Venting to God is OK

I am subscribed to the GCC Faithwalkers Journal which has short daily devotionals/ words of encouragement, and today's Journal was especially significant to me today. I have been feeling pretty emotional lately and its a good reminder that I can go to God with all my crap as well as all my praise. This isn't always easy for me to remember but I often find out that when I go to Him first before Chris or a girlfriend...I process through things better, am way more encouraged, and then therefore know how to communicate my feelings and struggles to other. Plus I feel closer to God and more able through Gods strength to deal with all the crap this world throws at us sometimes. I hope this encourages you today as it did me.

Struggle With God - Thursday May 14, 2009

from GCC Faithwalkers Journal by Mike Bergen

God said to him, 'Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.' So He named him Israel. Genesis 35:10

"Israel" is the name God has chosen for His people for the last four thousand years and until Jesus returns-from Genesis to Revelation. Since this name has such high publicity around the world, do you know what it means? "He struggles with God." For some of us this might not seem very complimentary, but I'm convinced God gave it as a compliment to Jacob. Normally, it doesn't seem very kind to struggle with someone. But life is full of struggles. Jacob's life had been full of struggles. In fact, his name "Jacob" meant "he grasps the heel" or "deceiver." It came from hanging on to his brother's heel when he came into the world as a twin. Then throughout his life he struggled with his brother, his dad, his uncle, and his wives. Finally, when he struggled with God, God was pleased and gave him a new name. Another person who struggled with God a lot was David. You can read about the struggle of his thoughts and feelings toward God in the Psalms. And God called him a man after His own heart. God wants us to come to Him with all of our problems and negative feelings. He wants us to "vent" ourselves on Him and struggle with Him. He wants this because He knows that when our focus is on Him, He is able to communicate with us, which enables Him ultimately to help us. It really doesn't matter what our motive is for coming to Him. But if our focus is elsewhere-whether we're happy or not-he'll have difficulty communicating. So let's be like Israel and go to God whenever we feel we need to struggle.

Mike Bergen
Lee's Summit Community Church

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