God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry? — Jonah 4:9
Anger is not always or necessarily sinful but it has such a tendency to run wild, that whenever it displays itself, we should be quick to question its character, with this enquiry, “Is it right for you to be angry?” It may be that we can answer, “YES!” Very frequently, anger is the madman’s firebrand but sometimes it is Elijah’s fire from heaven. We do well when we are angry with sin, because of the wrong which it commits against our good and gracious God; or with ourselves because we remain so foolish after so much divine instruction; or with others when the sole cause of anger is the evil which they do.
He who is not angry at transgression, becomes a partaker in it. Sin is a loathsome and hateful thing, and no renewed heart can patiently endure it. God himself is angry with the wicked every day, and it is written in His Word, “You who love the Lord—hate evil.”
“Is it right for you to be angry?” Far more frequently, it is to be feared that our anger in not commendable or even justifiable, and then we must answer, “NO!” Why should we be fretful with children, passionate with servants, and wrathful with companions? Is such anger honorable to our Christian profession, or glorifying to God? Is it not just the old evil heart seeking to gain dominion, and should we not resist it with all the might of our newborn nature.
Many professors give way to angry temper as though it were useless to attempt resistance; but let the believer remember that he must be a conqueror in every point, or else he cannot be crowned. If we cannot control our tempers—what has grace done for us? Someone told Mr. Jay that grace was often grafted on a crab-tree stump. “Yes,” said he, “but the fruit will not be crab apples.” We must not make natural infirmity an excuse for sin but we must fly to the cross and pray the Lord to crucify our tempers, and renew us in gentleness and meekness after His own image!
When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. — Ps 56:9
It is impossible for any human speech to express the full meaning of this delightful phrase, “God is for me.” He was “for us” before the worlds were made. He was “for us,” or He would not have given His well-beloved son. He was “for us” when He smote the Only-begotten, and laid the full weight of His wrath upon Him—He was “for us,” though He was against Him. He was “for us,” when we were ruined in the fall—He loved us notwithstanding all. He was “for us,” when we were rebels against Him, and with a high hand were bidding Him defiance. He was “for us,” or He would not have brought us humbly to seek His face. He has been “for us” in many struggles; we have been summoned to encounter hosts of dangers; we have been assailed by temptations from without and within—how could we have remained unharmed to this hour—if He had not been “for us”?
He is “for us,” with all the infinity of His being; with all the omnipotence of His love; with all the infallibility of His wisdom; arrayed in all His divine attributes, He is “for us,” eternally and immutably “for us”; “for us” when yon blue skies shall be rolled up like a worn out vesture; “for us” throughout eternity!
And because He is “for us,” the voice of prayer will always ensure His help. “When I cry unto You, then shall my enemies be turned back.” This is no uncertain hope but a well-grounded assurance, “this I know.” I will direct my prayer unto You, and will look up for the answer, assured that it will come, and that my enemies shall be defeated, “for God is for me.” O believer, how happy are you—with the King of kings on your side! How safe—with such a Protector! How sure your cause, pleaded by such an Advocate! If God is for you—who can effectually be against you!
Morning and Evening - July 13
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.