Proverbs 19:19-20 NRSV
A violent tempered person will pay the penalty; if you effect a rescue, you will only have to do it again. Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom for the future.
Anger, control, and fear all go together. Trust, patience, and kindness go together. However, they rarely mix. In other words, when we are angry or fearful, it is likely that we will be patient or kind.
A. W. Tozer contends that “the low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us” (The Knowledge of the Holy, p. vii). And it’s true. The cause of most of our sin is based on either the fact that we truly don’t believe God can help us or we don’t believe that God will help us. And this belief is based on the idea that we are wiser than He is so we logically know what He should do. When He doesn’t do it, our belief is confirmed and our idea of Who He is is lessened.
We really don’t want to trust God. We want Him to respond to our prayers, to our pleas, to our expectations rather than molding ourselves to Him! The psalmist writes:
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14 NRSV
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord. Psalm 31:24 NRSV
Notice the three characteristics here:
- Be strong
- Become courageous
Waiting means simply that . . . to wait. And potentially wait and wait and wait. Hebrews 11:39 tells us that all these [the great saints of the Old Testament], though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised (NRSV). These are those who waited, who became strong and courageous and didn’t receive because God’s plan was better!
We are angry because we refuse to accept the instruction of scripture. Then we are ill prepared for the future—lacking wisdom. And we pay the penalty. A believer cannot be angry, want to control, and be afraid and still trust God. God knows about our problems. He knows the things that we need and He will provide if we wait upon Him.