Anger and Anxiety

Anger in itself is not bad. Our Lord got angry with the money changers in the temple. He was very concerned about His Father’s honor. Seldom, however, is our anger righteous. Usually it’s a result of someone crossing us or of things not being the way we want them to be. We all get angry. The key is to realize what to do with our anger. Jesus gives us some important teachings on this subject. You can read through the New Testament and find a lot of help. I would like to show you a few truths our Lord has taught me regarding anger. First of all, we all get angry, and usually our anger results in unrighteous talk or behavior.

Therefore, we need to learn to be slow to speak and to be slow to anger – James 1:19-20.

Secondly, we are responsible for the way we allow our anger to be displayed. To lash out (vent) or to clam up (internalize) are both wrong responses. Rather, we are to direct the energy of our anger toward solving the problem that caused the anger to arise. To do this we do not attack people but rather approach them in love with rebuke or correction if necessary, but always with a purpose of solving the problem or allowing the Lord to control the situation. It is important to do this immediately – Ephesians 4:26-27. Further, we are to allow God’s Spirit to direct us as we put off wrath/anger and put on kindness/forgiveness – Ephesians 4:30-32. Remember that God is in control of all, and you are to give Him thanks in everything – 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Once you stop being frustrated because you feel you must control others or your environment and rest your soul that God is in control of all, it’s much easier to accept the wrongs that others do to you or the circumstances that “appear” to you as being adverse.

Furthermore, remember that love is what our walk with God is all about. Love is patient (suffers long, i.e., when provoked is not quick to retaliate).

Jesus showed this aspect of love so well, as he took the abuse of His creation and died on the cross for us when we were in the very act of sinning against Him. Wow! If we keep Him and His example in our thoughts, our words and behavior will change! Finally, read and consider Galatians 5:16-26. This passage is very instructive. Also, consider Ephesians 6:10-12. It helps to know who the real enemy of your soul is. ow, as to the subject of anxiety. I believe that we all have a tendency to carry more of life’s burden than we were built to bear. That is why our Lord wrote to us Philippians 4:6-7 and 1 Peter 5:6-7. Verse 6 in 1 Peter 5 is the key to our problem.

We fail to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. All comes from Him for our good and the advancement of His kingdom. John Michael Talbot wrote a song on this verse. In it he points out that our tendency to bear burdens is a subtle form of pride. We are saying that we must bear the burden because God is not able “Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5 We need to learn to be slow to speak and to be slow to anger. See James 1:19-20. Remember that love is what our walk with God is all about. Love is patient (suffers long, i.e. when provoked is not quick to retaliate). Jesus exampled this in His suffering and death. I N A to do so for us. Obviously, there are some burdens we are meant to bear and able to bear because it is our responsibility to do so. But on the other hand, there are some burdens that we were never meant to bear because they are simply not ours to bear. In such cases others must lend their aid, or we must be humble to cast them upon the One Who alone is able to bear them. See Galatians 6:2-5 and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 along with 1 Peter 5:6-7.

You will also note that the adversary is in the center of these trials to our faith. He desires to destroy us and those we love. But the promise is that our Lord will bear us through them and eventually perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us, and all will be done to His glory – 1 Peter 5:8-11. ow, our Lord taught us while on earth that we are not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble – Matthew 6:34. I believe there is much wisdom for us to apply from this one simple verse. We are often confused and distressed because we pile into one day more problems than we can handle in one day. As you awake in the morning, you need to follow the example of the Psalmist in Psalm 5:1-3, 7-8. In the midst of your trials it is God’s desire to draw you closer to Himself. “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” – James 4:7-8. I know the answer to “Why me?” It is because He loves you that He allows you to enter into His sufferings. Remember, there was a time in His life when all forsook Him, that is, all on earth – Matthew 26:56. His heavenly Father was always with Him, and so is your heavenly Father always with you! He cares for you . . . weeps with you . . . and longs for you to be full of His joy.

Such joy can not be a function of the circumstances of this life, “for men are born to troubles as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). Rather, that joy must come from above as a result of our relationship with God and His people. We have a high calling to be representatives of our great and mighty King. In the midst of the trials, we learn the reality of the Lord being our portion – Psalm 142. actually, the problems that you now face are equipping you to better serve those with similar problems. As our Lord directs you into the paths of His righteousness in the midst of such trials, then you will be able to help direct others. If we say we are not worthy to serve due to our failures, then none of us would be qualified to serve. The truth of the matter is that we all fail, and we all sin. The marvel of this truth is that there is always a way back into the favor of God and into a useful state. That way is always the way of GRACE as His redeeming love woos us to Himself and reminds us that we experience His blessings as a result of His labors and not ours.

He is not waiting for us to perform but to submit – Isaiah 30:15-26. He is always in the midst of His people, yet His people do not always have eyes to see! – Zephaniah 3:16-17

I hope these thoughts will be of help to you. A good reading through the book of Proverbs should also help you a great deal.

Remember that we are not told to obey our feelings but our Lord. Learn the difference, and you will be a free man in Christ – John 8:30-36.

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Anger and Anxiety

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