Where is Jesus in This Anger?

Anger. I would never have considered myself to be an angry person, (at least not until recently) there’s actually been tons of times that I just wished I could feel angry, wished that it would take less to get to me upset and mad, I’ve wished that I could be less of a pushover. But in the last weeks I’ve had a very strong, disastrous, wrecking storm of anger, frustration and resentment and I don’t desire those things anymore. I don’t want it. Anger destroys me and my softness, destroys my sensitive heart and I don’t want to wish for it ever again. I’ve let it control me and the way I’ve responded to people and situations, it’s controlling my attitude. And quite honestly, I didn’t want to write this. I’ve avoided the one thing (writing) that I believe God has given me to process, to control, and to sound board my onslaught of emotions that comes with 1) being a female and 2) being an emotional, feeling being. I avoided scripture because I knew it would rebuke me. I avoided telling anyone close to me about these feelings because I knew they would hold me accountable. I avoided prayer because I knew it would bring me to my knees. I consciously lived in anger, I’m still consciously living in anger some days.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. {James 1:19-20}

Jesus has called us against anger. I’m usually very quick to notice sin patterns in my life which helps me to stop said sin before it is consuming. But this is new and this is different and I didn’t notice it so quickly. I’m not really sure what to do with a bunch of pent up anger that I’ve let into my heart, I’m not sure how to stop this it in its already deeply rooted tracks. And honestly I couldn’t stop it and can’t stop it. Here’s where I’ve had to find Jesus. This is humbling me, because I’m so used to the same sins wrecking my heart that I’ve come to a point that I thought I could handle my own sin problem on my own. News flash. I can’t. I was giving the enemy a foothold on my life by believing so. My sin condition isn’t something that the flesh has ever been able to fix.

There’s a lot of built up anger in my heart and I get to choose what I do with it. I can choose to take it out on those closest to me, those I love, to be hurtful with my words and actions, I can choose to give it to my situation and my ministry, and my friendships and family, or I can just give it over to Jesus. He can take our anger. He can handle it. That’s beautiful and heartbreaking, the only one who can take our anger completely is the one who had no anger towards us, He died staring back at people who were full of anger and hatred. Yet He loved them. Let me say that again. YET He LOVED them. Gosh we don’t deserve it but He loves us. So dearly that He took the Father’s wrath and anger for us. He died a death that only we deserved, endured a wrath that only we should’ve endured.

Because of this, anger cannot be our response. Anything but righteous anger leads to hurt and can lead to resentment. Anger is destructive and unhelpful. Anger tears to shreds sensitive hearts and builds upon the anger of those who already struggle with it. We can’t be allowing ourselves to tear others down in our pursuit to have control over a situation. Whether our response to that need to control is of anger, or of depression, or of fear, or of complacency or of anything else that you deal with. Stop demanding control, dear one. Stop using your flesh response where a Christ-like response is called for.

I think the first thing we need to do when confronted with anger is to figure out where the anger stems from, is it from your current situation or has it been brewing in your heart for longer? Then we need to figure out to what or who the anger is directed. Because anger and I aren’t so well acquainted, I’ve let it go for way too long and I’ve not just been angry with people in my life but with Jesus and that’s a bigger deal to me. Even though He can take on our anger easily and gracefully, it hurts me that I hurt my sweet Jesus with that destructive feeling and response. But I think Jesus is the only one who can sufficiently help us deal with it and put it away.  Get away from the noise  and the chaos and the things that are causing you frustration and anger if you can, even just for a moment, rest in Him, breathe in His truth, His gentleness, His peace, His goodness until you own it. He’ll care for you gently and lovingly and yes, He’ll rebuke you, but He’ll do so with His unending, unfailing grace.

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. {Isaiah 40:11}

Run to Jesus, friends. In my almost 20 years of living, it’s the only remedy I’ve found to anger, to fear, to anxiety, to burn out, to sadness, to anything. He is our one remedy. Our one peace. Our one good thing. Use the offer of His goodness and grace. Often and much that you may make much of Jesus and much of His holiness. And in turn be changed, be made holy, let Him make you more like Him, let Him take away the unholy, unrighteous, “ungood” parts. Ask Him to help you rid yourself of your anger, and your tendencies to turn to it or any other emotion. And give everything you are to Him, not worrying about cleaning up to enter His presence. He promises to take us as we are, in sin, in shame, in filth, and to call us child.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. {Galatians 5:25}

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