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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Do You Ever Get Angry?

Have you ever been angry? Like "in your anger... oh ya baby you are sinning?" It is the type of anger that is both not cool or Biblical. Anger can be a really tough thing. Righteous anger is soooooo much better. Here is the deal with righteous anger: 1) you know you are right 2) you have Biblical scripture to stand on and 3) you handle said anger in a God honoring way. Many times righteous anger pops up when you see an injustice done to someone or something else or to the Lord. Certainly there are times that righteous anger comes about when it is personal... but that is where it can get a bit tricky.

Being hurt can cloud our thought process. We can know and believe that God never leaves us or forsakes us, but that waiting for a clear direction can give us all sorts of time to have eight conversations with ourselves eight different ways, and not one of them will give us the peace we seek.

Peace is NOT overrated. Christ said, "My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives peace." ..."Oh Lord, I understand that, but if you want to lead me by still waters... in Hawaii that is okay!" Our hurt clouds that righteous anger and many storms of pain and confusion rise up. Anger of an unholy sort pops up.  Here is the deal with UNholy anger 1) you know you are right with a BUT (i.e. I may have spoke truth harshly but they were so mean) 2) you may be right BUT you can't stand on scripture because your heart is filled with rage and 3) you handle that anger in a Not God honoring way.

Pre-king David was right at the edge of anger. Would it be righteous anger or just your run of the mill ugliness? He was overwhelmed! King Saul was hunting him down for being more popular than he was. So where does he run? To Gath... the hometown of Goliath. The good news it that King Saul would never look for him there. The bad news is everyone else in the town was looking for him for killing their town hero. David was found out and in order to escape he acted like he was mentally ill. He spit on himself and had a disturbed look with actions to match. They thought he was mad and let him go.

I wonder if David, in a quiet moment, thought about how he went from the greatest man of faith to the guy who drooled on himself in public? How did he get there? Listen to what David wrote at a time of feeling greatly overwhelmed:

Psalm 56
 1 Be merciful to me, my God,
   for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
   all day long they press their attack.
2 My adversaries pursue me all day long;
   in their pride many are attacking me.
 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
 4 In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
   What can mere mortals do to me?
 5 All day long they twist my words;
   all their schemes are for my ruin.
6 They conspire, they lurk,
   they watch my steps,
   hoping to take my life.
7 Because of their wickedness do not let them escape;
   in your anger, God, bring the nations down.
 8 Record my misery;
   list my tears on your scroll—
   are they not in your record?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
   when I call for help.
   By this I will know that God is for me.
 10 In God, whose word I praise,
   in the LORD, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
   What can man do to me?
 12 I am under vows to you, my God;
   I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
   and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
   in the light of life.

I am sure mixed in that misery was anger. Feeling alone and overwhelmed  David went to God; which is the first place anyone should go. One of my favorite verses in this Psalm is verse 8
 "8 Record my misery;
   list my tears on your scroll—
   are they not in your record?"
When I read it I feel like David is begging God  to notice his pain! Notice me God... write it down... is it in your record?!!!

There are no emails from God, or clear signs until God sees fit to show them. But make no mistake God sees your pain. He sees our faithfulness, our pain, our needs. Hurt, and sadness are a part of life. Anger is a byproduct of holding that pain. Dear one, you... and I are not meant to hold that pain.

David's problems were not over by the end of the Psalm. He was still running for his life. Later we know he became king and guess what... he still struggled at times. Yet David writes toward the end this psalm:
"11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
   What can man do to me?"

David lived boldly.  Not always because he wanted to, but because the option of not living in faith was to relent and declare this is too big for God. It was a choice to either give into the forces surrounding him or hold to the faith within him. We are at war my friends. Hard times come. Don't let anger roll over you and create chaos.

What do you need to give to God? He is recording your tears... he hears you. He will answer.