Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fear and Anger

"Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying His commands....They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly." Psalm 112:1,7-8 NLT

I was having a meeting with a couple of people. One of them was describing his father's anger problem. As he was describing what it was like to be around his father, the other person said that his father had anger issues too. Then he said that anger is often related to fear issues. That got me thinking. Later that day while I was counseling a person dealing with anger and addictions, it was obvious that his anger was linked to the fear, grief, and loss issues that he and his family were dealing with. Or should I say, they were not dealing with.

You see, we experience situations that cause fear, loss, and grief. It's part of the human experience. When we acknowledge our feelings and work through them, we can receive healing and move on. But when we suppress or cover over those feelings, they can manifest as anger. When we respond in this way over a period of time, it becomes the normal way we handle life. The next thing you know--you have an anger control problem.

I struggle with this problem. I have tried to recover, move on, be a man, and get on with life. I don't really acknowledge fear, loss, and grief. I default to anger. My healing in this started as I acknowledged my problem. Actually, I believe the Lord revealed it to me. Then I began to understand how fear and other emotions have effected me. I turned those over to the Lord in prayer. I received the healing God's Spirit brings. I share my struggles with others, for support, encouragement, and wisdom. Then I change how I respond.

The Bible tells us to rid ourselves of anger. I'm not talking about righteous anger. I believe the Bible is speaking about self-centered, or out-of-control anger.

One of the ways to get victory over fear is through the word of God and trusting what it says. Then receive the love of God into your life.

"We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. We love each other because He loved us first." 1 John 4:16-19 NLT

How about you? Are you finding yourself struggling with anger? There's help. There's Jesus, our living hope.

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