The Lord has been showing me things lately that I'm having hard times dealing with. I'm going through a situation right now that just fills me with anger. Naturally, I went to the Bible to learn how to deal with it.
"Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the Lord Almighty. "Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things," says the Lord Almighty." - Malachi 4:1-3
Stay with me now...
"Without wood a fire goes out;
without gossip a quarrel dies down.
As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.
Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,
but in their hearts they harbor deceit.
Though their speech is charming, do not believe them,
for seven abominations will be exposed in the assembly. **
Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;
if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.
A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruins."
- Proverbs 26:20-28
[[** I'm pretty sure the seven abominations that's mentioned is from Proverbs 6: 16-19. Don't quote me on that though.]]
Wow... Well if that last passage from Proverbs doesn't hit it right on the head, I'm not sure what would. Ya know, I read passages like this and get pumped. I think to myself, "Every person who's ever done me wrong, this is what they're going to get! YEAH! GO GOD! GOD ALWAYS WINS!!!" But then the Lord reminds me that revenge is sinful. Yes, God does always win. But he doesn't do it out of anger or shoving it in anyone's face. He does it because He is God. Giver of life. And having remorse against someone isn't right. And he since God has a sense of humor, he likes to remind me right after I read these verses.
"Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when he stumbles, do not let yourself rejoice,
or the Lord will see and disapprove
and turn his wrath away from him."
- Proverbs 24:17-18
"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
for anger resides in the lap of fools."
- Ecclesiastes 7:9
"If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,"
- Proverbs 25:21
"A fool gives full vent to his anger,
but a wise man keeps himself under control."
- Proverbs 29:11
I'm sorry, Lord... WHAT? You want me to give water to these people if they are thirsty? You want me to give them food if they're hungry?? Why couldn't they give ME food when I was hungry? Or water when I was thirsty? Why couldn't they have the decency to be nice like ME?
And then the Lord tells me, "Amy, you are saying 'me' way too much." Spiritual slap in the face. And boy does it sting.
As much as I'm angry, frustrated, tired, annoyed, mad, etc., I know that one day I'm going to have to forgive these people. Thinking about that almost brings me to tears. But if God can give up His only Son's life just so that we can go to heaven, I think that forgiving these people is the least I can do. I'm not so sure that I'm ready to forgive now. You say, "But Amy, you shouldn't have anything holding you back from truly worshipping God." And honestly, it's not.
I worship God through this time, knowing that he is taking care of my family and me. I worship God because He hears us when we are happy and when we are sad. I worship God because He's the one that allows us to go through these situations so that we may learn to trust Him even more. I worship God because I DO still have my amazing family and friends surrounding me with love. I worship God because He deserves more than I could ever give Him.
And I will leave you with this:
"Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me;
all day long they press their attack.
My slanderers pursue me all day long;
many are attacking me in their pride.
When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
All day long they twist my words;
they are always plotting to harm me.
They conspire, they lurk,
they watch my steps,
eager to take my life.
On no account let them escape;
in your anger, O God, bring down the nations.
Record my lament;
list my tears on your scroll--
are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise--
in God I trust, I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?"