“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:7-9 English Standard Version)
Anger is a primal response to pain or hurt. When one feels that he is being hurt, that person may lash out in anger in response to the pain being delivered or the perceived pain being received. Anger is a reptilian response that does not need rational thought to bring it about. It is often irrational and reactionary.
Anger may stew in one’s heart for a while before it comes out in destructive ways, either through actions or words. In the story of Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, Cain was upset with God because Abel’s offering was acceptable and Cain’s was not. Cain stewed in his anger until he murdered his brother Abel. God warned Cain that he was being tempted to sin and that doing the right thing would make him acceptable to God. God was rational and Cain was not. He was angry.
In Psalm 37 we are warned to refrain from anger and forsake wrath. The psalm is speaking specifically about anger toward God. The anger toward God is due to the irrational hurt that the wicked are prospering and the child of God is suffering. The person feels slighted by God.
Anger toward God is ill-founded and born out of mankind’s sense of what is fair and what is not. It is not fair that Polly Pagan should receive more than Charlie Christian. That may be a belief of some Christians. “Why do the wicked prosper and your children suffer,” one may ask God.
The answer is not to compare oneself to others, but to wait patiently for the Lord to reveal the fullness of his blessings to his people. Having patience with God is the antidote for our frustration with God or others. God will bring about what he desires in his time and does not follow our timeline.
Are you struggling with your finances and wonder why others have it better than you? Wait patiently for the Lord to move. Are you struggling with anger issues toward someone? Wait patiently for the Lord to move. Are you sick and tired of being sick, depressed, lonely, sad, etc.? Wait patiently for the Lord to move.
In the King James Version, verse 7 says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” The Lord desires for us to rest in him and be still before him. When we get to the place where we can completely trust in the Lord, resting him and being still, then we will no longer be frustrated or angry with him or our situation. He will do what is best for his children in his time. “The evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.”