Have you ever been told, “Emotions are ungodly,” or “Ignore your feelings and live by faith”? Do you wonder why, then, did God give you emotions in the first place, if you are supposed to ignore them?
“In your anger do not sin; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26).
I was raised in a non-Christian home, and I only knew two ways to process hurt and anger—either yell and scream or shut down and hold it in. My dad had a lot of reasons to be angry, but unfortunately it was expressed outwardly through yelling at his family. My mom suffered abuse as a child and never processed it properly, so her inward anger eventually turned into a deep depression.
Through witnessing my parents’ trials and surviving my own times of crisis, I’ve learned that neither of these options will bring help or healing. I want to help you break free from any anger or bitterness that’s controlling your heart so you can breathe and be blessed.
Perhaps you have asked yourself, “If God loves me, why am I feeling such emotional anguish?” Let me assure you that God designed anger for good reasons.
First, you are created in His image, and the almighty God has feelings of anger too. There are more than 2,000 instances in the Bible that refer to the emotions of God. Positive and negative emotions were created to reveal the condition of the human heart spirit.
Second, sometimes emotions are warning signs that indicate something is hurting within us. Just as physical pain reveals something is wrong with our body, emotions can reveal that our spirit needs attention. Feeling angry is not a sin. Allowing the anger to turn into destruction or self-harm is when sin happens.
Today there are a lot of good reasons to be angry, and righteous anger that leads to positive change is pleasing to God. However, if anger is eating away at you and being expressed in harmful ways, I want to give you a few practical and powerful tips for healing.
Get real with God.
We cannot hide from God, and He loves us regardless of what emotions we are feeling.
In the Book of Psalms, King David is so raw, it’s like we’re reading his personal journal. David wrongfully seeks revenge and asks God to shorten the lives of his enemies, and yet, God calls David a man after his heart.
The enemy wants us to be too afraid to approach God when we’re angry. We must overcome this fear, because the only way break free from anger is to get real with God, even if we have to scream and cry it out.
God loves you so much. You are His child, and He is your heavenly father. He wants to hear you cry out, so He can hold your heart and heal you. The more real you get with God the more real He’ll become to you!
Confess your anger to God.
Confessing your anger to God will keep you clean on the inside. It may sound strange to talk to God when you feel angry, jealous or hateful, but it’s the only way to break free. I encourage you to confess to God every time you feel angry.
Don’t know where to start? Allow me to take you through a prayer of confession below. Read it and make it your own.
I confess my anger to You right now, and I invite You into those dark areas of my heart where I have hidden my anger. I give You permission to enter in and shine light. Please shine Your light on my sin. Please show me how to live free from the anger that is controlling me. I choose to believe You are cleaning me now and creating in me a new heart. Father, I believe You are giving me the supernatural strength to walk in the Spirit and not in my flesh. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
If we keep trying to handle our own anger, we are playing God. But if we surrender to our loving Lord, He will replace our anger pains with His perfect peace. This passes our own understanding of how He works in us and through us.
Keep your anger to God.
When my husband and I were struggling in our relationship several years ago, I made the mistake of telling my children and girlfriends how angry I was at him. Of course, all I birthed by doing that was even more anger and bitterness. I got my friends angry, and worse yet, I got our children upset. Clearly, I let my anger control my behavior.
Today I know that crying out to God and confessing my anger is my only way to find freedom. Too many times we tell everyone about our anger—everyone but God. The more people we tell, the more bitter we become. Instead, let the healing words lift the stone of anger off your heart.
When something horrific has fractured your faith, what do you do when you are angry at the only One who has the power to heal your heart and comfort you? It is impossible to find everlasting relief when you’re mad at God. Sadly, we live in a fallen land, not a fairy tale. Pain is a part of this life because of the sin of man, not God. Knowing that, however, does not lesson the pain of losing a child, of a husband having an affair, of the loss of a job, or the betrayal of a trusted friend.
First, know that your heavenly Father can understand when you are mad at Him, and He will never stop loving you. When Jesus was on the cross, there was a moment when He cried out to God, asking why His Father had forsaken Him. He cried out in the garden the night He was betrayed. In His suffering, He asked His Father for another way. Yet Jesus trusted God’s plan. He knew the ultimate victory was at the cross.
Don’t ever doubt that God is with you. If you will cry out to Him in prayer, He will walk with you through the garden of grief and straight to the cross—where your trials will be transformed into triumph and renewed passion for life.
I believe if your heavenly Father wrote you a personal love letter for today, it would read like this:
I know there is much happening in the world to get angry about. But anger is a trap set by the enemy of your soul. If you take the bait of anger, you will become bitter, and nothing good is ever birthed out of bitterness. So when you feel angry, cry out to me and confess that anger. I am the only one who can handle your heart and walk you through the battlefields of rage. I will teach you how to live free from the destruction anger brings. You can be at peace as you learn to trust me and to deal with all those who have hurt you.
Your King who is just
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord (Romans 12:19).