Anger & God
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: 1 John 4:8–4:9, 1 John 4:16, 1 Peter 1:15–1:16, 2 Thessalonians 1:5–1:6, Psalm 103:8, Ephesians 4:26
ANGER: Two Essential Biblical Truths
(1) Not all of our anger is bad.
(2) God's anger is always good.
1 John 4:8-9 NIV
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
1 John 4:16 NIV
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 Peter 1:15-16 NIV
15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy,because I am holy.”
2 Thessalonians 1:5-6 NIV
5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you
What is God like?
God is love. God is holy. God is just. But God is not anger. Yes, He does get angry, but that's different than saying that His fundamental disposition is one of anger. If anything, multiple Scripture passages say that the Lord is "slow to anger."
Psalm 103:8 NIV
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
Add your notes…• • •
The Goodness of God's Anger
Because God is love, and holy, and just, He is able to be angry at the right things in the right way at the right time for the right reasons in the right proportions.
Deep Down, We Want a God Who Gets Angry
As disturbing as it might be to think that God gets angry, we really don’t want the alternative. We don't want a passive and indifferent God who looks the other way when sin and selfishness run rampant. The truth is: it’s out of this very motivation that God sent His Son, Jesus, into our world. It wasn’t just out of His love for us, but it also was out of His hatred for sin and His desire to “make right” in this world what sin has “made wrong.” Now we may wonder why God still allows sin and evil wreak havoc in our day and age, but our faith and our hope tell us that the work God started when He sent Jesus into our world the first time is the same work He will bring to competition when Jesus comes back to this world a second time. And when that time comes: Sin will be defeated. Justice will be satisfied. His kingdom will be established forever, and His righteous anger will finally come to an end. This is what we hold on to as believers in Jesus Christ who live between these two comings.
Not All of Our Anger is Bad
Because we are created in the image of God and bear His likeness, there are echoes of God’s love and holiness and justice in us. This means that sometimes we too are able to get angry the right things, or in the right way, or at the right time, or for the right reasons, or in the right proportions. Now the magic word here is “sometimes,” because we don't possess God’s perfection. So our anger isn’t 100%-right and completely justified in every single instance. But in the same token, it also doesn’t mean that our anger is 100%-wrong and out of line all the time.
Ephesians 4:26 NIV
26 “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
"Good Christians" Can Get Angry
It's a lie to believe that “good Christians” are never supposed to get angry and that any feeling of anger in you whatsoever must mean you’re disobedient toward God. To deny the existence of anger in you is to also deny the image of God in you, that sense of justice that He’s hard-wired into your heart. It’s to ignore the reality of inequality and unfairness in this world, and how upsetting that can be when we’re on the receiving end of that or when we see someone else we care about suffer at the hands of cruel and oppressive people. Now that doesn't mean you’ve got a free pass to justify all your anger, but it’s worthwhile to explore what triggers that anger, rather than immediately pretending that it’s just not there. Denial is never a healthy or productive solution. So if you want to begin to get a better handle on your anger, then strangely enough, you need to face it head on, and realize that it may or may not necessarily be wrong.
Next Week (Sunday, May 8)
Next week we’ll continue our series "Anger" by taking a look in the mirror. “Why do I get angry? Is it wrong for me to be angry? How can I keep anger from consuming my life? How can God help me with my anger?” Pastor Dan will lead us through the Bible as we wrestle with the issue of anger in our own lives. We will also celebrate with families as they dedicate their children to their Lord.