Read a quote in JBC[1] regarding counseling about anger, and what happens when we turn it against God.

It is curious how people who don’t believe that God sovereignly rules all things become embittered hyper-Calvinists when they face sufferings and say, “God could have changed things for me and he didn’t. He had the power, and he didn’t use it. It’s his fault.”[1:1]

It reminds me of some wrestling I did a while back with Hebrews 11:6 (and wrote a little bit about previously here) which says:

Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

The first part has always made sense: How do you please God if you don’t believe he exists? That like the opposite of faith. The second part took a long time to click. The question is “Why does believing God rewards me for seeking him necessary for God-pleasing faith?”

And the answer, I think now, is the context in which this passage is embedded: “These [the people in this catalog of people of faith] all died in faith, not having received the things promised…” (Heb 11:13). It is hard to press through sovereign control of all things to see even the hard things, the evil things, as from the hand of God and still press into the promise that "all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). Looking beyond the now to a future reward is not easy, but it is necessary to live in the confusion and seeming senselessness of the now. You will not believe God is good, that he is worth following, that he loves you in the midst of pain if you can't see past the difficulty he brings to you (even through our own sin and foolishness, even at the hands of the Devil's schemes) for your good. You will become angry at God.


Powlison, David. “Anger at God.” The Journal of Biblical Counseling 30, no. 2 (2016): 42–54.

  1. David Powlison, “Anger at God,” The Journal of Biblical Counseling 30, no. 2 (2016): 51. ↩︎ ↩︎