Anger Issues, Hate or Hesed
Café Menu for Thursday, March 17, 2016
Today’s Special: Hate or Hesed
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Robin Jones
Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: "The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion..."
Numbers 14:17-18 NIV
Have you ever been so mad that your anger had a theme song? You know… that one song that you belt out with all of the chutzpah you can muster when you are alone in your car.
At the lowest point in my life, my ire didn’t just have a theme song; it had a whole bitter album.
This of course was in my old life; Christians don’t get angry (wink, wink).
I did not immediately switch from being an angry person to a forgiving person. My anger didn’t just last for a moment; it had built up over a lifetime. It was a sour spot that the Lord sanded out of my character little by little, inch by inch.
Once I became aware of what the Lord was working in me, His admonition to be slow to get angry and abound in love showed up everywhere: sometimes it was a sweet reminder, sometimes it made me madder.
A beloved friend said,
I am praying for you about your anger problem.
It took all I could muster to paste a crazy grin on my face and reply through clenched teeth,
Thank you… you have no idea how far He has brought me… to be here at this moment… not choking you… for offering prayers… for my anger problem!
God even used my six-year-old to remind me when I would become frustrated. He blurted out,
Don’t be angry Mamma. Remember the Lord is slow to anger and abounding in love.
Taking the sweet admonition to heart, I whispered.
Lord, I see, but how? I’ve been doing this anger dance for a while.
A picture of an almost naked Savior on a cross slipped into my mind. I saw Jesus with His arms stretched wide asking,
Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.
In that light bulb moment, God gently taught me that He had restrained His anger and He was pursuing me with His hesed, not hate.
The word “Hesed” is the Hebrew word for Love. It is used to describe how He remains loyal, steadfast, and faithful in the face of our unfaithfulness.
This word is most vividly illustrated to us through Jesus’ suffering on the cross, dying in our place and rising again in victory as He said He would.
God’s strength is His hesed. To love like God does, you must forgive like Jesus does.
R.O.O.T. out anger.
- R-Remindyourself of God’s great love for you and how He has restrained His anger toward you.
- O-Observe any areas of bitterness or cursing in your life.
- O-Out the areas of anger to the Lord.
- T-Turn over those areas to the Lord. Let Him teach you how to be gentle and humble in heart.
Lord, You delight in showing mercy. We turn over all of our anger, bitterness, cursing and rage to You. Your love is wild for us. Thank You for restraining Your anger toward us and instead pursuing us with Your hesed. Thank You for Jesus where You poured out Your love for us. Take us deeper into Your love. Pull us closer into Your healing wings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
For more encouragement, visit Robin at therealrobinjones.blogspot.com.
© 2016 by Robin Jones. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Thursday, 17 March 2016.