Tell God Exactly How You Feel

by Rick Warren

daily devotionalI can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak.” Job 7:11 (TEV)

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 TEV). He continues to unload in the following verses: “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)

If you were God, how would you react to that? Zap Job with a thunderbolt? Is that what God did? No!

Do you know why God didn’t just zap him? Because God understood Job. God understands you, too, and he understands your hurt. When you say, “God, I don’t like this. This stinks. It hurts!” God’s not going to be surprised. 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 with him. 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 him. 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).

Unload all your feeling. Release your frustrations. God can handle it!

Talk About It

•    How does it feel to unload all your feelings to your best friend?
•    What difference, if any, is there in releasing your frustrations to your best friend and releasing them to God? What is the effect?

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10 Responses to Tell God Exactly How You Feel

  1. judy white says:

    I would like to suscribe to these devotionals

  2. Douglas R. Dawson says:

    Thanks Rick,its good to be reminded that my GOD is never caught off guard,because HE is all knowing and all seeing,and nothing i say is a surprise to HIM. He is I AM.

  3. Maureen Port-Louis says:

    Thank you very much for this inspiration. It really has done something to my heart. I feel so good that those burdening thoughts have vanish. Sometimes I feel so bitter and angry. Sometimes you know, that there are things you see but you cannot say anything to avoid an argument. I will take your advice and talk to God. After you have talk to God you feel light. You feel that the burden has gotten out of you and you are free. I thank the Holy Spirit to guide me to your site. God Bless you all.

  4. PaulWidjaja says:

    Thanks a lot for this morning inspiration…I love it…GBU more Rick your family & ministry…I love u

  5. ceta says:

    Thank you. thank you.there are times we feel no one understands and God seems so far away. Today I’m reassured of God’s Love, mercy and compassion we may not understand everything but our God is still in us all LOrd with all life challenges.

  6. Stephen Bernard says:

    Thank you for this inspiring devotional. It’s really puts one at ease. To many of us, expressing one’s mind’s hurt to God, had accompanied with a tag of guilt. So many used to conceal and suffer the hurt, silently. Now it’s clear. Praise God.

    God bless you and keep you.

  7. Donnis says:

    I lost my first and older son, 34, May 31, 2006, from a fall into an unprotected metal cover of an electrical room at a condo building. It was considered a wrongful death and people came from the woods at the odor of money. 10 months later, my only other child, my 28 year old son died from an overdose. The both had worked in my business and had followed me in my 22 year active military career. I dropped the lawsuit because I could no longer even share my pain. I sold my business, took their ashes to Calvary and rely on the Lord to help me. I am angry. I am angry at everything. I have lost my reason to breath and I must stay and endure

  8. thelma says:

    Great Advice! We woman needs to get out hurts out so we can heal inwardly.
    Harboring hurts leads to bitterness, and bitterness is NO FUN

  9. Ivan Haspra says:

    Thank you Rick for your article, thank you!

  10. joan visser says:

    Thanks Rick. I AM ANGRY. A good friend and fellow member of my Bible study group was murdered this week. He was an elderly gentleman with the emphasis on GENTLE. Its hard not to be bitter when these senseless things happen. I will take your advice and tell God exactly how I feel.

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