Posts Tagged ‘anger’

Fear

Posted: March 31, 2016 in Uncategorized
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How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.  – John Newton, Olney Hymns

Peace, trust and love are the effect of Jesus not fear, anger and hate.

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“You are the salt of the earth…”

This statement from Jesus is intended to give us direction, to help us understand our role in this world since “that which is perfect has come”. Few will disagree with what was just said. However we do see dramatically conflicting interpretations of how this lives out.

These opposing views begin when we determined which of salt’s two primary functions we’re going to emulate or follow. Are we going to apply salt to enhance the flavor or to act as a preservative? Most of us are taught to be the preservative spending much of our lives fighting to maintain things we can’t even be sure of, unaware that what we are stubbornly trying to preserve is the very thing Jesus came to transform.

Here’s the opening quote with the dots filled in, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” And another, “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

It’s quite clear that flavor is the attribute Jesus is suggesting for our “Salt”. And I’m certain that the essence or seasoning we are to provide is love.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”

That which is perfect is love; that which is perfect is Jesus. We need not operate out of fear or tradition. Love never fails!

This is never God’s heart towards you. No matter what you have done He wants nothing more than to meet you with compassion, mercy and love. He knows that if you will allow Him He can take whatever you are in the middle of and turn it into something wonderful. Don’t isolate yourself out of guilt or shame, it is not for you to decide what your punishment should be and separation from the Lord is certainly not the answer. Run to Him, He has just what you need.

Another area that we have a lot of trouble trusting God with is that He’s at work in those around us too. Why are we so quick to anger over other’s shortcomings? Why are we intolerant of those that are different than we are? Why are other people’s sins so much easier to talk about? Do we think the best of everyone first? Do we try to understand what might be going on in someone’s life before making a judgment based on what we are seeing in a particular moment or even season? Does doing these things make us feel better about ourselves or maybe even deflect attention from what might need to change in us?

Genuine intimacy only happens when we are willing to be real with each other. This is especially true in our relationship with God. We have to come to him in our weakness and insecurity. Putting on an artificial “life is always grand” front only keeps the Lord and others at arms length. We needn’t be afraid to take everything to Him. Even when we are mad as hell He’s able to take it. It’s much better for us to take our anger and frustration to God than to take it out on those we love. If we’ll be real it will strengthen our relationship and help increase our ability to trust.

To whom much is forgiven, much is treasured.

God hates evil, really, really, hates evil. And as with all His attributes, He hates it all the time. We can’t minimize how intensely God feels about wickedness, when we do we diminish the cross. The depth of God’s love for us can only truly be celebrated when we realize what He has chosen to put aside on our behalf. Facing God with an honest awareness of our depravity, understanding how He feels about it and what should be His response, make the love in His eyes and the warmth of His embrace everything that they should be.

This means that God is incapable of sin. God’s impeccability is closely tied to His holiness and as they all do, plays a part in each of His characteristics. The implications of this attribute are huge for us. The peace we can rest in knowing that when bad things happen to us they’re not from God is enormously comforting and helps us understand the freedom God intends for us. He’s not up there waiting to smite us when we make the wrong move. He doesn’t react out of anger towards us ever and He doesn’t want us to live our lives in fear.