When Anger Strikes

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Anger struck. I wasn’t just mad. I was really mad. Really, really mad. Downright angry. So angry, in fact, I did a great job of pulling out all the nasty weeds in the blistering heat as sweat poured down my face and soaked the front of my shirt. The person had done it again. Not for the first. Maybe not for the last. I should have known better. I am the one who opened the door – again. I should have known it was coming. Not just the person’s selfish actions. But my anger. But there I was all over again, right back in the same place I had tried so hard to leave behind. But this time around, I did know better – in the most important way, in fact. When anger struck, I knew what to do.

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I went to the Lord. I refused to react. I chose not to respond. The devil, roaring like a lion seeking to devour me, wanted a foothold. Even a toehold would have sufficed. And all he had to do was get me to react. All he had to do was get me to pick up the phone, or sit down at the computer, and lash out at the person with whom I was angry. But at last I understand my battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). The devil is behind the person’s actions. And if I realized if I submit to God and resist the devil, and draw near to God so He draws near to me (James 4:7-8), I can walk away with a victory in the Lord instead of a defeat just like the devil so desperately desires.

The answer, when I submit to God, is simple. No, it is not easy. It is never easy when the flesh is screaming “take action, revenge!” to say NO to the flesh and to say YES to God. But that is exactly what I am called to do as a follower of Christ. My job? Simple. Love. Forgive. But how? Through Christ. In the strength of the Lord. And, when it is time for me to contact the person, instead of exacting revenge and creating hurt in response to the hurt done to me, I can show the person the love of Jesus Christ.

Then what about my heart? What about my hurt? The God of all comfort is the answer. I can take my bruised heart to the Lord for healing. And I can rest assured that by choosing His ways in response to someone else’s wrongdoing I can enjoy the peace of walking with the Lord the way He has called me. In love.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8 KJV

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27 KJV

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:25-26 KJV

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