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Have you felt angry lately? Someone took a wrong turn suddenly on the freeway and almost ran you off the road? After years of committed service a younger guy gets the promotion just because he has an MBA. After putting in years of hard work into your business, it is not giving any returns and you have no one but yourself to blame. Your wife misbehaves with you and makes it a point that your kids know it. There are just so many circumstances that test your patience every day.
These situations make your breath short, dim your capability to think, increase your blood pressure and you end up acting out of rage. Decisions mostly taken in such a mind frame are wrong and we regret later. It becomes more and more dangerous when we start getting angry or enraged very often and it starts affecting our relationships. One of the major causes of divorce and separation is violence and anger in the marriage.
Anger is a very negative output from the human heart, the exact opposite of peace. Anger is a biggest serial killer and the most used weapon of the evil one. Our Father in heaven is always there to help us. He has given us an open invitation to a good life, a life that he expects us all to live. Anger has no place in the life that he wants us to live and thus he has provided us with ample help in his Word to help us get past such moments. He provides us with that strong foundation, calm and strong mind that anger is unable to effect out heart even momentarily.
It is very easy to lose temper and the only way you can be not angry is by loving God and others , by being patient and tolerant . Following are few verses from Bible to help you with anger.
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
In this Psalm of David, in very strong words King David commands to abstain from anger and renounce rage from life. He talks that it is only breed wickedness.
Proverbs 14:29- Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
A person who is difficult to anger will always be able to understand the world better as his mind is not easily clouded by rage and hatred. He is able to calmly appreciate the situation and make his decisions.
Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Here the writer mentions of the doings of the tongue. The tone of our voice and the soft words will always ward off any rage or anger. Cruel and unsympathetic words will fuel resentment.
Matthew 5:22-24 – But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
These directives have been given directly by Jesus Christ during the Sermon on the Mount. He strongly advocates immediate resolution of any disputes or anger situations that one might be having with others. He gives the act of immediate dispute resolution more importance than offering gifts to God. He also clears that anger is an act which is liable to punishment in the house of God. He wants us to reach reconciliation immediately so that no anger remains among fellow humans.
Romans 12:10-21- Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, and serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Jesus Christ has given extremely simple ways to fight anger and rage in this life. As it is a command by Our Father, he wants us to serve him being happy always with hope, being uncomplaining in suffering and always praying to him. He further goes on to explain about the ideal behavior with the people who maltreat and harass us. He tells us that we should not be proud and arrogant in our behavior as it will fuel anger, instead we should always be humble and associate with all classes of people. He invites us to do good for the people who act with us in a wicked manner. He says that judgment is God’s work and we should not try to avenge ourselves but be forgiving. Instead of being mean to such people we should be kind and generous with to the evil. He wants us to overcome evil with the good at all times in our life.
Ephesians 4:26- Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Jesus calls anger a sin. His advice to us is to not go to bed with anger but to reconcile before the sun goes down (immediately).
Ephesians 4:31-32- Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Jesus Christ wants us to get rid of all the resentment, unpleasantness, annoyance and irritation from our lives. He gives a recipe of a happy and forgiving life and wants that we forgive others completely as we were forgiven by Our Father in Heaven.
James 1:19-20- Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Jesus Christ wants us to work on our temperament so that it is difficult to ignite anger and rage in us.
Whenever anger creeps into us, it breaks down something that cannot be made again or replaced. We do something irreversible when we act in anger. Creating fear in others is not an act agreeable to Our Father. Jesus calls it an unrighteous act. All in all it takes us away from God. To read bible to get help in these circumstances is ideal thing. These verses will help you calm down but they should be available when you are in need. A better way would be to try to memorize them so that they can be recalled when needed and am sure they will help you relax and look at things from God’s perspective.
Dear Father, Thank you for the kindness and generosity that you always shower on us. We thank you for sending Jesus Christ into our lives and giving to us your Word which always guides us. Please bless us that we can win over our anger. Please make our character so strong that anger, rage, irritation, resentment and unpleasantness has no place in our lives. Bless us so that we answer evil with good and are able to forgive instantly. All this we ask you in the name of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen
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This is a post that i had written two years back and published in a different website. Since then it has been read by more than 7000 visitors. From this i take the inference that fear affects all of us and we need help on that front regularly. by republishing it here i hope that more people get help from this in fighting the worst internal enemy.
Fear – An Unpleasant partner
Fear – an unpleasant and anxious feeling in your chest – very close to your heart. Worried that something undesirable will happen soon? A situation will arise which you don’t want to face because you are uncertain how it will pan out? Is it that suspended feeling that’s taking away your peace of mind and joy from your life? Everyone is afraid of one thing or another, but the most difficult part is when one starts living in the shadow of fear.
I have faced and still face the usual fears since my childhood. Fear of ghosts, fear of exams, fear of losing loved ones, fear of diseases, fear of financial instability, fear of business failure, fear of separation, and fear of becoming poor. My wife Sonal is always afraid of insects. A colleague of mine is terrified of physical violence having endured it throughout his younger life. Fears are a part and parcel of life and I feel some of them even today. It is ok to fear some things or be afraid of certain situations; it is a very human reaction. Some of the stronger people feel it less or handle it better; others are more sensitive and are affected badly. Either ways the effect is never good, the fruit of fear or being afraid is always bad. It affects your inner spirit, and cannot be something sent by God. Its a misconception as wrong as being “God fearing”.
Fear of a circumstance, fear that makes you take those half breaths, fear that makes your mind move away from the right and pleasant things to its own dark dungeons. It can be fear of pain, fear of separation, fear of death or fear of the unknown, God has spoken to us directly through his word. He has assured us that he is always there to stand by us and take care of us. Any anxiety that we feel does not originate from God but the evil one. God only provides encouragement and helps us work against this feeling.
Bible Verses to help you fight fear
Following are some of the verses from Bible that will help you in your fearful state and give relief to your troubled mind.
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
In this Psalm by King David, here he affirms that the LORD is the creator of everything. With his focus only on the LORD as the supreme he is no more afraid. The LORD is guiding his actions. He has no more reasons to fear others.
Psalm 27:5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
God has always been kind and generous and will remain so towards us. He has made us so that he can love and take care of us while we glorify his name. He will protect us always. He will conceal us in his own dwelling just to save us from the evil forces.
Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
This is a direct testimony from King David, where he says that he kept seeking God and spoke of his fears to him. God in return has answered all his prayers and relieved him from his fears.Here he essentially means that communicating your fears to God by your prayers is the first step to get relief from them.
Psalm 56:1-13 In God I Trust –
This is a beautiful psalm that portrays all the terrors and horrors being faced by King David. He cannot help but be fear, With God on his side he is able to face these fears with strength and not crumble under their weight.
Psalm 91:1-16 My Refuge and My Fortress
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust.”For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the deadly pestilence.He will cover you with his pinions, And under his wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.You will not fear the terror of the night, Nor the arrow that flies by day,Nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, Ten thousand at your right hand, But it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked.Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—The Most High, who is my refuge—No evil shall be allowed to befall you,No plague comes near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you To guard you in all your ways.On their hands they will bear you up, Lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder; The young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
This psalm talks about the act of faith and says that any person, who by belief chooses the Almighty as his protector, shall find everything in him. His holy life is sheltered by the Godly grace so he is safe from the enticement of Satan. Great safety is promised to believers when in danger. Their wisdom and faith will help them to not be afraid unduly. As finally the will of Our Father in heaven is supreme, it is no point being fearful if your will is aligned with God’s will. We will always see God’s will fulfill.
Nothing will hurt the believer in God’s reign. If a difficult time comes on a believer it will not be for his hurt but for his good. Though the present may not be joyous it will work out for his overall benefit in the long run. It is God’s promise that in due time he will deliver us from all difficulties. Finally it is the believer’s benefit that he completes his engagement with sin and temptation on this earth.
Isaiah 35:4- Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”
This verse is a very clear and direct promise to all those who look at God as their Saviour. He is coming soon and coming with a vengeance.
Isaiah 41:10 –Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
Again God urges the believers not to fear or be distressed. He will give us his strength when we need it and he will always take care of us as he has promised.
John 14:27- Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Jesus Christ tells his disciples that it is peace that he gives to them. Not the worldly peace, but the real peace from within. This eternal peace will soothe the troubled heart and take away all fear.
Hebrews 13:6- So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
In this verse taken from the epistle of Hebrews, the famous words from Jesus Christ are repeated “I will never leave you nor forsake you” and the writer then goes on to make this statement. God has already promised that he will never leave our side. When he has already promised this to us then why be afraid?
1 John 4:18- There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
When you love God then Fear has no place in that love. Brave confidences based on love, will never have fear. Love once perfected, provides us with that bold confidence, and finishes off all fear from our hearts. Jesus Christ died to deliver us from this bondage of fear.
There are a lot many verses which talk about fear in the Bible; however we should not confuse fear from God and this worldly fear. Fear of God due to which we do not commit wrong deeds is a good thing. It is the fear from external evil forces that we should work upon.
God tells us not to fear but it is only human to fear circumstances. God has given us such clear assurances that we cannot stop fearing but we can definitely face them very boldly. God is close by- His Word assures us!
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The following story from Bible inspired me to start a daily conversation with God, our maker. Ask him questions and receive guidance on daily matters. Jesus Christ has already taken over my life and started changing me from within bit by bit. The Bible has become my guiding post so all of my writing is inspired by the Word. The following story is of Jacob (Genesis- 25-37) who in-spite of some severe shortcomings in his character was able to follow the path that God wanted and finally reach his true potential in the eyes of God. Even though historically this happened before the birth of Jesus Christ, but then Christ has been present always. It is worthwhile for you to spend time in reading this story and i am sure you will find some straight similarities with your own life as i did.
Daily communion with God changes us internally. Internal change is required to make permanent external physical changes as our physical life is only a manifestation of our soul within. By praying regularly we become better people and our heart opens to accept further blessings from our Heavenly Father. It is the only way to achieve a truly fulfilling and prosperous life. “Prosperous” being “success in prayer” as this is the only prosperity worth having. By this blog i want to document the changes both internal and external. I also want to develop this into a platform to encourage and inspire others to start communicating with God and share their “Wrestling with God”.
The story is as follows :-
Jacob was sitting by the river stream in deep thought. As the water of Jabbok river moved sluggishly so did his thoughts form an endless enactment of the life that had passed by. He was not young anymore. He was already married and had many children. He had a large family and many servants to support and was moderately wealthy. He was very proud of his lineage and he knew that his forefathers had this really close connection to God which had been passed on to him. His personal life had been a mixed bag of high points and low notes and he was unable to decide if he could claim the closeness to God that his father and his grandfather had experienced. He knew that there was something special happening in the background that he did not see yet but he felt the tremors already. He was anxious and fearful of his own and his family’s future.
He knew that he had survived solely due to the abundant grace that God had bestowed upon him and also that exactly the opposite could have happened long ago. He was now fearful that he may be attacked by his own brother and his men. That he and his family may perish in the desert and he may already be surrounded by his brother and his men. For the first time he was not sure what was God’s will in his life and what was expected of him. He knew that he had made wrong decisions and done erroneous acts earlier, but God had always saved him, however today he was not at peace. Today he had to face the truth of his life and his heart was very unsettled. It was time for him, his heart was ready for God. He was ready to listen and God was ready to deal with him directly.
His thoughts went to the earlier days and his dear father Isaac and mother Rebekah. He was born in a family of shepherds mainly having herds of sheep and goats. They were the wandering families choosing not to spend much time in any one location, primarily living in tents. His father Isaac was a God loving man who looked up to the Great One for guidance in life and lived it accordingly. He believed that his prayers will be answered and thus never quit praying even when he was childless till age forty. The Lord answered and his wife Rebekah was pregnant with twins. Rebekah believed in the Lord and His workings and approached Him for direction and comfort. Lord told her that she had two nations in her womb and that the older will serve the younger. Rebekah understood the importance of this divine direction. Two kids were born, Esau and Jacob.
Esau grew up to be a master hunter and an outdoors man, Jacob developed into a quiet young man. Isaac loved Esau but Rebekah favored Jacob. Jacob was also smarter that Esau in worldly matters and even tricked his older brother out of his birth right in exchange for some bread and lentil stew. Esau only realized later how his little brother had short changed him. He didn’t like it one bit, but what was done was done.
In the mean while the Almighty was happy with his father Isaac’s devotion just like he felt for Abraham, Isaac’s father. The Lord promised Isaac and his offspring vast lands and multiplication to millions if he didn’t go to Egypt and Isaac obeyed the Lord without a question and went where he was directed by God. He survived those difficult years and became very wealthy. God made all roads easy for Isaac and even the worldly mighty ones were careful when dealing with Isaac.
During this time Esau and Jacob were growing up into young men. Jacob took undue advantage of the situation again and ditched his brother Esau for the second time. This time he was helped and supported by his mother Rebekah. Isaac was old and close to his death thus he wanted to give final blessings to his beloved son Esau. He asked Esau to go hunting and prepare for him some delicious meat so that he could give him the blessings. Rebekah informed Jacob and urged him to mislead his father and take the blessings for himself instead. Jacob served the delicious meat prepared by Rebekah. Rebekah even told Jacob to lie to Isaac and mislead him to believe that it was Esau that he was giving the blessings to and not himself. Isaac being favored by God, his blessings had great value and deep future implications which only Rebekah realized and insisted on Jacob to carry out this deception. He lied to, he cheated and he deceived his father and his brother.
Jacob was successful and his father blessed him that he may receive plenty of grain and wine. He also blessed him that other people will serve him and that nations will bow down to him. His brothers will also bow down to him and any one cursing him will be cursed and any one blessing him will be blessed.
Esau returned from the hunt and found that his blessings were stolen and he was shortchanged in his life a second time by his brother. Isaac felt bad but Esau was left much bitter due to the cheating. Even Isaac gave to Esau not a blessing but something close to a curse. Esau was to serve his brother, live off his sword, be restless life long and away from the plentiful earth. Esau’s hate for Jacob was obvious and he resolved to kill Jacob whenever he got a chance.
Rebekah knew the danger to Jacob and asked him to flee to a place called Haran, where her brother Laban lived. Esau made another mistake by marrying women from Hittite community, about which Isaac and Rebekah were not happy. Jacob was smarter and did as directed by Isaac to marry from his own community. Thus Isaac blessed Jacob that he be fruitful and multiply and take possession of the lands promised by God to Abraham. This was also of discomfort to Esau and he realized his mistake. He married again within his community to make right his earlier mistake.
Jacob left for Haran and his life changed. God spoke to him and told him that his offspring will be numerous like the dust of the earth and that his future generations will spread in all directions and be blessed immensely by God. God also assured him that He will never leave Jacob’s side until all that is promised is accomplished. This was only fulfillment of the promise given by God to his grandfather Abraham. Even then Jacob only wanted to return back to his father’s house in peace.
Jacob reached Haran and met Laban, his maternal uncle. He decided to work for Laban in return for marriage to his younger daughter Rachel whom he loved. He took care of Laban’s herds for seven years expecting to get married to Rachel, his sweetheart. At the end of seven years, Laban gave to Jacob the taste of his own medicine. Laban proposed that Jacob marry Leah now and work for another seven years taking care of his herds if he wants to marry Rachel. Jacob had no choice so he went along with this arrangement.
He ended up marrying both the sisters but hated Leah. Lord didn’t like this and gave favor to Leah by opening her womb and closing Rachel’s womb. Leah gave birth to four sons in succession Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah. Rebekah was unhappy as she wasn’t bearing any children so she gave her servant Bilhah as a surrogate to Jacob. Bilhah bore two son’s Dan and Napthali. Leah gave her servant Zilpah to Jacob who bore them two son’s Gad and Asher. Leah further gave birth to sons Issachar and Zebulun and daughter Dinah. Finally God opened Rachel’s womb and she gave birth to Joseph. Jacob had a large family of two wives, two concubines, eleven sons and one daughter.
This is when he decided that he wanted to return back to his own home and country. He informed Laban of this. Laban played along but was hesitant as he knew that he will have to part with some of the herds in this separation. He very cunningly tried to deceive Jacob by removing the speckled, spotted sheep, black lambs and specked, spotted goats which were to be Jacob’s wages. However this didn’t work because God has promised Jacob that he will be with him always. Jacob used techniques which increased his part of herd many fold and he became very wealthy with large flocks, servants, camels and donkeys.
Jacob understood that Laban was no more an ally and all he wanted to do now was to return to him home and country. He was also tired of being cheated by Laban and his wages being changed every time to suit Laban in spite of working so hard for Laban. But God favored Jacob and made him multiply against all odds. Rachel and Leah were aware of their father’s deceit and agreed with Jacob.
Jacob decided to leave the land of Haran with all his livestock, family and establishment and return back to his country without informing Laban. Laban came to know and was not happy. He chased Jacob and overtook him. If he was not warned by God directly, he would have tried to harm Jacob and his family. However he was more anxious as Rachel had stolen the household idols. Laban searched Jacobs’s tents but didn’t find the idols, this made Jacob very angry and agitated. Laban decided to make peace with Jacob and let go of him, taking an assurance that Jacob will take good care of his daughters and family.
After Laban left, Jacob continued on his way to his country. He felt the presence of God and angels. His only goal was to go back home and he knew that he will have to make peace with Esau if he wanted to live peacefully there. He sent messengers to understand the stance of Esau and was advised that Esau is approaching in his direction with four hundred men. Jacob was very afraid and distressed. He divided his camp into two so that if one is attacked the other will survive. He was almost sure that he would be annihilated by his brother and his men. He was afraid for his family, his next generation and his livestock who depended on him for guidance. It would be a pity if all is destroyed because he duped his brother in the earlier years. It would be a waste to have lived so long in a foreign country, serve selfish masters, and go through all the pain and then come back to your own country and be killed by your own blood!
Is there no way that the wrong can be righted? Is there no way to start with a clean slate once again? Now that Jacob had faced deceit from Laban, he knew how Esau would have felt all his life. A blessing stolen in the earlier days by Jacob had cost Esau a life full of pain of being cheated by one’s own blood. Is there no way to get forgiveness? Is it even possible to appeal?
Jacob sent gifts of livestock with his servants in many groups to appease Esau. He only wanted acceptance and forgiveness from his brother. He was afraid, scared, repentant, tired and low in spirit. It was then that he along with his family crossed Jabbok. He sent his family across the stream and stayed behind alone. He met with the Creator and decided to engage. Engage fully, brazenly, completely,barefacedly, without any inhibitions, shamelessly, without any care with the God of all. The One and Only, the Omnipresent and Omnipotent. Jacob decided to go all out because he felt that forgiveness was possible and that his family could still make it out of the mess created by him. He was repentant and demanded forgiveness and blessing of well-being from the Almighty.
God blessed him even though he gave him a disability. Jacob died that day and Israel was born. The change had happened and life was delivered. Israel was born only because of this wrestling with God.
Jacob had cheated and duped. Jacob was tricked and fooled. Jacob became Israel only because he decided to wrestle that night and not let go till he had his blessing.
I am a servant of Jesus Christ, close to 40 years of age, living in India and having a day job. I came to know and love Jesus Christ some three years back. I was in a crisis. Jesus came and lovingly embraced me before anything really bad could happen. Out of the window went the deceit and cunning and also the hurt of what wrong was happening at that time. Through the haze I could see the light of love of Jesus and the wrestling has begun since then. The wrestling is happening now … every day and every night.
I write here for many reasons. Firstly I would like to document the changes happening in me due to this wrestling. The methodical process where God is dismantling the older me and remaking me as per his own specifications as his personal tool. Secondly I would like to encourage others among my readers to go on with their “wrestling” and not to stop till the blessing is received and thirdly I want to be encouraged myself by listening to your story and never let go of the wrestling with God.
Sincerely waiting to die and be born again.
I encourage you all to please send me any of the stories , articles, letters, messages etc to be published provided they encourage the readers to live a good life and to read and live the word of God.
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