Qualities Needed in Trials (2)
18 September 2016 AM – James 1:19 – Jas16 – Scott Childs
Introduction: When I was young I was often an angry youth. As I matured I gained better control, but I still had a spirit of anger that I did not know existed. It wasn’t until I listened to a message by Dr. S. M. Davis on anger that I realized I had that spirit of anger. I dare not say that it is cured, but I know it exists and I am seeking to apply what I hope to share with you today. (link below to Dr. Davis’ sermon) http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=19567&commentView=itemComments
Transition: The third quality that James lists that is needed in trials is the quality of being slow to wrath. This morning, we are going to note three things we must do to be slow to wrath.
The 1st thing we must do to be slow to wrath is to …
1. Biblically Understand Wrath
a. Understand what wrath means in the Bible
1) The word “wrath” is another word for anger in the Bible. It is agitation of the soul. It is an impulse or any violent emotion.
2) Anger is a real problem. I do not know of any Bible example of man’s anger being helpful. Moses’s anger kept him from the Promised Land. Esau’s anger forced Jacob to flee. In anger Balaam beat his donkey. Samson’s anger caused him to kill 30 men. Saul tried to kill David in anger.
3) Here is a brief example of what the Bible says about anger.
a) (Proverbs 14:17) “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.”
b) (Proverbs 14:29) “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”
c) (Proverbs 16:32) “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”
d) (Proverbs 19:19) “A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.”
e) (Proverbs 21:19) “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”
f) (Proverbs 22:24) “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:”
4) Human anger is always wrong.
b. Understand why wrath is wrong
1) Human wrath does not accomplish the righteousness of God (Jas 1:20). What about God’s anger?
2) God’s anger is unselfish, controlled, and constructive. Our anger never is. Our anger is selfish, out of control, and destructive. We cannot handle anger.
3) Being angered is different than getting angry (Eph 4:26). The word used in this verse is passive – “allow yourself to be provoked”, but note the qualifier – “and sin not.” It is not sin to face irritation or to get upset, but to become angry is sin. Just five verses later God commands us to put away all wrath and anger (Eph 4:31).
4) Even a “spirit of anger” is sinful. In Luke 9:54-55, James and John had a spirit of anger when a Samaritan village refused Jesus lodging. They immediately wanted to call fire down from heaven and destroy the village. A spirit of anger is that irritated reaction to provocation. It may be an irritated tone of voice. It may be a sharp or unkind word. If you get “ticked” or “fired up” when things go wrong, that is a sinful spirit or attitude of anger.
5) I believe the command to be “slow to anger” is a command to never get angry.
The 2nd thing we must do to be slow to wrath is to …
2. Biblically Source Wrath
a. Take a good look at anger’s source
1) Wrath is listed among the works of the flesh. (Galatians 5:19-21) “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
2) Anger comes out of our mouths, attitudes and actions.
a) Solomon wrote, (Proverbs 4:23) “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
b) Jesus said, (Luke 6:45) “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
3) The source of anger is the heart. Anger is an overflow of what is in our heart.
b. Dig deeper and find anger’s root
1) The root of anger is selfishness. Someone has done something that you did not like. Someone has dared to disobey your order. Someone has harmed something that belonged to you. Someone has hurt you.
2) The root of getting angry with your spouse or child is selfishness. The root of road rage is selfishness. The root of fighting and arguing is selfishness.
3) The only way we are going to get victory over anger and the spirit of anger is to deal with the root cause.
The 3rd thing we must do to be slow to wrath is to …
3. Biblically Attack Wrath
a. Change your attitude about your anger
1) Admit that even a spirit of anger is sinful. It is the pilot light for anger.
2) Spend more time in the Bible and get an accurate view of God’s ownership over everything that you think is yours. Then surrender it all to Him. Let God avenge wrongs done to you. Beg God to give you victory over selfishness.
3) Choose to get anger out of your life. (Colossians 3:8) “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”
4) Ask your spouse, children or friends to point out any spirit of anger they sense in your tone of voice or attitude. When they do, humbly admit your fault and ask their forgiveness.
b. Depend on God for daily help
1) Allow the Holy Spirit to remove anger from your heart. (Ephesians 4:31) “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” This command is passive. You and I must let God do this for us. Here is what we must do.
a) Admit failure and seek change. (Ephesians 4:22) “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;”
b) Confess sin and draw near to God. Spend quality time with God each day. (Ephesians 4:23) “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;”
c) Give your angry spirit to the Lord every day and seek His help to overcome it. (Ephesians 4:24) “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
2) Yield constantly all day long to the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
3) Daily draw close to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to produce His fruit in you. (Galatians 5:22-23) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Love, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, and temperance are all the opposite of an angry spirit.
4) Choose to walk in step with the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Conclusion: Some of us have more trouble with anger than others, but none of us is exempt. If you have an angry spirit or if other say you do, you have work to do. You must biblically understand wrath. You must biblically source wrath. Then you must biblically attack wrath. Victory will be difficult but not impossible if you follow the biblical steps we have outlined. If you make excuses and keep the spirit of anger pilot light burning, you will never get victory over your anger. Let God help you today!
Song: I Surrender All – 394