Wrath That Lingers
As the old Puritan prayer reads, “From Your wrath, good Lord, deliver us.” Today, such a sentiment seems foreign, even offensive, in our modern church culture. After all, haven’t we matured from the medieval superstition of the wrath of a vengeful God? Isn’t our God of today a God of love, acceptance, and inclusivity? Yet how quickly we forget that the Lord our God remains “a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29), before whom we all must one day stand, regardless of how uncomfortable that truth might make us feel.
The Scripture pulls no punches in revealing the reality of God’s righteous anger unleashed against all ungodliness. Romans 1:8 states, “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men.” That’s present tense, today. And the word all, means just that, all. Perhaps no verse captures the persistence of God’s anger toward those who continue in disobedience more than Psalm 7:11, which reads, “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” The word angry means “enraged, indignant, foaming at the mouth in rage.”¹ This describes an attribute of God that is missing in most preaching and Systematic Theology textbooks today. But it is, nevertheless, true. God is angry, even enraged, with the wicked every single day.
So what does it truly mean to have the Almighty actively express His displeasure and anger against you on a daily basis? How does the anger of the Lord manifest itself in the life of someone recklessly pursuing sin’s empty promises and shaking his defiant fist in the face of God? For a sign-seeking generation like ours, could this be the ultimate warning sign from heaven— to have the force of divine wrath rest upon you 24 hours a day? Let’s peer behind the veil into a life living under the cloud of God’s abiding anger.
Life Under the Anger of God
Face it, yours is a bleak existence. You awaken each morning under the weight of God’s disfavor pressing down on your soul. His anger seems to fill the very air around you. It’s the first reality that greets you in the morning, and the last thing you think about at night. And all during the mundane activities of your day, His anger is always there, reminding you of your sin and guilt and future judgment and condemnation, leaving you no place to hide.
Hardships and frustrations mount in frequency and intensity, like the birth pains of a woman in labor. Deadlines are missed, relationships strained, and accidents occur almost as if by design. Minor headaches morph into searing migraines. The hand of God’s opposition seems evident as if cursing the very works of your hands. And what faint flickers of hope or joy you find in life are quickly extinguished before they can take root.
In public, you force smiles through gritted teeth. But inside, you’re naked and exposed and petrified beneath the glare of His wrath. Guilt and regret consume your private moments. Your mind endlessly replays past sins, reopening old wounds long since concealed and buried. Your anguished cries of “Why, God?” are met by His silence. Deep in your heart, you know the answer— God is disciplining you for your arrogant obstinance. Yet still, you refuse to bend.
Sleep brings you no escape, only haunted visions of past sins and impending doom. You toss upon a bed of inner anguish. Spiritual oppression grows. Confusion now clouds once simple choices. You descend each day further into bondage, making compromises you once thought unthinkable. An unseen Sovereign now holds your mind and will in shackles. Again, you refuse to repent.
As years pass, the curse inevitably takes its toll— addictions form, your health deteriorates, and your dreams begin to die. Even minor mishaps now leave you increasingly bruised and battered. Relationships crumble, and vocations stall. Your conscience grows calloused and cold, now easy to ignore. And as you feel the walls of God’s chastisement closing in, your life shrinks down to this small, miserable existence. In essence, you hate your life. Yet still, you cling to your sins.
In rare moments, something within you stirs. A faint beam of light peeks through the darkness, revealing fleeting sensations of peace, and flashes of joy and hope you once held dear. Your heart softens for an instant as you consider turning back to God in repentance. But as quickly as it came, the darkness returns, with a vengeance, heavier than before. The wrath remains unchanged. And you continue down the path of judgment.
But somewhere deep down, the fear and dread of facing the Judge arises. You see yourself standing exposed, guilty, in utter shame, ready to receive the eternal payment for a lifetime of rebellion against Him. But, as before, your heart stubbornly resists being broken. Today will not be your day of salvation. The appointed time of reprieve passes again as the freedom offered you is spoken of, yet never chosen nor embraced.
But There is Hope!
This is but a glimpse of what it is like to live under the righteous anger of the Almighty and to daily grieve the Holy Spirit. This is the existence of one who spites the rich love of Christ who bled for your redemption, to harden yourself like Pharaoh against the word of the Lord, and to refuse to bow the knee when the opportunity still remains. Surely, you must know, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
And yet, take heart and be encouraged. For even under the relentless barrage of God’s wrath, the soft voice of hope and redemption can still be heard. It whispers this condition is not final, and your sentence is not fixed. For there is One who willingly absorbed the wrath of God in your place— Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. And through Him, though your sins be as scarlet, Jesus can make you white as snow (Isa. 1:18).
But all this you know. Now it’s time to humble yourself and receive His gift.
Remember, no further wrath awaits those who place their full faith and trust in Him. As the Scriptures proclaim, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). His love triumphs over wrath, and you can be free of your condemnation by faith in Him. And once you trust and receive Him, your dark night of the soul will give way to the dawning light of God’s forgiveness and joy.
It’s not too late. This sad story doesn’t have to be your story. As long as you have breath in your lungs, the door of His mercy stands open. So turn from going your own way, and enter into the shelter of God’s grace. Allow your heart of stone to be made flesh and stop resisting the gentle promptings of the Spirit. His convictions are not meant to condemn you, but to heal and deliver you. Come to Jesus just as you are. Remember, His yoke is easy, His burden light.
And do it today!
1. Baker, W., & Carpenter, E. E. (2003). In The complete word study dictionary: Old Testament (p. 298). AMG Publishers.