Powerful. Deep emotions. Her point that she expands upon in her book is that not only are there scriptural passages that question God in like manner (Job, Jonah, even some Psalms)...but more importantly, that God can handle our anger. He does want us to engage Him and in turn He wants to engage us, especially during situations like these.
Granted, we can go to far with anger and be overcome and controlled by it...and it can certainly lead down a dangerous path. Quoting Joni again, "There is, however, a dark side to anger...uncontrolled anger has the incredible potential to destroy. It digresses into a black energy that demands immediate release and relief. It despises being vulnerable and helpless. It relishes staying in control. It loathes dependence on God and so gains macabre pleasure in spreading the poison of mistrust. Ironically, this sort of anger - unrighteous anger - turns on us. It is a liar, offering us satisfaction, when in truth, it guts us and leaves us empty...."
So, in these moments, seasons, or even lifelong struggles such as those experienced by Joni...let us receive the her wisdom, Luther's remarks below and especially of the Psalter which says, "be angry, and sin not".
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
7 You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4 is a psalm of comfort, and at the same time a psalm of prayer and instruction that teaches us to trust in God when things go wrong. It rebukes the ungodly, who concern themselves over vain gods and fleshly comfort, yet will not hear to wait confidently for God, who is the highest comfort. God surprises us by how He deals with His saints. At first, He abandons them and tries their faith and patience. On the other hand are the ungodly who want to have a full and secure belly. If anyone talks to them about faith and patience, they mock and despise Him and say, "Can this fool tell us what is good? Yes, you be patient until a roast chicken flies into your mouth. Trust in that and you will starve!"
This Psalm belongs to the First Commandment. It teaches and urges us to hope in God and endure hardship and every need with patience, and it rebukes the faithless and impatient. Psalm 4 is included in the Third and Seventh Petitions, in which we pray that God's will be done and that we be delivered from evil. It can also be in the Fourth Petition, when we ask for our daily bread, that is, for peace and all the necessities of life in the face of every earthly need.
O God, our merciful Father in heaven, fill our hearts with patience under the cross, strengthen our faith, and so govern us that we give offense to none, neither in word nor deed. Grant us also this day all that we need for body and soul. Amen.