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5:08 AM   [20 Nov 2016 | Sunday]

Compassion for Angry People

 Moment after moment, there those who wait in desperation, especially unbelievers.  They look for salvation from their circumstances, but find they have no hope.  Emotions often control their attitude.  In one moment, fear grips their heart, and in another, anger floods them in order to find empowerment over the fear.  Anxiety plagues their mind, while depression finds its way in during vulnerable periods of their life.  Both sorrow and resentment may also be haunting them.  They are grieved at the thought no one cares enough to come to their rescue.  They resent those whom they think should be there for them, but are not.  These are those who put on their game face, who seem unreachable for the gospel; however, it’s quite the opposite.  They’re starving for hope.  They may be skeptical of the love available to them, but that’s because they’ve been let down by those closest to them.  As believers, we have to see beyond behavior and demeanor.

Not everyone is as they seem.  Those with rough exteriors may actually be crumbling inside. 

They have no sure foundation on which to stand when the storms of life blow in.  Oh sure, they survive.  They live, but not to the extent they could if they knew Jesus Christ.  Many of you have faced angry people. This does not refer to those who are angered by a single event at a specific time.  These are always angry and negative.  In fact, they look for excuses to become angry or wrathful.  Are you comfortable around them?  Do you feel compassion, or do you find disdain trying to creep in?  Do you face them with love, or do you run the other direction?  Can you chase after their heart for the sake of Jesus?

Keep in mind those who are the angriest, are angry for a reason.  Most people do not make a conscious decision to be that way.  Anger gives people a sense of power.  Power over what or whom?  Fear for one thing.  What is easier to handle, the sense of fear or anger?  Anger protects them from the fear of being hurt again.  It keeps people at bay.  It says, “Don’t mess with me!”  Ironically, the fearful are too afraid to trust someone with their innermost secrets.  While they want to share what’s on the inside, they push back on the outside.  Who are the fearful?  Those who have been deeply wounded.  They are the disappointed.  They are those without Jesus Christ.  Of course, there a number of who do have Jesus, but they have yet to find healing.  They need ministry.  If only they could find someone they could trust.

Can you be Jesus to them?  Will you lay your life down for the unlovable?  God loves them deeply, and we are supposed to be like our heavenly Father.  Matthew 5:48 Therefore, be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect (see verses 43-48 for full context).  If you are going to reach out to the broken, you cannot do it from a fleshly standpoint.  It requires spiritual discernment.  In short, you must walk in the Spirit and listen to His voice.  God will whisper secrets in your ear in order to reach the hurting.  He will empower you to love them beyond their understanding.  That love along with the hope you possess will influence them for the Kingdom.  Orphans are famished for the Father’s love.  Those who do not have Jesus Christ, do not have the Father either -they’re Fatherless.  You can be the one who breaks through and delivers the love they’re seeking.  When you let Love have His way, you won’t be phased by their attempts to make you angry.  As Jesus put it, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Those looking for a fight are actually looking to express their pain.   They just don’t know any other way right now.

They are not your fight.  There’s a spirit behind the mess.  In truth, you are fighting for them.  It’s important to resist the temptation to retaliate when they come against you.  Just love them and pray for them.  AGAPE is required, because you cannot expect anything in return.  This kind of love takes joy in the recipient alone, and does things for his or her good, without expecting a return on investment, so to speak.  Usually, when someone pushes back at you, they’re testing your love.

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