Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017 … Combatting Angst and Anger

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 143 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …   Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from Alan Jackson singing the old hymn … Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus … poignantly singing of the best strategy we have as Christians to deal with the angst, anger, and grief of this world.

Highlight Verse[s]: Luke 9:54-55 [NKJV] … 
54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.” 
… God never wants His disciples to use anger to dispel the anger of others.
Highlight Passage [context]: Luke 9:51-56 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus show His disciples that trying to using anger to combat the anger of others will never solve anything.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Proverbs 15:1 [NKJV] … 
1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up [more] anger. 
… God’s advice, thru Solomon, on dealing with the verbal wrath of others towards us.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … John 13:34-35 [NKJV] … 
34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 
… Is it Jesus’ command to return harsh words with more wrath. … HARDLY!!

Reference Passage #3 [NKJV] : … Ephesians 4:29 [NKJV] … 
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 
… God never wants us to use angry words to respond to the anger of others.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Tim Gustafson, told a personal story to illustrate how anger so often provokes more anger. The ODB author wrote: The anti-God bumper stickers covering the car seized the attention of a university professor. As a former atheist himself, the professor thought perhaps the owner wanted to make believers angry. “The anger helps the atheist to justify his atheism,” he explained. Then he warned, “All too often, the atheist gets exactly what he is looking for.” 
In recalling his own journey to faith, this professor noted the concern of a Christian friend who invited him to consider the truth of Christ. His friend’s “sense of urgency was conveyed without a trace of anger.” He never forgot the genuine respect and grace he received that day.  

Ever been in a situation like the one in the attached photo, … with someone spouting angry words at you, maybe attacking your faith as in the ODB entry above? What’s the best way to respond? … With more anger? How do you think Jesus would respond in a such a situation?

Well, the highlight and reference passages above answer that dilemma pretty clearly, don’t they? And if we’re trying to defend our faith with an angry atheist, will getting angry back and spouting Scripture loudly at him or her help to dissuade their disbelief? Hardly!! … Solomon, Paul, and more importantly, Jesus, said that we should return anger with love. And as Tim Gustafson stated in this ODB entry today, … “The best way to defend Jesus is to live like Him.”

So, if we run into someone spouting off at us with anger, especially if they are attacking our faith, how will we handle that one today? … I pray, … as would Jesus, … with love.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Help me to live up to Ephesians 4:29 today with my tongue. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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