April 16, 2016
READ: Ephesians 4:17-31
For anger gives a foothold to the devil (v.27).
There’s a children’s song that goes, “Don’t you worry and don’t you fret, you know God has never failed you yet.” The same God who delivered the Israelites out of slavery can be trusted to go ahead of us—never failing or abandoning His children (Deuteronomy 31:6).
But what happens when the stuff of life begins to sap our joy and fear comes calling? We can begin to worry and fret; and sometimes as we weary of trials or suffering, we can even become angry. Sadly, anger only adds to our pain and turmoil. Speaking from personal experience, it has never led to freedom, healing, or peace. In fact, worry—fueled anger results in lost tempers, which then “only [lead] to harm” (Psalm 37:8).
Pastor Adrian Rogers once stated, “When you are quick to get angry, you can lose so much—your job, friends, children, wife, health, testimony—there is nothing more debilitating to your Christian testimony than for you to fly off the handle.”
Rogers offered the following advice for responding to anger when it begins building inside of you:
• Confess: Bring your anger and its root cause (including worry and lack of faith) to God and experience His forgiveness and healing.
• Consider: Determine why you’re filled with anger and seek God’s provision to be free of it (Ephesians 4:31).
• Control: “ ‘Don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (vv.26—27). Instead, the power and presence of the Holy Spirit within you will provide what’s needed to “renew your thoughts and attitudes” (v.23).
As we rest and trust in God, worries melt away, anger subsides, and our lives can reflect His “righteous and holy” ways (v.24).
365-day-plan: 1 Kings 10:1-13
Read James 1:19—20 and consider what it says about anger and how it can negatively affect our lives and testimony.
How have you experienced worry turning to anger? What’s at the core of your fears and worries? How can you deal with them so that you don’t become anxious and angry?