me that was righteous enough to turn God’s wrath away.  And there is nothing in me that can earn His acceptance.

When I find myself struggling with condemnation and guilt, the answer is not to wallow there.  I am called to remember that the following things are true:

  • when I repent, I know that God will never count my sins against me (Romans 4:7-8)
  • Jesus’ death was not only to reconcile me to God, but also to give me new life (Romans 5:9-10)
  • The sins that discourage me are no longer my master (Romans 6:14)
  • The work of Christ Jesus provides freedom from condemnation. (Roman 8:1-4)

Here’s how to beat condemnation.  Confess your sin to God.  Then believe in Him.  Exercise the gift of faith that God has given you to believe that Jesus died for the very sins you’re being condemned for.  The punishment He received was for you.  His resurrection is proof that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice.  The sins of your past and the sin you just committed were all atoned for; you need carry their weight no more. – C.J. Mahaney

[copyright, 2010, Emily Schankweiler; A Sacrifice of Praise]

4 thoughts on “I’m Afraid God Is Angry With Me”

  1. Preaching the gospel to myself everyday has truly transformed my life this past year in this area. “A Gospel Primer for Christians” by Milton Vincent states: “God…allowed His future and present wrath against me to be completely propitiated by Jesus, who bore it upon Himself while on the cross (I John 2:2). Consequently, God now has only love, compassion, and deepest affection for me, and this love is without any admixture of wrath whatsoever.” I need to be reminded of this great truth frequently!

    1. Yes we do have to preach the Gospel to ourselves every day. I think many in the church believe the gospel message is only good to get the unbeliever into the faith, then we start bombarding them with the law, all the “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots”. All done in our own strength to earn an acceptance we already have because Christ kept God’s law perfectly.

      Thank you for the reminder and great quote from Milton Vincent.

  2. I think our pride gets in the way.. we want to think our actions somehow affect or control God’s feelings towards us. We want to be in charge, it’s our nature.
    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works,so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

  3. Violet, thanks for mentioning that quote by Milton Vincent. What a great reminder from a great book!
    Bill and CTW – i agree, its so easy for pride and legalism to slip in… as Jerry Bridges says, that’s why its so important to preach the gospel to ourselves every day… I didn’t save myself, I didn’t earn God’s justifying grace… and I can’t keep it or please Him apart from His sanctifying grace at work in my life every day.

    Thanks for your comments!

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