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– Be angry, and do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath.  For anger rests in the bosom of fools God has no pleasure in. – Ephesians 4:26, Ecclesiastes 7:19, and Ecclesiastes 5:4

– A moment of anger can destroy a lifetime of work, whereas a moment of love can break barriers that took a lifetime to build. – Leon Brown

“Anger” has many negative connotations attached to it.  It can mean to irk, irritate, or infuriate.  It can be indignation provoked by perceived unfairness.  Even though it can conjure up images of ungodly behavior, anger does not always birth sin.  What matters to God is how we handle any anger before going to bed.

There are several forms of good anger, such as in instances of moral injustice or righteous indignation. Christ was justly upset when casting out those who bought and sold within God’s temple (Luke 19:45). Overthrowing the tables of the money changers, and upsetting the seats of the dove sellers (Mark 11:15).

However, our Father’s anger is always right, perfect, and true (Deuteronomy 32:4), even though He is slow to wrath (Psalm 103:8).  Long suffering towards all, not wanting us to perish (2 Peter 3:9).  Always ready to pardon (Nehemiah 9:17), if we turn from our sin and don’t offend Him anymore with it (Job 34:31).

On the other hand, Christian anger is generally a manifestation of flesh – and not Spirit.  Although it’s understandable (Galatians 5:17), it does not make it acceptable.  Human wrath is typically rooted in the world – not the Word.  Something or somebody is causing feelings of annoyance, hostility, or discontent.

Souls are like container vessels that can only hold so much in.  Once filled to the brim, something spills out in word or action.  The mouth will always speak out of the heart’s abundance (Luke 6:45).  The longer any anger resides inside, the more it gets pent-up like a spiritual pressure cooker ready to burst any second.

Anyone in such a volatile state within can go through what appear to be a string of normal days outwardly. Nothing much seems to be bugging them externally. However, they’ve foolishly left anger unaddressed nightly for a week.  It can detonate at the worst time, directed at one who is not the cause of their wrath.

It can result in instant fireworks.  The fuse ignited by anger days before – sparked by another person or situation – finally hits the bundle of dynamite sticks in the heart and everything blows up without warning. The one who explodes not only hurts the innocent party with words, but is left scrambling to save face.

This is wrath that doesn’t work the righteousness of God (James 1:20).  This is a type of anger keeping some wrapped up in unrighteous rage throughout their life.  Keeping them playing hurtful, harmful games of trying to get even with others – instead of leaving all vengeance to God (Hebrews 10:30-31).

Unless it is taken care off, all anger can start ticking like a time bomb in the heart.  It starts behaving like a spiritual toxin if it isn’t brought up and addressed on a regular basis (lead verse).  Toxins can easily create disease.  Physical ones harm the health of a human body; spiritual ones harm the health of a human soul.

Harboring unrighteous anger in the heart as the sun sets, is allowing it to be unaddressed with whomever or whatever it is focused upon – and with God.  It has to be brought up.  The longer wrath rests in a soul, the more foolishness it births.  Any Christian folly isn’t faith.  It gives place to Satan (Ephesians 4:27)

Our days on this earth are evil.  Therefore, we are to walk circumspectly – not foolishly (Ephesians 5:15-16).  Anger born of folly corrupts production of the spiritual fruits God commands us to bring forth meet for repentance – and which are to remain (Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30, Matthew 3:8, John 15:16).

However, even righteous anger has to be watched very closely so we don’t get too high-minded and start jumping to conclusions.  We rarely have all the facts needed to justify wrath – right or wrong – while everything is naked before Him (Hebrews 4:12-13). Things aren’t always as they seem (Joshua 22:6-34).

There is an old saying of “cooler heads prevail” and it’s why we have to keep our anger in constant check so we don’t sin.  We are being purified as Christians through the blood of Jesus, but we will never be as perfect (1 Peter 1:19).  Having any kind of mind like this means God’s truth isn’t in us (1 John 1:8,10).

Does our Father give us ways to address and handle anger so we keep it at bay?  Yes – He does.  There are several throughout His Word, but perhaps one of the best remedies is to remember the words of David: “Stand in awe and do not sin.  Commune with your heart upon your bed – and be still (Psalm 4:4).”

In Psalm 77:6, we read “I call to remembrance my song in the night.  I commune with my own heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.”  If we do these and can’t find our anger source, then we ask God to make intercession.  To reveal deep and secret things only He can see (Daniel 2:22, Romans 8:26-27).

Although there are many other ways (e.g. Psalm 141:3, Proverbs 15:1, Philippians 4:8-9), remember we do not know what any day will bring (Proverbs 27:1) that could arouse angry behavior.  Our soul has to be kept in a constant state of peace and calm.  If it’s being filled with the world, wrong wrath emerges.

Anger is a very complex issue and its triggering factors are many.  It’s a topic far too broad to cover here and this piece is not intended to proclaim of knowing all the causes and answers concerning wrath. However, bottled up anger is a joy and peace stealer, and it can shipwreck relationships beyond repair.

As God tells us in the lead verse, we can be angry, but we cannot let the sun set on it.  We have to come to grips with it before going to sleep.  Wrath will rob us of rest required to walk soberly with Him the next day.  Instead, we will wake up stressed and tense due to anger left lingering in our soul during the night.

Unaddressed, unconfessed anger to others and God – and left uncorrected before retiring in the evening – is a catalyst for committing sin the next morning.  We’ll likely leave the house meditating on the wrath; not the Word.  Sin always lies waiting at our front door (Genesis 4:7), and withholds good (Jeremiah 5:25).

Remember a lot of unrighteous anger in life can put us in a lot of contention with other people – or God. This is nothing more than pride (Proverbs 13:10).  It frequently creates conflict and friction, and leads to disagreements within relationships – even with Jesus – because life just is not going exactly as wanted.

Who is ever going to get mad, angry, or upset when everything is going precisely the way they desire (Psalm 23:1, James 1:4)?  So, if wrath exists before the sun sets, it might mean swallowing some pride and taking a bite of humble pie.  Visiting or calling a person we’re angry at, to hear their side of the story.

This is showing grace, and how we grow in it (2 Peter 3:18) – so we don’t wallow in wrath day after day.  If we are Christians, then we’ve been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5).  We have been given the only power we’ll ever get to put off things like lying, anger, wrath and filthy talk from our mouth (Colossians 3:8-9).

In conclusion, remember our Father above is always ready to pardon us, gracious and merciful, and slow to anger (Nehemiah 9:17).  As Christians, we are to be the same way to everyone else, no matter if they fail to do the same in return.  Otherwise, we are not learning Jesus as commanded (Ephesians 4:20-32).

Repeated troubles and problems dealing with anger, and letting it go, shows this is not being done.  One may be hearing and studying a lot about truth, but never applying it to life from the inside out (2 Timothy 3:7).  More wrath is likely in store until it is finally dealt with as God commands; before each day ends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)

– In a dream, in a vision of the night – when deep sleep falls upon man in slumberings upon the bed.  Then He opens the ears of men and seals their instruction – that He may withdraw man from his purpose – and hide pride from man.  He keeps back his soul from the pit – and his life from perishing by the sword. – Job 33:15-18

– “These dreams go on when I close my eyes – every second of the night, I live another life.” (“These Dreams“, recorded by Heart, words and music by Martin Page, copyright 1985)

Each day, God goes by us – and we do not see Him.  The Lord passes on also – yet we don’t always perceive Him (Job 9:11). The madness of modern society can create such mind-numbing noises – it can be hard for anyone to hear God’s still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12).  Giving and sealing His instructions of what He wants us to do – and where He wants us to go – as we’re led by the Spirit (Romans 8:1-14).  Things right in His eyes – not ours (Deuteronomy 13:18, 1 Chronicles 13:4).

Quiet moments are difficult to capture in today’s world for any length of time.  How do we know then what we’re doing as believers is truly coming by God’s counsel – and not the counsel of other Christians?  Whether He has led us to do them – or if they’re just ideas out of our own minds (Numbers 16:28)?  The time most of us are the stillest each day, the longest – is during sleep.  Why wouldn’t God use this time to open our ears – so we can truly hear what He has to say (Psalm 121:4)?

Dreams and visions appeared to people throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament, God appeared to Abraham in a vision, saying “Fear not, Abraham – I am your shield and your exceeding great reward (Genesis 15:1).”  Samuel feared showing Eli a vision from the Lord – for it meant Eli could no longer purge his sins with sacrifices or offerings ever again (1 Samuel 3:10-15).  King Nebuchadnezzar‘s pride was high – and it was removed after a troubling dream came to fruition (Daniel 4:5-37).

Following the birth of Jesus in the New Testament, the wise men were warned by God in a dream they should not return to Herod – but depart into their country another way (Matthew 2:12).  As soon as they left, an angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph – telling him to take Mary and the Christ child into Egypt until further instructions were received from above – not below. Herod was still seeking Jesus – to destroy the Son of man – and Egypt would be safe haven for a while (Matthew 2:13).

Once Herod died, another vision told Joseph it was safe to return to Israel – as those seeking Christ were dead (Matthew 2:20). A third dream warned Joseph to turn aside and go to Galilee instead of Judea – for Herod’s successor was there – and Joseph was afraid to go any further (Matthew 2:22).  All these dreams show God knows where we are, what we’re doing, how we’re feeling – and how He can tell us through them to start, stay with, or stop something – or go another way (Isaiah 30:21).

In the classic song “Sounds of Silence”, we hear: “Because a vision softly creeping, left its seeds while I was sleeping – and the vision that was planted in my brain – still remains.”  Just because we have a dream – it doesn’t always mean something good or bad is going to happen immediately.  It could take weeks or months to come to pass.  If it’s a warning from God and it’s heeded – we may not see a similar dream for a while. Unless we’re turned away from Him again (Deuteronomy 13:5).

Our dreams can free us from troubling matters of the day – even those between us and other believers.  God can give us the direction and discernment necessary in making a decision to depart from fellow brothers or sisters.  The Lord tells us to withdraw ourselves from those who walk disorderly among us – in the name of Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:6).  Or, from those who seem to be perverting the gospel (1 Timothy 6:5).  But – we are not to take these matters into our own hands (Acts 5:36-39).

Our dreams can also frighten us with troubles – to the point we’re afraid to sleep at all.  The beds and couches offering us an image of rest and comfort – perhaps after a long day at work – may not look so inviting when we’re ready to lie down (Job 7:13).  Our visions have become so vivid and terrifying – we’d rather try to stay awake – lest they come again if we go to bed (Job 7:14).  Sometimes, the dreams are so scary – we can tremble as the hair of our flesh stands on end (Job 4:13-15).

Despite their nature, we must always be careful we don’t take any dream from our deceitful hearts and minds – and make it into a false divination from above (Jeremiah 14:14, Jeremiah 17:9, Ezekiel 13:7).  God speaks exclusively about this in Jeremiah, Chapter 23, verses 9-40:  “I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in My name, saying ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed ‘. Yes, they are prophets of the deceit of their own hearts (Jeremiah 23:25-26).”

Everything in creation is continually bare and manifest before God’s eyes (Jeremiah 23:24, Hebrews 4:13).  Maybe dreams of being naked in front of audiences – or audiences being naked in front of us – are His reminders that nothing is hid from His view. Our Father is always pursuing us and giving chase – even when we’re not with Him.  So He can catch us with His grace – before we fall too far and risk having received it in vain when Christ returns (2 Corinthians 6:1, 1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 12:10)

Dreams with no rhyme or reason may be how we see them – but how will God be qualified to judge us if He’s unaware of them (Romans 3:4)?  Maybe their primary purpose is to draw us away from our own (lead verse) – and towards His (Romans 8:28). The One against us could be God – for good reason (Romans 8:31).  If we should get so caught up in our own lust, self-will, presumption (2 Peter 2:10), and pride – maybe He’s trying to reach us through dreams – before we fall into the pit forever.

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