We are living in an increasingly angry world. Wars are raging from distant lands to the innards of homes. Violence and vitriol are being acted in more frequent insolence and spurted in boisterous words with greater intensity, and societies in general are becoming more and more desensitized to them. Just look at some of the popular contemporary entertainments through the venues of tv/phone screens and paperbacks – the channels, games, and pages are brimming with hate, revenge, lust for blood, anger, etc. Look at the plethora of newspapers or television news. Look around. The domino effect seems to have no end; anger begets more anger. And all generations – not sparing the young ones – are exposed to them.
Wherever you are in the world, even in the confines of isolation, this evil spirit of anger will accost you, or is already doing so. There is an invisible enemy that seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (Jn 10:10). And there is no other hope in the world apart from Jesus, the Prince of Peace according to God’s Word (Isa 9:6).
It is fascinating to read that at the end of His earthly ministry, when Jesus was betrayed and arrested, one of his disciples came to His defense and cut off the ear of one of the captors. Immediately this disciple (Peter) was rebuked by Jesus, saying, “No more of this! Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by it.” He then touched the man’s ear and healed him. (Mt 26:50-56, Mk 14:44-50, Lk 22:47-53, Jn 18:7-11) This touch of love, peace, and hope continues to work in the lives of many angry men and women today. I’ve witnessed and read so many personal stories and societal histories of how only the power of God’s justice & love exposes the evil of the human heart, washes away the sins of those who ask Him to be their Savior and Lord, and transforms angry & despondent individuals and groups to being the most loving & caring.
Indeed some will say injustices have been or are being committed in the name of Jesus (e.g. Inquisition, Crusades, etc.), but that is clearly not what Jesus exemplified and taught for His followers to do. We cannot judge a philosophy (e.g. Christianity) by its abuse or misuse. (I hope to blog on this some other time). But rather Jesus always showed and spoke truth and love! He uses the sword of truth and not of violence. And through His eye-opening, life-changing Word myriads have been transformed from angry introverts, vulgar talkers, and violent crooks into ambassadors of unquenchable love. Nothing else can arrest that anger but Jesus Christ alone!
Anger points to more deep-seated issues within the human heart, primarily our very own need of God’s forgiveness. When Jesus Himself was arrested, mocked, brutalized, and crucified by the angry world, and while nailed at the cross He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.“ Do you know what you are doing? God has poured out His love for mankind through the cross (Jn 3:16-21), and only by His mercy & grace can we break free from all bondage and live in peace and love – with God and with the world.
Recommended Books:Transformed Lives (Thuvan Dang Nguyen)Tortured for Christ (Richard Wurmbrand)Secret Believers (Brother Andrew & Al Janssen)I Am Second (Doug Bender & Dave Sterrett)Twice Freed (Patricia John)The list is inexhaustible … but I can lend some of mine if you’re interested.