Release Your Anger Through Forgiveness
In the last blog and the last several blogs, we looked at this question, and we will continue to do so here as well.
What emotion or emotions am I feeling when the temptation to look at pornography comes at me? REMINDER - remember, BLAST!
Today let’s look at the issue of feeling ANGRY or STRESSED.
In Ephesians 4, it tells us to be angry but don't sin. This means it is possible to be angry without sinning. However, the problem is when I allow my anger to lead to sin. How does that happen? Ephesians 4 tells me this happens when I allow the sun to go down on my anger.
If we are honest with ourselves, I think we would admit that many of us have had the sun go down on our anger. When this happens, we are in trouble. Ephesians 4 tells us that this gives the devil a foothold. If the devil gets a foothold, what could that lead to?
Well, Ephesians 4 tells us it could lead to this:
Unwholesome talk coming out of our mouth
Causing the Holy Spirit to be grieved
Anger becomes worse and leads to bitterness, rage, slander and malice
Again, if we are honest I think we would all admit that the above has happened in our own life. If we are bowing down to something other than Jesus, and anger is at the root, then we must release that anger! How do we do this?
Ephesians 4:32 tells us to forgive just as God in Christ has forgiven us.
How has Christ forgiven us?
Psalm 103:12-He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west
Isaiah 38:17-God places our sin behind His back
Isaiah 43:25-God erases our sin and chooses not to recall it to his memory
Micah 7:18-19-God puts our sin under His foot and buries it in the depth of the sea
Romans 8:1-The one who knows Christ is not condemned
Romans 8:38-39-No one can separate us from God's love if we are in Christ
Ephesians 1:3-8-God chose us, adopted us, forgave us, redeemed us and lavished us in grace
Colossians 1:13-14-God rescued us, redeemed us and forgave us
Hebrews 10:14-God sees me as perfect because He sees Jesus in me
I could go on and on. That is some pretty intense forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is available for all but only experienced by those who freely believe in Jesus, receive Him into their life, and give Him control of their life. How is God able to forgive like this? He does it because of what His Son, Jesus Christ, did through His death, burial and resurrection.
Questions to consider: Do I believe God has forgiven me like this? Am I experiencing this type of forgiveness currently in my life? If I believe this, and I am experiencing this, then can I give that forgiveness away to the one who has wronged me?
When I bow down to idolatry to escape my anger, then I am just allowing the devil to get a stronger hold on my life. When I recognize how forgiven I am, then I can be empowered by Him to forgive others. When I do this, I am compelled to bow down to only Jesus, not idolatry!
As you examine your heart, would you be willing to release your anger by forgiving the one who has wronged you? Remember: Don't will yourself to do it. Long before you try to forgive, spend tons of time reflecting on and meditating on the forgiveness God has given you.
I gave you some great verses on forgiveness. Let me give you some great songs as well:
Forgiven by Sanctus Real
You Love Me Anyway by Sidewalk Prophets
Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave
Jesus is worthy of our worship because He created us. He is worthy of our worship because He died and rose again. He alone is worthy of our worship. We must bow down to nothing else.
If anger is leading me to idolatry, then may Christ's forgiveness lead me to forgive others, and may this act of forgiveness be an act of worship to the King of Kings! He alone is worthy!
Not everyone agrees with my take on this, but try to follow me and hear me out.
I think most of the stress we feel in life can go back to needing to be in control. Think about the last time you were stressed out. Were you stressed out because there was something going on that was out of your control? If I were going to answer that question, then I would need to say "yes". If you are honest, then I bet you would say "yes" as well.
So then as we look deeper we find that stress is not really a stress problem. Stress is a control problem. We all want to be in control, at least I know that I do. The reality is that we do not control anything. Think about it. Job 38 & 39 makes very clear who is in control. You and I were not there when the foundation of the world was laid. We don't command the ocean to stop. We don't tell the mountain goat when to give birth. We don't give the horse its strength. God is in absolute control of the universe He created, not us.
Please follow my logic. Often times we bow down to idolatry because we are stressed, but we have learned that stress is not really a stress problem. Stress is really a problem that at the root is wanting to be in control. However, we can't be in control because we are not God. He is in control of everything, and we control nothing.
What do I do with this need to be in control? What do I do with my stress? I lay it at the feet of Jesus. I don't trust in my own self. I trust in the Lord. Proverbs 3 tells us to trust in the Lord with all of our heart. It tells us to not lean on our own understanding. It tells us if we acknowledge God and lean on him, then He will direct our paths.
I am not in control. If I think I am in control, then I am really just living under an illusion. If I will place my faith and trust in the one who is in control, God Almighty, then He directs my paths, and that causes my stress load to decrease. In turn, I am not bowing down to idolatry because of my stress. Instead, I am taking my stressed out self to the only one who can help me.
Let's be honest. It is not as easy as just laying our control down at Jesus' feet. Let's see if we can dig even deeper on this control thing. Follow me. At the root of stress is the need to be in control. At the root of needing to be in control is fear. Ouch! I know that one hurts because I can be a stressed out control freak. Since that is the case, that means fear can play a huge part in my life. God wants me to trust Him in the midst of my fear. How do we do this?
I would say go back and reread the blog on “Letting God Meet Us In Our Loneliness and Fear”. It might be worth another read for you if you struggle with stress.
I won't restate here everything I said there, but I will give you the short version. How do I learn to trust God in the midst of my fear? I let Him love me with His perfect love. When I experience God's perfect love, then my fear evaporates. Which means my need to be in control is not there, and my stress is gone.
Challenge: Don't let stress lead us to any form of idolatry. Let the stress we feel lead us to experience God's perfect love so we can trust Jesus and bow down to Him alone!