Do you know any angry Christians?
Maybe you live with one. There may be one in your family. There is definitely at least one at your church. It may even be you.
You see their face just reading this. We all know these people
- Scowls on their face and bitterness in their hearts
- Dejected postures and proverbial glasses half-empty
- Victims of circumstance but holders of grudges
- They have been wronged, slighted, mistreated, abused and are unable to let go; unable to forgive.
- Bad things have happened to them and they have allowed it to define their lives.
God does not want anger to live in your life. God does not want jealousy, hatred, bitterness or unforgiveness to live in your life. Each of these things dams up the Spirit of God from flowing in your life and makes you a terrible witness of the saving power of Jesus Christ. God doesn’t need any post-salvation Emo kids; He came to give us life and life more abundantly.
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
Jesus came to bring everlasting joy to the lives of those who follow Him.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It is supernaturally produced in the lives of people who obey the voice of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is… joy …” (Galatians 5:22)
Joy is the steroid of the Spirit that cause you to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
“…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
Joy is the constant reminder of the continuous presence of the Holy Ghost in the life of the believer.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
Happiness is not a product of a relationship with Jesus. There are many unsaved people who are happy. Happiness is a product of favorable surroundings and pleasant temporal events. A life void of joy can be occasionally happy. Without the joy that comes from Christ we are always striving to prolong the happiness of the present or recapture the happiness of the past. When we live outside of the everlasting joy of the Spirit we cannot find fulfillment. Unfulfilled lives come from the absence of true joy. The continued absence of joy in our lives has the power to produce brokenness of spirit. Brokenness of spirit can lead to problems with our health and in extreme cases premature death.
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)
Fleshly or carnal anger that is not repented of opens a door of opportunity for the devil to steal your joy. If a door in your life is left open for the enemy of your soul he will come in and bring all of his devices.
“When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Genesis 4:3-7)
Instead of casting your cares on Christ many times Christians let thoughts of anger, vengeance and retribution stir within them; allowing the devil to erect a stronghold in their souls.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,”says the Lord. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” (Romans 12:17-21)
Grudge holding and the harboring of bitterness causes our prayers not to be heard.
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:25-26)
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Psalm 66:18)
The bitterness, strife and envy that comes from anger will cause your relationship with God to dry up. The Bible teaches that continued sin and negative emotions open the door for physical disease in our lives.
“…but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
“A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30)
“For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.” (Psalm 31:10)
“There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger: neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.” (Psalm 38:3-5)
“Afterward you will groan when disease consumes your body.” (Proverbs 5:11)
We are warned by Paul not to give place to the devil. The Greek word for Place in Ephesians 5:27 is “topos” (τόπος) and is translated, “a position of opportunity or legal point of entry”. We can eliminate the devil’s “topos” in our lives by constantly renewing our minds with the Word of God.
“Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” (Ephesians 4:22-23)
Anger can only be defeated by the love of God.
“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
As the sun goes down each evening and you prepare to sleep is your anger still awake? Do not let the trials of this life disrupt your connection with heaven. Shake off the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise. Refuse to allow anything that does not come from heaven to take root in your life. What you allow on the earth God allows in heaven and what you refuse here on the earth, God will not allow in heaven.
Joy comes from Jesus – it is a supernatural quality of life. Anger comes from us.
Be angry, but do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.
Bottom line, hold on to what comes from Jesus and learn to quickly let go of what the world throws at you.