Anger is a complicated emotion. I didn’t get a degree in psychology but I have been a human for 39 years. In my experience…it’s complicated. Letting go of it is even more of a puzzle. I think that there is a very logical reason for this…anger is very logical. And because our anger towards a situation can be reasonable, at first glance, it seems irrational to let it go.
“What about justice?”
“They need to be taught a lesson.”
“They were wrong.”
“Somebody needs to know.”
These are just some of the thoughts that fuel the enmity we hold against our offenders. We shouldn’t deny these feelings and desires. Being made in the image of God, we want justice, as He does. What we must do is submit these situations to our Father in heaven, who asks us to leave judgment to Him. If we deny our hurts or need for justice we are doing something futile, like trying to hold a beach ball under the water. It can’t be done without exerting constant energy which wears us down in body and spirit. I think the only true hope for dealing with our anger is to acknowledge the wrong and then take God at His marvelous word.
He will repay. He will teach. He will correct. He knows. He can do it well. And He loves us exquisitely in the meantime.
“You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies.” Psalm 23 (emphasis added)
The flower of new understanding has been slowly blooming in my mind. Doesn’t it so often happen that way? And yet it makes so much sense. Every new piece of truth we gain is by the grace of our dear Jesus through the work of His Holy Spirit. When the knowledge of a new truth begins to dawn upon the horizon of our minds, it comes like the rays of the sun. Even if we want to close our minds to it–the knowledge of it is ultimately irresistable. Indeed, the daylight seen through eyes shut tightly is lighter than the darkness of night.
For most of my life I have lived taking great care of my soul. I was taught to do so. Evaluate all things. Avoid evil. Choose the right thing. Search the Scriptures. Obey God’s commands. All these things are true and none of them should be ignored. But as I have grown in my knowledge of the Word, I am realizing that Christ has already taken very good care of my soul. Because He has paid the debt of my sin, my soul is safe in His hands. So you see, a subtle but ever-important shift is taking place in my mind. As I relax in that knowledge, I feel joy welling up and sense a new freedom to focus on acts of service and mercy. After all, I am coming from place of spiritual plenty–I am safe. Now what about others?
Can a lack of assurance about our position in Christ drain us of the energy and joy we need to fuel service to others? Can introspection become a subtle form of self-centeredness? To my mind, one of the best things we can do for ourselves and others is to get a handle on the reality of our salvation. From a firm conviction of our sonship through Christ, we have the freedom to forget about ourselves and focus on the needs of others around us. We will have energy and joy to spend on others After all, what good news do we have to share, if we aren’t sure of it ourselves? My suggestion: pray for the grace of faith and joy. Surely that is a prayer in line with the will of the Father! Pray that you will be “rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of His love], and to know [His] love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3. This “fullness of God” is what will leak out of a soul that comprehends what has been done for it. This knowledge was also the source of Christ’s service to us. One of my favorite verses reveals this: “3Jesus, knowing the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet…” John 13. Through His power, I hope to increase in my ability to be other-centered–now that I know my own soul is in very safe-keeping!
What a joy to be a child of God! What satisfaction is found when, after being reconciled to the Father through Christ, we come under His Kingship. The greatest Mind becomes our tender Father. We rest in the turmoil of this life because He is wise enough to give us what is best. We clap our hands because we know the best is yet to come.
4He will choose our inheritance for us,
The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah Psalm 47
“Now see that I , even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39
Did you know nothing will ever happen to us accidentally? Nothing…not pandemics, a sideways tornado (see today’s news), cancer, earthquakes, or political administrations, can take anything away from what God has for me. In fact, He uses all those things for promoting HIS plan for us and the world. As Jesus Christ Himself said, “In the world you shall have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”! (John 16:33)