“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
Romans 12:21 NLT
Ever been so angry you could spit nails? Or better yet has anger fueled inside of you that felt like fiery volcanic activity? What circumstances or situations trigger this type of anger within you?
Anger is a normal feeling or emotion. Even Jesus displayed anger during His short ministry. When He saw that people turned the house of God into a shopping mall He “knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.” (Matthew 21:12 NLT) In verse 13 He displayed more of His anger by accusing the traders of turning the temple into a “den of thieves.” Clearly the people in His time were doing something wrong and Jesus took action to right that wrong. Clearly too, His anger was quite justifiable.
But what happens we we see or we experience wrongs being done and we feel helpless to be able to right it but acting out in anger, no matter how justifiable we think that anger is, would only make matters worse. What do we do then?
There are many ways I have handled my anger over circumstances I cannot control. Some ways were more positive or godly than others. Some were downright dishonoring to God. I’ve struggled with unforgiveness and allowed roots of bitterness to nearly suffocate my heart. I’ve definitely allowed the enemy to bring a total eclipse over God’s light within me covering me in darkness and blackening my heart.
The concept of a blackened heart reminds me of the show Once Upon a Time. I’m a huge fan of this series. If you’re not familiar with the storyline basically this show entwines fairy tale characters from the Enchanted Forest into other characters portrayed in a “real life” small town setting. The first season of this show started out with Snow White’s step-mother, the evil queen, casting a curse on the entire forest and banishing everyone to this new realm with no memory of their fairytale lives. In fact, they were all given new identities with only the evil queen knowing who they really were and continuing to be the “puppet master.” No matter what storyline unfolds, each episode teaches a lesson about goodness and love always conquering evil and hate but never without a battle or a heartbreaking sacrifice.
In one particular episode, Snow White learns the truth of how her mother died and she’s immediately filled with such heart break that she starts to feel hatred toward her mother’s killer. This angry state weakens her faith in good overcoming evil and she commits an evil act. That evil act blackens her heart. For several episodes she battles with depression and despair but the love of her husband, family and friends lift her out of that pit and restores her faith in light being victorious over darkness.
When I am angriest, I pour out screaming prayers to God spewing disappointment and even questioning His love for me. I think unforgiving and hateful thoughts and many times I hold a grudge for far too long. Tonight was a night of tears and angry praying. There are circumstances occurring in my life that I don’t know how to change and I’ve reached a point where, just like Snow White, I’m lacking faith. It seems evil doers are getting away with spiteful acts and that’s not ok in my book. I know God is in control and that’s frustrating me even more because I don’t see Him intervening. Tonight I felt Him reminding me that David praised God and would continuously remind himself of all God had done for him but I refused. I was so angry and disappointed that I refused to praise God. In my anger I sinned because I responded to hate by blinding myself from all of God’s goodness. And God is good-all of the time. No matter the circumstances God is good.
In researching my Bible app to find the verse about the den of thieves, God led me to some verses on anger. Here are a couple that stood out to me immediately and broke up the hard black stone that formed around my heart:
- “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”
Proverbs 29:11 NLT
- “Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”
James 1:20 NLT
- “Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.”
Psalms 37:8 NLT
- “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.”
Proverbs 19:11 NLT
These stood out to me because they didn’t speak to the requests I made or to my lack of faith-they spoke directly to my heart. Isn’t that just like God to allow us to throw tantrums yet also provide correction at the same time. It’s as if I was pointing my finger at these circumstances and asking God where He’s at in all of this and God was pointing His finger at me saying “Get your anger in check girl!” To be honest, these verses humbled me faster than any verse I’ve ever read about peace and forgiveness. These verses also motivated me to give thanks to God for His correction and to write this post because during my angry monologue in fits of sobbing, I confessed that I was too angry and too disappointed to even write for Him. Good thing God is omnipotent and knew I would end up writing this post less than an hour after saying that.
Whatever you’re dealing with-pour out your anger to God, confess every feeling you’re experiencing to Him and if you happen to sin in your angry-allow God’s correction to humble your heart. No matter what keep, believing in His goodness, His deliverance, His provision and His perfect timing! He promisss in Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”