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No foothold Here

Words of Faith Final

No foothold Here

Words of Faith 3-16-2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Ephesians 4

 [26] "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,   [27] and do not give the devil a foothold.

 

       So anger is not a choice.  Anger happens.  We will feel anger and express anger when there is a threat to something we value.  We can choose to anger slowly and respond carefully--  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires (James 1:19). 

       How do we do that?  The Spirit said through James that if we listen more than we talk, that is the best start.  And if we surrender to the response of the Spirit-- the fruit of the Spirit will be manifested in us.  The fruit includes patience and peace, kindness and goodness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22-23).

       Okay.  But in practical terms, how do we deal with anger when it arises in us?

       First, we need to identify that we are angry.  Emotions can be hard to name.  They often get mixed up with other emotions. With anger, the first clue is often our own physical response.  The Hebrew word for anger means to be flushed in the face, to glow or grow warm.  We feel these things.

       In a few verses, we are called to Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice (Eph. 4:31).  These are all indicators we have anger.  Are we entangled in strife or dissension?  The Bible teaches in Proverbs 30:33: "For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife." Proverbs 29:22 reminds us: "An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins."

       Second, we need to identify any other contributing factors.  Anger is often a part of grief.  If we miss that, we will be confused.  We need to ask, have I experienced a major grief?  Is there unresolved grief from long ago?  But there are other factors as well.  Am I fatigued? Stressed or worn out?  Have I been enduring chronic pain? Am I going through major changes in life?

      Third, is to figure out what or who is the object of our anger.  What am I really angry about?  Is it something or someone different than the ones I have been clamoring about? Am I angry with God or my situation in life?  Is my anger legitimate, a righteous indignation?  If I am angry at another person, do I need to deal with my own sin first, as the Bible directs?

       Fourth, is to make a plan for peace and reconciliation.  You may need to be reconciled to God and to yourself.  You may need to communicate or express your righteous anger responsibly. You make need to create a plan to respond Biblically to a conflict and break a cycle of dissension.  Matthew 18 teaches that if there is something between us and another, we are to go to the person alone first.  Then go to the person with one or two, if necessary.  And then seek the help of church leaders if this is needed to resolve a conflict.

      The real key here is to realize that when we fail to deal with anger, we give the devil a foothold.  When we ignore our anger, we offer the enemy a place to hide like a sword in a scabbard, ready for attack.  When we nurse our anger, we give Satan a rock to cling to in our lives, and he will certainly try to use it.  We end up playing host to the enemy and his plots against your family, friends, and the Body of Christ.

       The Spirit calls us to put on this different clothing which He provides-- Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (4:32).  We are to wear the manner of kindness and compassion forgiving just as in Christ God forgave us. 

        So where are you today?  Have you been angry?  Is there an anger you have been nursing?  Is there anger you need to identify more clearly and deal with?  Is there a relationship that needs forgiveness-- kindness and compassion?  Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

 

       Father God, it is only by the illumination of Your Spirit that I can find the path.  It is only by Your Spirit that I can identify and settle the matters of anger in my own heart.  Help me today.  Help me to be slow to speak and quick to listen.  Help me to be slow to anger and forthright in dealing with my anger.  In Jesus’ Name.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2010, 2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.