Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 17, 2015

“Is it right for you to be angry?”

When God Insists

Bible 006

Jonah had been having a really tough time of it since God had decided to start moving in the lives of the Ninevites. For reasons unknown to Jonah, God had decided to use him as His messenger to that savage people; Jonah didn’t want to have any part of that plan but God insisted so Jonah went to Nineveh and you know the rest of the story.

Jonah was angry at the way things turned out and God posed the question, “Is it right for you to be angry?” I bring up this question now because I have found some anger in myself at the way things are going in the United States. I am angry with the government for getting us into this financial mess we’re in; I’m angry at the moral decline in this nation which seems to permeate it throughout. I’m angry with the way the things of God are being denied and demeaned and the name of Christ being denounced.

From what I read and hear I have a lot of company; there seem to be many who share my feelings of anger. Then the question comes to mind; do I have a right to be angry at these developments? I am devoted to the principle that the Bible is the word of God and can be trusted as a source of spiritual guidance; since that is the case then what does the Bible tell me about my attitude of anger; is it right for me to be angry?

God is in Complete Control of All Things!

I think often of Ephesians 1:11 where it is written, “11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,” The scope of that verse is overpowering if one meditates on it to any extent at all. God is working everything in conformity with the purpose of his own will? Everything doesn’t leave anything out as far as I can understand the meaning of the word.

That verse alone tells me all that is happening today in the United States is in conformity with the will of God. There are other verses which support that thought regarding governments and leaders; in Romans 13:1 it is written:

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

and then in Daniel 4:17:

17 “‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’

Those verses tell us the truth, the reality of what is happening today in the world; God is in complete control and is working all things after the counsel of His own will.

None of This is Catching God by Surprise

It is impossible for us to imagine knowing the future as well as we know the past but this is exactly what God knows; He knows the future with infinite perfection and nothing comes as a surprise to Him. Everything that is happening in the world today has been known to God from eternity past and is a perfect reflection of His sovereign will.

Since God is working all things after the counsel of His own will; what right then do we have to be angry with what is happening? The answer to that question is we have no right at all to be angry; God is in control of all of these things and what happens represents what God has decided should happen.

The Bible tells us of two episodes with Nineveh, the first time, when Jonah prophesied, Nineveh repented and was spared; but that repentance didn’t last and about one hundred years later Nineveh was totally destroyed. Today, as I look about our nation, I see no evidence of national repentance; no evidence of a turning from the wickedness that permeates our society.

My anger is a reflection of my concern for the deterioration of the country of my birth; I am saddened and angered by what I see happening to it. If this is God’s will then is not my anger inappropriate and misplaced? Should I not recognize God’s hand of judgment and acknowledge His right to judge a wicked and rebellious people? In Galatians 6:7-8 it is written:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Nationally we are sowing to please our flesh; we can know that destruction will surely follow. As I’ve mentioned before, the United States is conspicuously absent from Bible prophecy of the End Times; I believe we continue to see the reason for that playing out before our eyes.

The Object of Our Attention

The Bible never tells us to rejoice in circumstances but it does tell us to rejoice in the Lord. I love Philippians 4:4-9 where it is written:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

While that should be our attitude, we also have a message of hope to the world which is summarized in Romans 10:9-10:

“9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”


Responses

  1. I believe that we can express our anger at our people hoping that we, as a people, will repent and turn God’s anger away. But we should not be angry at God. It is our duty to try to help each other to turn to God.

    Like

    • Donna,
      Thank you for your thoughts on the essay. I believe the message of the church to the world is a message of hope, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. While there is much to arouse anger there is only one solution and that is Jesus Christ; the church needs to focus their response to the world on the one issue that can really make a difference.
      David

      Like

  2. Very well said, David! I find myself angry and sad at the way our country is being destroyed by people of greed and lovers of themselves. No respect for our Lord and His word! Making a mockery out of anything that represents His Holiness! There will come a day when “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord”! Thankful that we as Christians can have peace in knowing that God is in control and all things will work out according to his plan. AMEN

    Like

    • Sheila,
      I so look forward to the time when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I sometimes amuse myself thinking of that time and imagining all creatures including birds and animals, large and small, joining in on that chorus of praise; to me that is a happy and fun scene to imagine. After all if God could make Balaam’s donkey speak is anything too hard for God? “Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” Numbers 22:28
      In anticipation of a wondrous time,
      David

      Like

  3. David: I have increasingly become less trustful of our “Civil” authority. SO,
    I have considered what scripture actually says about obeying the “established Authority”. I can’t find in the appropriate texts the word “CIVIL or Government”. This leads me to think that since these texts are written to the Church, the scripture suggest that the “authority” are the ELDERS and leaders in the local assembly.
    Your thoughts.

    Like

    • Don,
      I’ll agree it is becoming harder to trust our government; their actions have not inspired trust. If you are referring to Romans 13:1-7 I believe that is a reference to civil authority; there are several references in those verses which indicate civil authority to me. My other reference, Daniel 4:17 is also a reference to civil authority in my opinion. I believe the context and the language imply civil authority, not church authority.
      David

      Like

  4. David you are wise indeed. Great lesson. I struggle with righteous anger all the time. Thank you for helping me keep this in perspective. While it is very hard sitting back and watching all the evil around us and the destriction of our beloved country we know God is not surprised and is always in control.

    thank you,

    Like

    • Marie,
      While I truly look forward to the return of our Lord I find it painful to watch the events which must precede His return. It is most assuredly a time to walk by faith and not by sight.
      David

      Like


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