I Have a Beef… with God.

Sep 17, 2023

TROUBLE. It’s everywhere. Some trivial, some traumatic—and the purveyors of “the news” never seem to have anything ELSE to talk about.

As Christians, we know we are not supposed to be surprised when we face trouble—a “fiery trial”—whether it’s personal pain, a family calamity, or a global epidemic. In fact, the Scriptures tell us to expect it.

“My dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering, as though something unusual were happening (just) to you.” (1 Peter 4:12 GNT)

But occasionally, our troubles may feel like the Almighty has a personal grudge against us—and us alone—for some reason. We pray, and our troubles increase. We pray fervently—and they seem to multiply exponentially.

A woman recently told a pastor’s wife, “I have a beef with God.” She was angry, and her anger made her arrogant. I don’t know the details, but apparently she was in great pain, had had more than her share of it, and she felt that she had a score to settle with the Almighty. To her, God didn’t seem at all interested in helping her. We ALL feel that way at times—the more we pray, the worse it gets. “GOD, where ARE You, anyway?!”

The fact is, we are not alone in feeling that way. Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Hannah, David, Paul—and certainly Job—all before us, all had very good reasons to feel they had “a beef with God.” They had good reason to question, doubt, argue with, and even wrestle God. Even the man, Christ Jesus, struggled with the Will of God on the eve of His execution … to the point that He was sweating BLOOD.

So, no, we are not alone, no matter how alone we feel. We are not the first to suffer, or to feel abandoned, or to have serious questions—and we won’t be the last.

Just be careful. Being angry at God is not the answer—it’s not for us to advise Him or judge His actions. “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ saith the LORD.” (Isa. 55:8 KJV) But having questions with an honest heart does not indicate a lack of belief—in fact, just the opposite. We KNOW where the answers come from—it just feels like our questions and His answers don’t match.

So, when David had a complaint, what did he do with it? He said, “I POUR OUT my complaint before Him; before HIM I tell my trouble.” (Psalm 142:2 NIV) How did Hannah handle her grief? She cried, “I have POURED OUT my soul before the LORD.” (1Sam. 1:15 KJV)

That’s the answer. Know this:

– God can handle our interrogation. Honest questions don’t irritate Him—but arrogance does. In fact, He expects us to bring our questions and pain to Him, like Habakkuk: “How long, O Lord, shall I cry out, and thou wilt not hearken? how long shall I cry out to thee being injured, and thou wilt not save?” (1:2 BST) He is our Creator; He created us to use our minds and our God-given emotions—even the negative ones—to express to Him our needs.

– God invites us to come running to Him—boldly. Even in our pain, we should be thankful for that incredible invitation! Even in our anger, the door to the Throne Room is always open for us to voice our questions and petitions. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)

– God DOES care about our hurts. He WANTS to hear us voice our pain. What concerns us, concerns Him—so much that He Himself bears our griefs and carries our sorrows. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 KJV)

– Suffering allows us to enter into a special kind of close friendship with Jesus. Our Savior, above all, knows what pain, suffering, rejection, abuse, and loneliness feel like. Therefore, Paul declared, “I have suffered the loss of all things… that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.” (Phil. 3:10 KJV)

The worst response to suffering is NOT to ask God “Why??” … but to STOP asking—to STOP running, to STOP talking, to STOP pouring out your suffering to Jesus.

So, what should we do if we “have a beef with God?” Drag that beef to your brazen altar of repentance and submission … and SLAUGHTER IT! Bring it to Jesus, lay it on the altar, and fully surrender that heartache to Him! POUR IT ALL OUT. You CAN “draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having (your) heart sprinkled clean …” (Hebrews 10:22 NASB) with the blood of your offering of thanksgiving and praise. Don’t carry that beef around. Slaughter it! Leave it on the altar. WORSHIP … and walk away. TRUST that He knows, and BELIEVE that GOD will take care of it.

He DOES, and He WILL.