Can We Make God Sad? What The Scripture Says

Leave a comment / / Updated on: 17th January 2024

Can we really upset Him? / francescoch via iStock

Can we make God sad?

As humans, we are familiar with a wide range of emotions.

These could include sadness, but the question becomes more complex when it comes to God.

After all, God is often seen as perfect and unchanging.

However, the Scripture tells us that God is capable of feeling emotions. 

So, what does the Bible say about whether or not we can make God sad?

In this article, we will delve into this question and explore what the Scripture has to say about God’s emotions, particularly sadness.

By examining the verses addressing this topic, we hope to better understand God’s character and our relationship with Him.

Pure Presence Shop's Faith Necklace Collection
Pure Presence Shop’s Faith Necklace Collection

Do Not Grieve The Spirit

Anger | engin akyurt via Unsplash

One of the key verses that sheds light on whether or not we can make God sad is found in Ephesians 4:30, where it says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

This verse implies that it is possible for us to grieve the Spirit of God.

But what does it mean to grieve the Spirit?

To understand this, we need to first look at the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Holy Spirit is described as the Counselor, Comforter, and Helper, who comes to live within us when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior (John 14:26, John 16:7, Acts 2:38).

The Holy Spirit is also described as the seal of our salvation, the guarantee of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14).

So, when we grieve the Holy Spirit, we are essentially causing deep sorrow to the third person of the Trinity, who dwells within us and is intimately involved in our lives.

Our actions can make things break | Stephanie Verhart via iStock

This means that our actions and attitudes can directly impact the Spirit of God and cause Him to feel sadness.

But what exactly constitutes grieving the Spirit?

Some examples include lying, stealing, anger, bitterness, and sexual immorality (Ephesians 4:25-31).

These actions and attitudes are contrary to the nature of God and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Ultimately, the Holy Spirit’s sadness is not caused by our mistakes or failures but rather by our persistent disobedience and rebellion.

When we refuse to repent and turn away from our sins, we continue to grieve the Spirit and damage our relationship with God.

However, when we confess our sins and seek forgiveness, the Spirit’s comfort and healing can restore our hearts and our relationship with God.

What Makes God Sad?

Sad | Soragrit Wongsa via Unsplash

While the Holy Spirit can feel sadness when we grieve Him, what about God the Father and Jesus?

Are they capable of feeling sadness too?

The answer is yes, and there are several instances in Scripture where God expresses sorrow and grief.

One notable example is found in Genesis 6:6-7, where it says, “The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

So, the Lord said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds, and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.’”

In this passage, God expresses deep sorrow and regret over the state of humanity and the evil that has overtaken the world.

This is just one of many examples throughout Scripture where God’s heart is moved by the actions of His people.

Disobedience | grapix via iStock

Other things that make God sad include unbelief (Mark 6:6), disobedience (Deuteronomy 30:17-18), idolatry (Jeremiah 2:13), and rejection (1 Samuel 8:7-8).

When we choose to reject God and turn away from His ways, we are essentially causing Him to feel sadness and grief.

However, it’s important to note that God’s sadness is not the same as human sadness.

While our sadness can often be fueled by self-pity and despair, God’s sadness is motivated by His love for us and His desire for us to turn back to Him.

As it says in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.

Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

So, while our actions can make God sad, His love and grace are always available to us when we turn to Him in repentance and seek His forgiveness.

The Happy God

Happiness! | Noah Silliman via Unsplash

While it’s clear that our actions can make God sad, it’s also important to remember that God is not only a God of sadness and grief but also a God of joy and happiness.

In fact, 1 Timothy 1:11 describes God as the “blessed God,” which can also be translated as the “happy God.”

This may come as a surprise to some, as we often associate God with seriousness and sternness.

However, Scripture tells us that God experiences joy and delight in His creation and in His people.

For example, Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Joy | Ridofranz via iStock

So, while our actions can make God sad, they can also bring Him joy when we follow His ways and live in obedience to His will.

As it says in Proverbs 15:8, “The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.”

When we live in a way that is pleasing to God, it brings Him joy and happiness.

Furthermore, God’s happiness is not dependent on our actions.

He is the source of all joy and happiness, and His love for us remains constant regardless of our circumstances.

As it says in Psalm 16:11, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Discipline, Not Condemnation

Discipline | Dave Lowe via Unsplash

Our actions can make God sad.

True. However, we have to remember that God’s response is not always one of condemnation.

God’s punishing anger has been poured out on the cross, and Jesus Christ absorbed all the condemnation we all deserved.

As it says in Hebrews 12:6, “the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Does this mean God will never be angry at us?

No. God may still get sad and displeased toward the children He loves, but not in a condemning sense but in a disciplinary one.

Just as a parent disciplines their child out of love and a desire for them to become the best version of themselves, God disciplines us for our own good.

When we sin and fall short of God’s standards, He doesn’t condemn us and push us away.

God’s helping hand | shuang paul wang via iStock

Instead, He invites us to come to Him in repentance and seek His forgiveness and grace.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

God’s response to our sin is not condemnation but forgiveness and restoration.

Can we make God sad? Yes.

Will God punish us when we sin?

No. However, we can expect consequences for our actions.

Also, God will discipline us if we continue to disobey him, just as a loving parent would discipline their child.

At the end of the day, He will always do everything to restore us, so we can fully enjoy His loving presence.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Pure Presence Prayers | Connecting Through Faith

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Scroll to Top