It’s sometimes said that once you are justified God can never be angry with you again. This is true if by “anger” you mean “condemnation.” But as any parent can testify, deep love for one’s children does not eradicate righteous anger for their disobedience. Our anger, actually, can be for their good. The same is true of God and his anger toward us as his justified, adopted children.

John Calvin writes:

For the other side we see that God, while not ceasing to love his children, is wondrously angry toward them; not because he is disposed of himself to hate them, but because he would frighten them by the feeling of his wrath in order to humble their fleshly pride, shake off their sluggishness, and arouse them to repentance. Therefore, at the same time they conceive him to be at once angry and merciful toward them, or toward their sins. For they unfeignedly pray that his wrath be averted, while with tranquil confidence they nevertheless flee to him for refuge. (Inst. 3.2.12)

Rather than thinking God hates us when we don’t measure up or imagining that we can never do anything to upset him now that we are his children, I suggest we start using the phrase “wondrously angry.” God is always for us. But he can be “wondrously angry” with us when we defy him. In fact, he’s for us so much he will discipline us for sin and flash his wrath that we might be moved to repentance.