When Joyce Meyer posted a Facebook status that simply said, “God is not mad at you,” the response was tremendous. Meyer realized just how many people live with the idea every day that God is harsh and angry. She then decided it was time for the truth. And that truth is expressed on the pages of her latest book, which is titled with the words of her Facebook status: GOD IS NOT MAD AT YOU.
The first chapter, “Is God Angry?”, opens with the verse from Psalm 103:8-9: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving kindness. He will not always chide or be contending, neither will He keep his anger forever or hold a grudge.” Meyer says that, unfortunately, because we live in a fallen world, we tend to think God’s anger is comparable to human anger. But it’s not. God’s main character is love, mercy, forgiveness and compassion. Yes, God does get angry. However, his anger is directed not at us but at sin and the damage it does to us. God is not just sitting back, waiting for us to mess up so He can unleash His wrath. There is nothing He desires more than to pour out His love on His children. Meyer is certainly not saying that God is okay with our sin, but that He is quick to forgive and does not want us to live lives of condemnation and guilt.
"If you’re struggling with the question of whether God is mad at you, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of this book. Getting rid of the lie that God is mad at you begins with the true understanding of His love for you."
Meyer goes on to an interesting chapter that talks about society’s “performance mentality.” So many people today offer love and acceptance only in response to performance. Sadly, this begins in childhood. Many parents express love and affection toward their kids for good grades, excelling in sports, etc., and withhold that same love and affection in response to bad behavior or making poor choices. We’ve probably all been on the receiving end of that type of love at one time or another --- from a parent, a spouse, a boss, a friend. From a very early age, we learn to associate our worth with the things we do. Is it any wonder that we assume God’s love --- and anger --- is based on our performance?
In subsequent chapters, Meyer spends time exploring thoughts about other reasons we tend to believe God is mad at us --- reasons like perfectionism, Father issues, rejection, and guilt and shame. She then moves on to what we can do to correct our false assumptions, and how we can move into a place of truly embracing God’s amazing grace, mercy and love. One chapter is devoted to the fact that God’s mercy is greater than anger, and Meyer reminds us of the scripture from Psalm 145:8-9: “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving kindness. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works (the entirety of things created).” (AMP)
The last few chapters deal with how to face temptation, the importance of spiritual growth, and finally, how true Christian love is manifested.
GOD IS NOT MAD AT YOU is filled with quotes and scriptures that focus on God’s love and grace. In her typical style, Meyer uses personal illustrations, honesty, directness and encouragement to get her point across. Once again, Meyer proves just why she is one of the world’s most sought-after speakers, as well as a bestselling author. Her wisdom and insight is not only profound, but is expressed in a way that touches the heart and inspires change.
If you’re struggling with the question of whether God is mad at you, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of this book. Getting rid of the lie that God is mad at you begins with the true understanding of His love for you. As Meyer points out in the chapter “Father Issues,” “We must have the ‘Does God love me?’ question settled forever. Yes and a thousand times yes --- GOD LOVES YOU!”
Is there any greater message than that?
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on October 17, 2013