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Why Does God Hate Me?



Ben Stuart continues our “Why does God…?” series by leading us through two psalms. The enemy is coming after our sonship, and it’s time for us to be honest, get curious, get serious about the cure, and take hold of God.

Key Takeaway

There is a lie and misconception if you believe that God hates you. The adversary's great aim is to make you believe the exact opposite of the Gospel, which is that God loves you. Be honest and curious before the Lord; He will answer your plea.

People regularly ask the question, "Why does God hate me?" Why is it asked so often? We hit hard times and start questioning around us, assuming God has a problem with us. We take it personally. Many of us are perpetually sad and melancholy, and we don't know why. There are internal and external factors, but today, we will focus on the internal.

The pastoral approach to this can be found in Job, Habakkuk, and Lamentations. In these, you sit down and hear the sorrow of others so that you don't feel so alone in yours. It's how a friend would sit with you and comfort you. So, while there is high comfort, there are no real answers.

A philosophical or theological approach would be to break down all the reasons God conducts the universe as He does. This provides many reasons, but it does not provide comfort.

We will lean into Dr. Martyn Loyd Jones's teaching and take a more practical theology approach. It's like a good physical therapist. It doesn't feel like love. They are not there to commiserate; they're there to activate. They don't sit with you in the pit; they help you climb out of it.

Psalm 42-43 is a song of lament meant to be read together. It was written by someone who worked in the Temple but wasn't currently there. He's not where he wants to be.

He compares his soul to a season of drought. Drought isn't an instant calamity. He's experiencing something slowly and relentlessly brutal. The writer feels like what he needs for life is being withheld from him.

1. Be honest about the crisis.

  • He's sad, but we have permission to feel that and be honest with the Lord about it.
  • Psalm 42:1-2—As the deer longs for flowing water, he longs for his living God. He asks, "When do I get to see God?" It's taking too long. He needs relief, how long until God relieves his soul? It's a timing question.
  • Psalm 42:3—He has a sad answer. His tears are his food. He's asked for fresh water, and he's getting salt water. Then he starts hearing other voices chime into his pain. The ask, "Where is your God?" which is a far worse question than what he was asking. He asked a "when" question, implying that God is coming. They asked a "where" question which has despair settling in.
  • Psalm 42:4—He remembers that he used to be happy. It's a cold comfort, though. He's acknowledging that he's a leader in a church, and he's really sad. It's OK to talk like that. We don't wallow in sorrow, but we don't deny it either.

2. Get curious about the cause.

  • Psalm 42:5- He questions his own soul. He asks a "why" question. When you feel like God doesn't like you or hates you, get curious about where that is coming from.
  • What's going on with you?
  • Look at your own personal temperament
  • Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you a deep thinker?
  • Many people who are deep thinkers and are used mightily by God have a propensity toward melancholy.
  • What's your physical condition?
  • Look at how you are eating and sleeping. Have you been sick recently?
  • What's happening experientially?
  • We are a people of peaks and troughs. Elijah is the perfect example of this. After his highest high came his lowest low.
  • What are your constant darts of discouragement?
  • We have an adversary whose great aim is to make the sinner content and the saint miserable. That's Satan's goal.
  • If the sinner is content, they will never ask bigger questions and just drift off to Hell.
  • He wants to discourage the saints, take their hearts, and drown them in misery so that they become a bad marketing campaign to the world.

The enemy's voice is always the same. In Genesis 3, he told us that we couldn't trust God, trying to convince us that He was holding out on us. We have to take care of ourselves. The adversary is always assaulting our sonship. He did it to Jesus in the wilderness, and he does it to us every day.

Why does the enemy always go after our sonship?

  • Ephesians 5:1—"Be imitators of God as beloved children." He knows that if you don't believe you're a dearly loved child of God, you can't live the Christian life. This life starts with God's love found in John 3:16 and ends with us being adopted. So, His love is our motivator. The entrance into and the endurance of the Christian life is rooted in the fact that we have a God who loves us, so Satan's great aim is to convince us that God hates us.
  • James 1:16-17—The lie that launches a thousand sins is that God is not a good Dad.

Who's talking to you? Why? Usually, it's Satan, so he can try and rob you of a sense of God's love and render you ineffective for the Kingdom.

3. Get serious about the cure.

  • Psalm 42:5-6—We don't have just to sit there and take it. There are things we can do. The writer begins to speak back to that voice. It doesn't go well at first.
  • Psalm 42:7—He changes metaphors from drought to drowning in waters of chaos. But in all of this, he remembers that in the waters of chaos in Genesis 1:2, God speaks over it. God speaks to the darkness and creates.
  • Psalm 42:8- Amid the chaos, he hears God singing over His creation. You're not alone in the dark. Speak to your own soul.
  • Take hold of yourself.
    • Speak to your own soul. "Have you realized that most of your unhappiness is because you're listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself." -Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Take hold of the gospel.
    • Psalm 42:9,11- Preach to yourself. The seeing of His face, He will save your face. When you're sad, your face shows it. What lifts your face? Looking at His. He is your rock. He's your salvation. The enemy is great with the first part of the gospel: you are marred and broken. However, he leaves out the second part: God so loved you that Jesus lived the perfect life you couldn't, interposed his precious blood to cover your sins, took condemnation to the grave, rose triumphantly, and called you into His family forever. Take heart! He has overcome the world.
    • The enemy tells you the opposite. You believe there's a God. You believe there's a you. You want to feel good, so you believe you should feel good, but you don't, so you think God is wronging you. You're acting like a lawyer, putting God on trial. You're making yourself righteous and God guilty.
    • The people who have the hardest time with this are the religious. The prodigal son knew he was a sinner and didn't deserve to be back in his father's house, yet his father ran to him. It's easy to have joy in salvation when you know what a sinner you are. The older brother accused his father of injustice. He reckoned that he had been good, so his father owed him good. He didn't understand the gospel.
    • Some of us need to be more miserable and understand how great of a sinner we are. You have to kill the self-righteousness in you.
  • Take hold of God Himself.
    • Psalm 43:1-5- The psalmist turns to prayer.


"Have you realized that most of your unhappiness is due to the fact that you're listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself."

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Scripture References

  • Psalm 42
  • Psalm 43
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.