40 Days of Renewal 2020
Victory Over Wrath
40 Days of Renewal:
Victory Over Wrath
Living in a fallen world, filled with fallen people, we all suffer at the hands of other people. No one is immune to the pain.
King David wrote about the pain of betrayal: 12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me— then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me— then I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. 14 We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng. (Psalm 55:12-14 ESV) The closer we are to our betrayer, the greater our pain.
Two important truths: 1) You don’t have to bear the pain alone, and 2) you can experience victory in suffering.
Cry out to the Lord. 16 But I call to God, and the LORD will save me. 17 Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. (Psalm 55:16-17 ESV)
Call out to this church family.
Consider the eternal value of responding well. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9 ESV)
Suffering is inevitable in this life. That does not mean that we all have to be defeated by it or that we have to respond sinfully to it.
Christians are empowered to handle suffering. When we suffer, the Lord gives us sustaining grace, empowered strength, consuming love, a different perspective, a refining touch, an eternal hope, and a perfect model to follow in Christ Jesus.
When we experience suffering, we have a choice to believe or brood.
Believing, while suffering, draws us nearer to God, allows us to experience the fellowship of Christ’s suffering, and stirs hope in us.
Brooding, while suffering, draws us deeper into the pain, causes us to feel despair, and prompts us to respond with sinful wrath.
Wrath is a heightened emotional state resulting from unyielding anger, which is often vengeful and resentful.
A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression. (Proverbs 29:22 ESV)
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. (Proverbs 10:12 ESV)
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. 9 For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land. (Psalm 37:8-9 ESV)
The Book of Proverbs reminds us that being wrathful, hateful, angry, bitter, quick-tempered, and unforgiving is a path of folly that leads to destruction. That is why we must allow Jesus to free us from brooding and responding in wrath.
Silent wrath ignores people, doesn’t speak to them, withholds love from them, and has a tendency to gloat when the person experiences trouble. It is foolish, destructive, and sinful. 17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, 18 lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him. (Proverbs 24:17-18 ESV) Silent wrath defiles us as much as outburst of wrath.
We express verbal wrath with words and actions of rage. It is often manifested by gossiping to tear down someone, seeking and taking the opportunity to tear a person down, or planning and implementing plans for revenge.
Jesus has come to set us free from verbal and silent wrath, both of which are the expressions of wayward and sinful hearts that are not fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit.
Often the peace that we experience in brokenness is equal to the measure of grace we extend to the betrayer.
You can trust Jesus with the pain you suffer. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
You can trust Jesus to completely forgive your sins, stirring you to forgive all others freely. (Matthew 6:12, 14-15)
You can trust The Lord to bring justice and vengeance on your behalf; Jesus did. (1 Peter 2:19; 21-23)
In the moment of his greatest suffering, Jesus trusted the Heavenly Father for justice. We are called to do the same. (Romans 12:17-21)
40 Days of Renewal is an intentional season when, as a church, we pursue lasting renewal in Christ in every area of life.