“And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption. All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” Ephesians 4:30-32 HCSB
Emotion is a powerful thing. It can be difficult to manage, especially anger. Not long ago I was struggling to understand anger. I stumbled upon a sermon by pastor Blaine Smith, and read this:
Anger is not a sinful emotion but a human one. Dangerous? Yes, in the same way that energy itself is dangerous. But like any energy source, it can be channeled in a positive or harmful direction. Much of the key to dealing effectively with anger is learning to harness it and direct it in ways which glorify Christ and reflect His best intentions for our life.
Through my searching God taught me a powerful concept. I came across this quote on Facebook by John Parsons, a genius in Hebrew for Christians:
We live in fearful times... People are afraid of losing their jobs, of losing their health, of losing their freedoms, and so on. But we must be careful here. The fear of 'losing control' can move us to anger, yet the sages liken anger to idolatry since it denies the providence of God in our lives. Anger over the apparent chaos of life implies that we don't really believe that God is in control - that He speaks 'from the midst of the whirlwind' - and therefore we feel aggrieved and even embittered by what might happen to us. We must look to God as the Master of the Storms of Life and draw closer to Him in trust.
I realized that anger is very often due to simply not trusting Him. God has given me many opportunities to test this concept. How many times did my unhealthy emotions correlate with my lack of trust in Him? Almost always.
First, we must ask ourselves if we are merely failing to trust Him. More often than not simply humbling ourselves will allow us to surrender our unhealthy emotions. However, if the emotion (fear, anger, etc...) is caused by something other than lack of trust, we can then process it according to the truths we see in scripture.
I love this song by Kari Jobe, it is perfect for surrendering.
Steady My Heart
Wish it could be easy
Why is life so messy
Why is pain a part of us
There are days I feel like
Nothing ever goes right
Sometimes it just hurts so much
But You're here
I know I can trust You
Even when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
I'm not gonna worry
I know that You got me
Right inside the palm of your hand
Each and every moment
What's good and what gets broken
Happens just the way that You plan
And I will run to You
And find refuge in Your arms
And I will sing to You
Cause of everything You are
You steady my heart