When bad things happen to us we are expected to be angry. We want to flip tables or mentally stab the person who hurt us. We want to ask the rhetorical question, “WHY?” Anger is a natural emotion. If it really hurt us, we blame God. For once in my life, I felt genuinely happy with my life. Everything was going great. Three days later, it all changed.
For a moment, I put my hope in things that I shouldn’t have. I had expectations. I usually get these weird feelings that something bad is suppose to happen to me, so I brace myself and expect the worst. That expectation becomes reality.
When I should be upset at those who hurt me, I end up being okay. I reel back in my chair and think, “Should I be okay with this? I should be angry. WHY AM I NOT ANGRY?” The sad thing is that I suspected myself to be angry and full of rage.
In Galatians 5, Paul mentions how we should not be walking in the lusts of the flesh and one of them listed is “outbursts of wrath” or in the ESV version, “fits of rage”(V.19). Instead of giving into our fleshly desires to be angry and full of hatred, we should be filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)
When I want to throw bitter words at people for hurting me, I think otherwise. Before I start to say those harmful words, I think about forgiveness and kindness. Jesus forgave those who mocked, scorned, and betrayed Him even when they said harmful words and did harm to Him. He was kind because He chose to die on the cross for us, so we can be with Him in eternity. He could have destroyed them, could’ve killed them in an instant, but He was full of grace and mercy. He also knew it had to be done. It blows my mind sometimes how I should be mad, angry, or livid, but I’m not. The Holy Spirit is dwelling inside of me, helping me to specifically be love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness (v 22). I’m learning how to live with grace and be slow to anger. Even when bad things happen, I still somehow have joy.
This is what my heart has been learning lately.
So if you’re struggling through some tough times, find joy in it. I’ve learned to share my burdens with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ like we are supposed to instead of bottling them all up.
What joy it is to know that Christ still loves you, that He died for you, and as a Christian you have a hope in Heaven with Him. His grace and mercy has has been poured on us abundantly through Christ.
Teach me, Lord, to be full of the Spirit and to find joy in troublesome times.
Measure Your Life in Love.