Why are you angry?

Rock Climbing story:  It’s easier to climb if you aren't scared of falling.  Knowing there’s something there to catch you if you fall, encourages you to climb higher.  This is Grace.

Funeral:  We had a funeral for Polly Holt last Thursday.  Charlie made it clear that instead of mourning her loss, we should be celebrating her life.  Her son spoke about praying for her and having full confidence that everything was gonna work out.  Then when he got the call that she had passed, he was very angry with God for not saving her life.  He yelled at God for about 2 solid hours.  God is big enough to take our outbursts of anger, our emotional displays of misunderstanding.  What parent wouldn’t?  I think, sometimes, we forget that God loves us more than any parent could.  If any parent would be understanding or forgiving for outbursts, God would be even more so.  Never think your goodness outweighs God’s.  Just because we don’t understand a few of His decisions, doesn’t mean we can make better ones...

  His story reminded me of King David when he was anointed King over all Israel, defeated the philistines, reclaimed the Ark of the Covenant, and was bringing it to Jerusalem, to the City of David.  Everything was going great until it wasn’t… something happened and it made David angry at God and also scared of Him.

2 Samuel 6

1      Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.

2      And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to aBaale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the LORD of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim.

3      They placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart.

4      So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark.

5      Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals.

6      But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it.

7      And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.

8      David became angry because of the LORD’S outburst against Uzzah, and that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day.

9      So David was afraid of the LORD that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?”

10 And David was unwilling to move •the ark of the Lord into the city of David with him; but David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.

Notice that David, even though he got angry at God, was still considered a man after God’s own heart.  God never changed his mind about David and David didn’t stay mad at God.  He had come to an understanding, God is good and his ways are good, even when we don’t understand, his mercies are new every morning.  3 months later, David decided to move the ark again.  He decided the value of the covenant was worth more than anything it may cost him.  He had also done some homework on the proper way to move the ark…

Jonah was another man of God that got angry with God:

Jonah 3 & 4

          9      “Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”

          10      When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

    1      But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry.

    2      He prayed to the LORD and said, “Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.

    3      “Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.”

    4      The LORD said, “Do you have good reason to be angry?”

    5      Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city.

    6      So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.

    7      But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered.

    8      When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, “Death is better to me than life.”

    9      Then God said to Jonah, “Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.”

    10      Then the LORD said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight.

    11      “Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?”

Jonah completely ignored God’s question and walked away.  God didn’t strike him down, he simply gave an illustration to prove a point then asked him another question related to the first.  Jonah even defends his anger to God, but God explains to Jonah his compassion, and basically says the same thing Jesus said.  “Forgive them, they know not what they do”.

Another example of a person that God asked them a question about anger:

Genesis 4:

          3      So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground.

          4      Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;

          5      but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.

          6      Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?

          7      “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

When Cain found out what pleased God and what didn’t, instead of just lining himself up with what pleased God, he became angry at God and his brother and let it fester to the point of hatred and murder.  

This is why John says:

1 John 3:15 “Everyone who hates his brother is a murder, and you know that no murder has eternal life abiding in him.”

This is why it’s important to let anger go.  Exercise the power of forgiveness.  We have this power because we have eternal life abiding in us.  We have the spirit of God.

We may not be perfect but God ain't done with us yet.

Philippians 1:6 - For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Let’s be real with God.  Sometimes real is angry.  He can take it.  God is not offended by your anger, he just wants to help you let it go.  Help you get rid of the poison that’s killing you and your relationship with Him and those around you.

Why are you angry?  Do you have a reason to be angry?  Sin is not inside of you.  It’s on the outside of you, trying to get in.  Don’t let it in.  Let God’s love in and then hang a sign on our door that says “No Vacancy”.  “Occupied”.  “This space is filled”.  Jesus lives here, sin’s not welcome anymore.