“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,

   “return to me with all your heart,

with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

and rend your hearts and not your garments.”

Return to the Lord your God,

   for he is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;

   and he relents over disaster.

Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,

   and leave a blessing behind him,

a grain offering and a drink offering

   for the Lord your God?

Joel 2:12-14

We’ve all had moments when we became angry. A lot has been said about driving lately, but many things can push us towards this emotion. At work, we might experience something that isn’t justified, and we get angry. At home one of our children or our spouse might say something that, while true, hurts and causes anger. Or, perhaps a friend misses a get-together with us, and we’re angry. Perhaps this has happened between you and God. You wanted something to go one way, and it went a different way, and anger at God was the result.

While our anger may seem justified, what does it hide? This emotion can really put the blinders on us, and cause us to miss out on something God’s planned for us. While we’re in this emotional condition, we might not see, hear, or otherwise experience something good for us. More than likely, we’ve all had this experience. It’s as if our anger closed our senses off to life and we became focused on its cause.

Perhaps today, consider staying a little longer in an attitude of prayer, reflecting on the times you’ve been angry in the last few days, and confessing them to Jesus. Throughout your time of confession, recite the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” My hope for you is that this time will be uplifting and will give you freedom! Then, as you go through your day, and that feeling begins to come, focus on what we read in Philippians 4:8, and change your focus from anger to what’s given in the passage.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. — Philippians 4:8 (Emphasis mine)

By Rich Obrecht