“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31 (ESV)
“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” 1Timothy 1:16
He is risen! Happy Easter!
Today we are looking at the final stanza of True Lenten Discipline:
FAST from anger; FEAST on patience.
(Here is the full poem of True Lenten Discipline. Here are the devotions for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Here is the link to the True Lenten Discipline Podcast.)
God’s word calls us to let all anger be put away from us. From this word let we can infer that we choose what, where, when, how long and if we will be angry. Just as love is a decision, anger is a decision. I have even caught myself thinking, “If he does that one more time, I’m going to become really angry!”
The word let used in this verse is airo which means “to raise, to lift up, to raise upward, to elevate.” This definition then is a reminder to us that when we are overcome with anger, we can choose to lift up in prayer the situation, circumstance, or person that we are upset about. The problem with anger is that it demands vengeance. But God has declared in Romans 12:19 that, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” We need to let our anger go. The longer we nourish it, the more tempted we will be to make others “pay” for how they have hurt us.
By definition the Greek word for anger means, “natural disposition, character, temperament, punishment, anger used as punishment.” In order to satisfy God’s righteous anger concerning our sin, He poured out His wrath upon Jesus through His death on the cross. Jesus took our punishment so God can now give us His grace and patience. Considering how we have been spared from just punishment, what right do we have to choose to continue to be angry with others? Ask God to remove your anger and help you to choose patience instead.
God in His infinite wisdom, has provided us with two different types of patience; one for difficult situations (hypomeno), one for difficult people (makrothymeo). As our verse above shows us, Jesus is our example of infinite patience. If He could have such patience with us, how can we have not extend that same patience to others?
Application: When traced back to its origin, the Greek root word for anger means mountain.Do you have a mountain of anger in your life, something that you can’t seem to let go? Mountains are seemingly huge impenetrable obstacles that are always before us. But God has given us a way to deal with the mountain of anger—by speaking His Word (Matthew 21:21). If an issue has you trapped in chains of anger, find a Scripture that applies to your situation and by faith pray that Scripture into your situation. Keep praying scripture into your situation and by an act of obedience show patience instead.
Because of Easter, because of Christ’s death on the cross, we too can choose to lay aside our anger and choose instead to be patient with others.
Prayer: God, we pray for the willingness to let go of our anger and extend instead the gift of patience. We thank you for your patience with us and your love as demonstrated through Jesus.
Easter morning. The wrath of God was satisfied!