“How to Cease from Anger”
Psalms 37:8 says, “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evil doers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
In these verses in Psalms 37 we see a repeat of what was said in the first 3 verses of Psalms 37 but said in a slightly different way and with a slightly difference emphasis.
There is a saying, ‘nice guys finish last.’ You could also say, ‘honest people finish last.’ If you look out into the world you will find there are very few people in this world who trust in Jesus in everything that they do. Most humans live for themselves and the things of this life. Most people that have power have power because that is what they have sought after in life and they have done everything they can to obtain it. Most people that have riches have riches because they have made their priority in life to gain as much riches as they can. The same is true about faith in the promises of God. Those that have a strong faith in Christ do so because they make it their priority in life to serve and to follow after the will of God instead of their own will.
The problem is not having riches or power or material possessions. The problem is most people that seek after these things do so by selfish means, taking advantage of others whenever they can. This is the reason these verses talk about anger. When things do not work out the way a person wants the temptation is for that person to get angry. One of the greatest problems in the world is the problem of human anger. Human nature is selfish. Human nature is sinful. And therefore human nature is to get angry.
Notice that in verse 8 the word fret is used. This word is the very first word used in Psalms 37. It is the word used in reference to Cain when he became angry and slew his brother able. A great deal of anger in this world is a result of jealousy. A great deal of anger in this world is anger that is a result of evil men who hate the truth of God’s word. And sometimes there is anger the Christian has and should not have which is a result of seeing how much the wicked of this world prosper in their wickedness.
Notice what the Bible has to say in Psalms 37:8. It says, “Cease from anger.” In other words you are going to get angry. It is human nature. It will happen from time to time. The important thing is how you respond to that anger and to the circumstances in which you get angry. Will you respond the right way or will you respond the wrong way? A lot could be said about the wrong way to respond. But the right way to respond is to cease from your anger. The way to cease from anger is given in verse 9 when it says, “Wait upon the LORD.”
Waiting upon the LORD and trusting in Jesus go hand in hand. Waiting upon the LORD means that you do not take matters into your own hands. You turn to the LORD in prayer. You think about and believe the promises of God. Be willing to do what God what’s you to do. Do not seek revenge on those whom have made you angry. Recognize that the circumstances of life that are beyond your control are still in God’s control.
Psalms 37:9-10 says, “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
These verses say something very similar to what Jesus taught on the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:3-12, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
These verses describe a person who has ceased from anger, a person who has trusted in Jesus. God is the Creator. God owns all of creation, all of this world. In the end those who are going to inherit the earth are those who have repented of their sins and trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation. How easily anger can lead a person down the wrong path. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”
First John 2:15-17 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”
Psalms 37 is a Psalms which teaches how desirable it is to seek after Christ, to follow Christ, to stay committed unto following Christ. There is nothing more beautiful or desirable than the righteousness of God. To know Jesus and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings is the most desirable thing in all the world. Therefore when the wicked people of this world prosper and especially when they prosper through dishonest means and to your own hurt remember that “the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever”. Remembering this truth will help you to cease from your anger when you become angry at the injustices of the world and the cruelties of the world that can be brought against the believer in Jesus. Cease from anger. Wait on the LORD.
Psalms 37:12-13 says, “The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.” One of the most likely ways A Christian might be brought to anger is as a result of the plotting of wicked against him and the injustices done to him as a result of opposition to the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. To cease from anger in such a situation the truth to remember is that God is the judge. The wicked people of this world will plot against you, cast their nets against you, smite with the tongue against your testimony but in the end things always turn around in your favor if you trust in Jesus.
Notice the phrase, “gnasheth upon him with his teeth.” Jesus used the phrase in the New Testament in reference to hell. Jesus said in Matthew 13:37-42, “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man. The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
God gets angry at sin. I can cease from anger because I know God will get angry. And God’s anger is always just. There is judgment coming for those who do not repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation. The wicked of this world may laugh at you today and gnash upon you with their teeth. But in the Day of Judgment it is God who will have the final laugh and it is those who are cast into hell who will weep and gnash their teeth because of God’s righteous judgment.
Psalms 37:13 says, “The LORD shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.” Yes the Day of Judgment is coming. It is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment.
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. It is good to get angry at sin. It is good to be angry at injustice and wrong doing. However at the same time anger can lead a person to not trust in Jesus or His promises.
Psalms 37:1 says, “Fret not thyself because of evil doers.” Psalms 37:8 says, “Cease from anger.” God has plenty of anger and wrath stored up for the Day of Judgment against the wicked. The day is coming when the anger of God will be poured out. God’s anger will always be used justly. Man’s anger so easily leads to murder. Cease from anger and wait upon the LORD.
There is mercy to be found in Jesus Christ who died for the sins of the world. Cease from your anger. Turn from your sins and turn to Jesus Christ to receive eternal life.
Copyright; 2012 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved