Have you been losing sleep this year after watching mobs take over the streets or invade the Capitol building? Have you become angry when hearing distortions on all sides being projected through the media? Do you fear what is going to happen to our country or even our children as events unfold around us; events from the political to the medical and everything in between?
I know that this is happening to people close to me and may be happening for you as well. In addition, children are also experiencing serious emotional struggles from depression to PTSD-like symptoms. Others have felt a serious darkness and oppression that seems coupled with demonic attacks.
How do we keep our emotions from going wild? How do we stop the churning inside? How do we reign in feelings of anger and even rage at those who seem bent on destruction?
Causes of Anger, Rage and Worry: I find that I can divide these things within myself into 3 categories — theological amnesia, emotional reactions, and spiritual warfare.
Theological Amnesia allows emotions to take over. One of the most significant truths is that God is in control of everything. Nothing has slipped out of His hands. Even evil is restrained by God. And it can accomplish His good purposes in spite of the intents of human beings.
Another important theological reality with which we must come to grips is that God does not promise a comfortable, peaceful, freedom-filled life for believers. We have been blessed with these things, but they are not the norm. Believers around the world and throughout history have suffered greatly for the name of Jesus. God can bless us and use us mightily without these things.
Bottomline and unchanging truth: God is in control and has a good plan. We are here to serve Him. I don’t know what His plan is, but I do know this: I am here, my children are here, and my grandchildren are here under the plan of God. We were born for this time. What does God want us to do with this opportunity to love others in the mighty name of Jesus?
Emotional reactions are just that — emotional reactions. They rarely start under control within the bounds of rational thought. And, they are often untrustworthy no matter what Disney tells us. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Outbursts of anger need to be reigned in and bitterness needs to be resolved. Both have dire consequences:
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give a foothold to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; (Hebrews 12:15)
Many become defiled and we give Satan control of our thoughts, emotions and even actions! Be careful what you say at home. Be careful that you are not training your children in anger and bitterness. Process these emotions with God or with a trusted friend. Do NOT vent on Facebook and other social media. Remember, everyone sees this stuff. One day you vent and spew anger and next week you ask for STO donations for your child’s Christian school. We can easily trash our own reputations and testimonies for the Lord Jesus.
Spiritual Warfare — When we neglect our anger and bitterness, we fling open the door widely for Satan and his minions to torment us. But we also need to look at the big picture… The events in America and around the world reflect a huge cosmic struggle between God and Satan. The non-Christian is not the enemy, he is the victim of the enemy. The God of this age has blinded the minds of the non-believer. We are given select weapons in Ephesians 6:10-18. Don’t forget verse 18! Prayer is, in many ways, the one tool that can most effectively turn the tide. Christians have come to despair watching events unfold in our country many times. We have been “on the brink” numerous times in our history. Revival and miraculous intervention have been the only things to bring us back. Is this another time where this will happen? Or will judgment finally fall on our country and we will be victorious in the midst of pain and persecution?
I don’t know. I just know I can rest in God. He is my only solid rock, my only refuge, and I will be still for He is my God. (Psalm 46)
Next week: How to train our children to think critically in the midst of chaos and suspicion?