I wasn’t just angry. I was fuming! In plain English, really, really, really angry. I had been promised something. In writing. I had made a big decision based on that promise. Though I had been wary at first, because I had received the promise in writing, I had trusted the people involved to follow through on their promise. One would think I would have learned by now not to put my trust in humans, but to trust the Lord, and to expect that humans no matter their promises do fall short. Like we all do. Me included. But this time around, I had convinced myself I should expect the people to follow through. Now I had just gotten word of the broken promise, and considered the toll it would take on me and something very important to me, something in fact with which I had been entrusted, and oh how angry I was! I had every right to be angry, didn’t I? Okay, I knew I needed to forgive. That goes without saying for Christ’s followers. But I did have a right to be angry, right? And a right to hold onto my anger, right? So I was going to hold onto my anger, right?
NO! I knew I needed to forgive, and I chose to do so. I knew I needed to rid myself of the anger. And I knew I was going to do just that. But how? How could I possibly get rid of my anger? When I was so incredibly filled with it? I felt almost like I could explode with it. Yikes! What would I do? I knew in obedience to God, I had to purge myself of the anger. But how could I? How could I obey Him in this? There was no way I could empty myself of it. So what would I do?
I went on a walk. A really fast, hard walk. And I prayed and prayed and prayed. I cried out to the Lord, over and again. I poured out my heart to Him. And I begged – I mean BEGGED – God to take the anger from me! I begged Him to help me to walk in His love. Because that’s what I knew He wanted me to do. I begged Him to help me to do right instead of wrong. I went to Bible verses in my mind. I cried out and cried out to the Lord. I knew – totally trusted – He would enable me to do what He wanted me to do. I knew the only way I would get rid of the anger, and the only way I would handle all of this righteously rather than act out with anger and vengeance – would be in the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ. Know what God did?
He enabled me to LOVE, to FORGIVE, and to BE FREE from the anger. In fact, the next day, when one of the people contacted me to discuss what had transpired, I spoke about Jesus. And about forgiveness. And said because of the Lord Jesus Christ I forgave them. And when I got off the phone, I sent correspondence to the two main people involved SHARING THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST with them, telling them the only way to an everlasting relationship with God instead of hell and the lake of fire forever is through believing Jesus is Lord and died on the cross to pay our sin punishment and was raised from the dead and truly turning over our lives to CHRIST AS LORD. I told them they or anyone they knew could reach out to me at any time or visit my ministry online for help and encouragement in finding and forever following the Lord Jesus Christ. The anger was GONE! Replaced with Christ’s love!
Not only was my fuming anger ENTIRELY GONE, but the Lord had filled me afresh with His Spirit and compelled me to love and forgive and share the Gospel with the very people by whom I had felt so hurt and disrespected. I couldn’t get rid of the anger on my own, rest assured. And, even if I had, I would have had an anger hangover, still wallowing around in the muck of hurt, bitterness, vengeful thoughts, some sort of ungodliness or another. But not so!
Lord, take this anger! The Lord had heard my cry – and answered!
Filled with anger? Get rid of it. Cry out to the Lord! Love and forgive and follow the leading of the Spirit of God in how you respond to those who have angered you. For Christ’s sake, be free from the anger! And be a vessel the Lord can use to help the very people who have hurt you if and as the Lord so leads you. For God’s glory, AMEN!