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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Anger Management - Part 3

Joyce Meyer - Anger Management - Part 3

Joyce Meyer - Anger Management - Part 3
TOPICS: Anger, Emotions, Self-Control
Joyce Meyer - Anger Management - Part 3

Okay, how many of you realize that sometimes we have issues in our life, things that are hurting us that it really makes no sense that we just keep doing the same thing over and over but yet somehow we just won't let go of our issue? Okay, we wanted to show you a little clip that we got online and got permission to use... Now, that goes on and on and on and on. They keep trying to get him to put down his box so he can see what he's doing and stop banging his head against the wall and he refuses to give up his "Issue". And you know what, I think a lot of us are the exact same way. It's, like, we're banging our head against the wall so to speak. Keep doing something that is never going to work because it's not God's plan or how he does things and yet somehow, it's amazing sometimes just because we think that going through what we need to go through to get free is hard that we will hang on to something that's actually even harder and it's just the devil's trick.

It's like, "Well, it's just too hard, it's not fair. Well, you don't know what people have done to me". But I can tell you that anger never works. It hinders your prayer, makes you miserable, makes you sick, can actually cause mental illness. There's all kinds of problems that anger cause. Anger is one letter away from danger. All you gotta do is add a "D" on to the front of it, which we could say represents the devil. And anger becomes danger. And so, we start in the book of Genesis with Cain getting angry at Abel, so angry that he killed him. And all through the Bible we see situations where people were angry and all through the Bible we see the bad results and we see God saying, "Turn it over to me. I'm your vindicator, let me be the one that brings justice in your life". And so we have a choice to make today.

Anger is harmful to us. Anger that is not controlled, because you see I want to remind you that if somebody treats you unjustly, I mean even, let's just say someone pulls out in front of you in traffic, the feeling of anger is not a sin. That's natural and normal. The feeling of anger is not a sin but what we choose to do with it or how long we choose to let it go on, that's where the sin comes in. It was really good for me to learn that because I used to feel guilty every time that I would feel angry. I wanted to do what was right and I think a lot of Christians feel guilty every time they feel angry. But it's really, I mean, that's an emotion that God has put in us to let us know when we're being mistreated. However, there's a second thing that God asks us to do. Not only know when we're being mistreated, but not to try to vindicate ourselves. Not to try to get revenge. Not to hate people. Not to be angry and upset. But to immediately turn it over to him. It's called letting go of your box. Turn it over to him and let him be your vindicator.

Now, God may not move as fast as you'd like him to. He may not do it the way that you'd like him to. But God will vindicate us because, listen to what I'm going to say, God does not like it when people mistreat his kids. You may think your boss is taking advantage of you and you're not being paid what you're worth and you're being overlooked and you can hate him all you want to and it's never going to get you your raise and it's never going to change anything and it's not going to increase your joy. You can sit at lunch and you can gossip about him and downgrade him. It's not going to help you in your life, it's not going to add joy to your life. But you can pray about it. You can turn him over to God. And if he refuses to do what God is trying to get him to do then God will get you out of there and get you a better job somewhere where you will be respected. There's nothing too hard for God. Absolutely nothing too hard for God.

My son had a really good example the other day. He's got three small boys, plus he's the CEO of all of our stateside ministry, so he's got a lot going on. But he said, "You know, God showed me a good example the other day". He said, "My boys believe anything I tell them". And he said, "They absolutely think that I can do anything". He said, "If I told them that I'm going to fill this swimming pool out here with gasoline, set it on fire and jump over it, they would say, 'okay'. They would believe that". And he said, "That's the way God wants us to be with him. Where no matter what he tells us or how fantastical it sounds, that it's not even a question for us". So if God says, "I will recompense you for your past hurts. I don't want you to be angry. I don't want you to be bitter. I don't want you to let what people to do to you ruin your life". Because let me tell you something, somebody out in the world is always going to be doing something. You do not have to look very far to find an excuse to get angry. Right?

If you don't get angry about what somebody's doing to you, you can get angry about what they are doing to themselves. You can be angry about all the injustices in the world. But I found that if I don't like a lot of stuff that's going on in my life, the best way to respond to it is by doing something good. If you want to make the devil mad, when he throws his best shot at you, you go be a blessing to somebody and see what that gets you. I probably shared this scripture in almost every seminar that I do. Somewhere before the weekend's over I'll share Romans 12:21, that we overcome evil with good. If you've not learned that secret yet, you need to get ahold of that. You're not going to ever fight evil with evil, but you can fight it with good and win, every single time. Every time. Ecclesiastes 7:9 says that, "Anger lodges in the bosom of a fool".

So, in other words, people who've had things happen to them and let it get stuck in them and they stay angry and bitter... Do you know that some people and possibly even some in here today, some watching by TV, listening by a recorded device, you've let something that somebody did to you way back over here, maybe even years and years ago steal the best life that God has for you. And I can tell you today is time for you to let go of your issue and let go of your box and decide that you're going to let God be your vindicator in life. And if there's nothing that you're dealing with right now, I can promise you if you don't need this message today, you'll need it tomorrow or the next day or next week or the next month. None of us are going to go through life and not have multiple opportunities to get bitter and resentful and angry and stay mad and live lives filled with strife. Not one of us is going to go without an opportunity to do that. "Be angry and sin not," Ephesians says and I love that because I use to think that just the feeling of anger was wrong.

But let me tell you something, temptation is not sin. Did you hear me? You're being tempted to sin but I actually think it's a great victory when we're tempted to sin and we can exercise the fruit of self control and say no. I think that's a victory. The Bible says temptation must come. So if you're waiting for temptation to go away, it's useless to pray, "Well, you know, Lord, I wish I wasn't tempted every time I see a chocolate cake". Well, you know, if you love chocolate, chances are you're going to have to learn to look at chocolate in a different way. You're going to have to look at it and say, "I will eat you if I want to and if I don't want to, I won't. You are not my boss". I mean, I've had to learn in my life, if I want to be healthy and feel good, that I have to have limitations on what I do. You can do all things in moderation, but you can't do everything you want to every day. You can't spend all the money you want to, every day and not somehow end up in debt. You can't say everything you want to say, all the time, without ruining relationships.

Is anybody awake and in the house today? So, there's temptation all over the place and we have to stop thinking, "I just can't help it, I can't control myself". God is never going to tell us to do or not to do something without giving us the ability to do it. So, if God says, "Forgive. Let me be your recompense. Don't take revenge on people. Be angry and sin not. Don't let the sun go down on your anger". Then we can do, with God's help, what he's asking us to do. And the first step towards ever being able to do what God wants you to do is to believe you can do it. When we're foolish and we let anger lodge within us, sometimes we do things that we can spend a lifetime regretting. Or we say things that we're really, really, really sorry for later. And so, I wanted to show you a scripture that I think is interesting that maybe you've never thought of like this and I don't really think I'm taking it out of context but I want to show it to you.

John chapter 20, verse 23. "[now having received the Holy Spirit, and being led and directed by him]," he's talking to the apostles, because Jesus had been resurrected, he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit". "If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven, and if you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained". Now, let's just leave that up there for a minute because I want to share this with you in a couple different ways. First of all, I believe to forgive people we need the power of the Holy Spirit. If somebody's hurt you, don't just "Try" to forgive them. You can make a decision to forgive. You can make a decision to pray for people. But you can't make your adverse feelings go away. Only God can do that.

And so, first thing, when you get hurt, whether it's major or minor, "Holy Spirit, help me. Help me. Help me get over this. Help me let it go". I mean, don't wait. The longer you wait the more it's going to get deeply rooted in you. The more you think about it the harder it's going to be to let go of it. I mean the minute you get offended, the minute you get angry, start praying right then, "God, I'm not going to live with the offense. I'm not going to live with anger. Help me let this go". How many of you will do that? Right away, right away. I love what 1 Peter 5 says, "Resist the devil at his onset". I love that. Don't mess with the devil. It's like I said last night, don't dabble in things like calling the psychic hot-line or having your palm read at a circus, or you know. You don't need to dabble in that kind of stuff. We don't need to dabble around with these things that are hurting us. We need to do what the word says, "Resist the devil at his onset". "I'm not going to live angry, I'm not going to stay bitter. Holy Spirit help me"!

You don't have to live that way. If you let God help you. Anger will ruin your life. So, we need the Holy Spirit's help. But then I think that there's... So he's saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit, now you can forgive people". But there's something here that I think maybe has a little different context. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they're forgiven. If you retain their sin, if you keep it in you, then it's retained. And I think, if we keep it in us and it's retained, then we can actually turn around and do the same thing that was done to us. My father abused me, he was very angry, he was harsh, he was hard. I hated him, I hated the way he'd act. And minus the abuse, I ended up just as harsh and hard as he was. Because I had retained in me the effects of what he did to me. How many children have violent parents and then they become violent. Or a boy watches his dad beat on his mother and he ends up beating on his wife?

You've got to forgive people. If you don't you're going to keep it in you. And if it's kept in you as a seed the enemy will be happy to water it until it becomes a full grown plant in you and you end up doing the same things or some other similar thing as to what was done to you. Listen, when God tells us to forgive and not live angry lives, he's not doing it for himself, he's doing it for us. And if you want to have the best life that God can give you then not only do you need to forgive everything from here back, but anything that's going to happen in the future, make your mind up today, I'm not going to live angry. I am not going to be full of bitterness. James 1:19-20. Does anybody need this today? Like I said, if you don't you will. How many of you had an opportunity to get angry this morning? Look at that! My gosh! Boy is the devil working overtime! Wow.

"Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every person be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. For man's anger does not promote the righteousness that God desires". Everybody say, "I am slow to get angry". Say it again. Why don't you even just start confessing this, "It is almost impossible to make me mad". Amen? Doesn't that sound good? Alright, I'm sure glad God's that way. Woo! Boy, he could be having a fit a minute if he wasn't slow to anger. Psalm 103:8 and 9. "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness. He will not always chide or be contending, neither will he keep his anger forever or hold a grudge". How many of you are glad this morning that God is not holding anything against you? Well, guess what, we have his nature living in us. The Bible says we have the mind of Christ, the Amplified says, "We do hold the thoughts, intents and purposes of his heart".

Don't think that you can't act godly, because you can. The seed of God is on the inside of us through Jesus Christ. And we're told to imitate his behavior. So, if he's slow to anger and he doesn't hold grudges, no wonder he's asking us to do the same thing. He's asking us just to imitate him in our behavior in life. Psalm 145:8, I think looking at the scriptures is important. "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness".

Now, let's look at Ephesians 4:26-27. One of the things that's very helpful is if you get angry or if you're having a problem letting go of something, look up and read every scripture that you can find on anger. You know why? Because this is not just black ink on white pages. There's power and life in the Word of God. You know, I tell people, all the time, I don't do anything fancy. I teach the word. And I believe that I'm anointed to do it. And so, why would you take your weekend, why would you take a Friday night like last night or some of you were here Thursday night, Friday night, now you're back here this morning. You've got plenty to do, why would you do this? I'm not just speaking regular words, but the Word of God is full of power and it has the ability to change your life. Amen?

So always, always, always when you're having trouble doing what you believe God wants you to do, run to the word. Spend time with God. Fellowship with him. Remember how much he loves you and then let that love flow through you to other people. Verse 26, "When you're angry, do not sin: do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down". And I made a suggestion last night that I would like to repeat today. Why don't you form a habit, of when you go to bed at night, take just a few minutes before you go to sleep and kind of, you know, not go on some digging expedition unto condemnation, just ask yourself now, "Am I angry about anything? Am I mad at anybody"? And deal with those things and work through it until you can say to the Lord, "I'm happy to say that by your grace and mercy, I'm not angry at anybody and now I can go to sleep".

You know what, if you go to bed angry, you're going to wake up angry. There are people in here today that went to bed mad last night. And you're thinking, "Oh, man, did you have to talk about that"? But here's one of the important things: "Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]". So, once again, God is saying when you do that, you open up a door for the devil. Don't give him that kind of an opportunity. Verse 30, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit [do not offend or vex or sadden him], by whom you were sealed and (branded as God's own, secured for the day of redemption of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin)".

When I think about grieving the Holy Spirit, it even grieves me to think I might grieve the Holy Spirit. Well our relationship with God is so precious and the Holy Spirit comes to live in us to bring us the presence of God. It's the most precious treasure that we have. Just, being the home of God, the Holy Spirit living in us and the Bible says don't grieve the Holy Spirit. Well, let's just don't overly spiritualize that, let's look at what does grieve the Holy Spirit. The very next verse, we can not separate it from verse 30, says, "Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking)". I mean, he's not leaving out any of the anger words. He's like, "Whatever kind of label you want to put on this, let it be banished from you".

Don't grieve the Holy Spirit by letting those things get lodged on the inside of you. Now, you know that even God operates in self-control? That might sound a little odd but let's look at Psalm 78:38 and 39. "But he, full of [merciful] compassion, forgave their iniquity and destroyed them not: yes, many a time he turned his anger away and did not stir up his wrath and indignation. For he [earnestly] remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that goes and does not return". So, when God feels anger about something that we've done that's very unwise or very wrong, it says he doesn't, I mean I think this would be the translation. He doesn't just think about what we've done and keep stirring up anger.

And, you know, if you get angry about something, how many of you know the more you think about it, the more you stir it up? The more you think about it, the more you talk about it, the angrier you become. Same thing happens to me. So, I love what the Bible says here, instead of stirring up wrath, he remembers that they are but dust. So, one of the best things that we can do when somebody makes us mad is to right away say, "I make mistakes too. We all have weaknesses. We all make mistakes. I know I've hurt other people". You know, if you're gonna be in relationship with a person, any person, you have to get ready to not always be treated the way you would like to be treated.
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