This is a continuation of my last post, about how to cope with being bitter with God. I am challenging myself to get over my bitterness and frustration, that I’ve carried around for a little while. My world is not going perfect, and God is just letting me struggle. But struggle is not a grounds forgiving up on faith. These are more ways to cope with being angry with the Lord, and I hope you can successfully apply them to your life. =]
5. Get out there and help someone. I know when I feel bad, but when I go out there and help someone, it makes me feel better. It makes me feel like I am useful again, if I had been feeling pretty useless before. Even if I am upset with God, if I see someone struggling with an issue with faith that I know how to resolve, it always makes me feel awesome inside to see their faith grow stronger and see the hope restored to their eyes- and then I feel like I have more hope for myself. As the saying goes, “when we help others, we help ourselves.”
6. Exercise! Exercise gets your endorphins pumping, which give you that rush of energy and those ‘feel good’ emotions. I remember at one point in my life, I kept crying on the daily basis. But the night when I really started exercising, I didn’t feel like crying that night. Exercise can release stress, erase feelings of confusion, worry, and anxiety. A lot of people don’t know these kinds of effects of exercise. But exercise really has helped me get over being bitter with the Lord. I channel all of my frustration into my workouts, and over time and over a consistent amount of exercise, I feel much, much better. Break out the treadmill and weights!
7. Do things you love. I do this a lot. In a sense, I sort of distract myself from the problem. When you think about a problem to much- how God seems to have let you down, how he wasn’t there for you, how he let someone break your heart- when you dwell too much, anger and frustration just builds. I know this from much, much experience! LOL, It’s so true. So instead of keeping my head in negative thoughts, I boost my spirits by doing things I love- drawing, writing poetry, singing, making music, reading, playing games, etc. I am not saying that you avoid the problem all together and never deal with it, but I am saying just don’t obsess over it too much. Take a break from the anger and pain, and do something fun. Go hang out. Enjoy yourself. The time I was most angry at God, I had no idea how I would get out of all the negative feelings that I felt. I felt like I would always feel broken and be angry. Since I didn’t really know how to fix the problems, I started doing things that I loved, that would take my mind out of the war of negativity, and over a period of time, that anger gradually went away. I was happier because of the things I did, and it diffused my frustration with God.
8. Humble yourself. Often times, we are selfish and we feel like God owes us something. He doesn’t owe us anything, when he has already giving us everything through his wonderful son, Jesus Christ. Jesus rescued us from our afflictions, and we truly have no right to complain; we should be thankful and praise him for his love. But since we are human and imperfect, we will result to complaining. In the Bible, God’s chosen people, Israel, complained along their journey with God. It’s not right, but it’s something we do. But you have to start realizing that we live this life to glorify God and do the things that he wants, not the other way around. Yes, he loves us, and he will bless us, but it doesn’t mean that life will always be easy. It doesn’t mean that we won’t ever get uncomfortable. Realize why you are so bitter and frustrated with God: where does it seem that he has let you down? And open your eyes to the fact that we obey him, he does not obey us. He will take care of us in his own time. It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around that: ‘in his own time.’ That means whenever he is ready. Not when we are ready, but when he is. Humble yourself and realize that you are so small compared to God. Yes, he will take care of you, but only at the right time.
9. Worship God! Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. Ok, I know this sounds strange. If you are angry at God, why on earth would you bother praising him and worshipping him? Well, I know this from experience. When I am upset with him, sometimes, I can’t bother to try to fix the problem, because it’s too much of a challenge for me. But I love music. So one day, I really wanted to play piano, and there is this nice worship song I wanted to work on, even though I was mad at God. I started playing and singing, and I was having such a good time, I deliberately started singing to God and worshipping him. The joy from playing helped me to worship easily and joyfully. It made me happy with him, the more I fell in love with the music and the more the meaning of the words soaked deep into my brain and my heart. When I tithe, I feel like I am making a difference to someone, so I worship him when I tithe. Through various forms of worship, I feel how much I care about God, and I realize how much he cares about me. Set yourself free in some worship.
10. Another thing I do is actively and sincerely apologize. Lately, my heart has been broken. Romance and friendships have been a little haywire for me, and so sometimes, I blow up at God. I blame him, and say he is a horrible father. This is all in a moment of passionate, painful, anger. But after I have calmed down some, I go back and genuinely apologize. It has to be sincere, truly coming from your heart, or it won’t matter to him; it will only be fake, otherwise. You have to mean it, and he will definitely forgive you. To me, it’s like when I have a bad day. Someone comes in and tries to comfort me, or even people not involved at all, and I may blow up at them because my day already sucks, even though it’s not their fault. That’s how I may accidentally treat God sometimes, because I am, so to speak, ‘having a bad day’. I am frustrated with the world. So like a friend who really feels bad for blowing up at innocent people, I apologize to God because I honestly don’t want to hurt him.
As long as you are seeking to improve, seeking God’s heart despite your hardships, God will always return to you. He will not leave you forever, even though you may feel utterly forsaken in the moment. When I feel utterly forsaken, I have to continually remind myself that he will return and that he truly does love me. A willing heart will always go far, no matter how much you mess up with God. He sees that desire to change, and he is willing to help. God looks at the heart, though man looks at the outside of a person.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t look at how handsome Eliab is or how tall he is, because I have not chosen him. God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7