"The most humbling thing one can do is to look upon how Jesus responded to suffering and mistreatment. His whole life was ordered around the attribute of meekness. It was his greatest pursuit. From the moment He was born the Father was contemplating His own humility in the person of His Son. Love would be openly displayed as Jesus went lower and lower. Anyone who truly looks upon the man Christ Jesus and His meekness will be left staring at the great mystery. How can One so strong be so tender as He stoops so low? Looking upon Jesus is the great sanctifier to areas of pride and anger in the human heart." - Allen Hood
It doesn't take long to realize that anger and fear is being stirred up on a worldwide scale. Just look at the news. We are hearing things that a few years ago would be totally censored but are now broadcasted on prime time TV across the nations. Rage is increasing at an alarming rate. The new norm is hateful, angry, devilish speech that is increasing in the media, on facebook, and filling everything. And we, the Church, can often get caught up right in the middle of it all. It’s so easy to jump into the devil’s playground and get stirred up by all that is happening. Watching the news can lead us to angry speech, discouragement, fear and anxiety.
All this anxiety and fear harms our physical bodies and causes us to make really bad choices. For example, heart pumping efficiency was tested by doctors in Coral Gables, Florida and the findings were alarming. Eighteen men with coronary artery disease were tested with nine healthy controls. They had a physical stress test, mental stress tests, pictures were taken of their heart, x-rays, etc. In every case, anger was the most potent and dangerous to their heart. It reduced the amount of blood pumped to body tissues more than anything else (Spokesman-Review, July 29, 1993, p. D3).
The reality is that we are living in an anger-infested world that is not getting better. No leader can solve the problems that are before us. We need to ask ourselves:
"What are we as Christians supposed to do in light of the increasing darkness that is encroaching in the nations? How can we stay on God’s side right in the midst of it all when riots, fear, murder, and violence is raging?"
We must realize that this is a fantastic time for the global Church to shine. It’s a training time for all of us, and it will only get more intense as we move towards the Lord’s return to earth. We are in a season of preparation, and we must learn now and learn quickly. The devil wants us to react with ungodly responses, anger and hatred. But God is right now raising up a mature Church, one that shines and moves in supernatural power like in the book of Acts. He is training us to relate in kindness and love. This is how He is bringing in His Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is opposite of what we see happening before our eyes. And this is our hope and joy.
In the midst of all of this hate, God has a marvelous plan to beautify our lives. He delights to impart His beauty to everyone who embraces humility. Let’s remember the humility of Jesus. He even declared himself as meek (Matthew 11:29). Meekness and humility are the foundation of who He is and what He does and blesses forever. He wants us to take His yoke and learn from Him for He is gentle and lowly in heart and we will find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:29). Humility attracts His favor, His power, and His blessings. God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). We read in Psalm 149:4 and 1 Peter 3:4:
“The Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble…”
"He is after the “hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle spirit.”
The Lord is raising up a victorious end-time Church right in the midst of great social hostility (Matthew 24:10). And this is where love and humility will grow the fastest and the deepest. God is teaching us to bridle our tongue and watch our speech. He is working our muscles of love. But we must prepare ourselves and realize that many will be offended, multitudes will grow cold in love, and lawlessness will abound (Matthew 24:10-12).
If we can align ourself with God, with His viewpoint, and see what He is doing, then we can walk humbly and confidently through the days of turmoil we are living in. God is sovereign and He is in control. He is the only one who can fix the problems in any nation. They are too great for one man except for the man Christ Jesus. The global problems will not go away but will only increase. But there is a way we can be confident in Jesus and be connected with His strength. Let’s remember that Jesus is the most beautiful person and His government is forever established on meekness (Matthew 5:5). He will establish truth, humility, and righteous across the earth when He returns.
“Gird your sword upon your thigh, O Mighty One… And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness” (Psalm 45:3-4).
The Bride of Christ will be prepared in mature love and humility when Jesus returns (Revelation 19:7-8). God will teach His Church to treat one another with the dignity of humility and love.
How Shall We Then Live?
I remember a series of lectures and a book written by Francis Schaeffer many years ago called “How Shall We Then Live?” What he was saying back then, is right now in front of us. We must ask ourselves, “How shall we live as we draw closer to the Lord’s return? How can we each mature as the Bride of Christ and as the Church corporately?” The following are some ways:
Start with loving your family and then move further -Make a conscious effort to love your husband, wife, children, mother, etc. Look at small ways you can show love. Listen to them, give them time, be gentle, repent quickly, etc.
“But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger”
Show little acts of kindness -Love your co-workers and friends in a deeper way. Look to their interests. Compliment someone, give a small gift of appreciation, pray for your friends. There are so many ways….
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3-5).
Watch your speech - Come in the opposite spirit. The devil hates it. You win when you love in the midst of hate. God is preparing you. It's hard not to enter into the fight, especially the political fight, but you win if you respond like Jesus.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath (anger), but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable…" (Proverb 15:1-2, NAS).
Ask God to help you to walk in humility every day - We need His grace and must choose to walk in humility.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
Be a peacemaker - Seek to bring peace into situations. Don’t stoke the flames of fiery arguments. Put biblical convictions above your political opinions and arguments.
“Blessed are the peacemaker, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9).
Walk in unity with other believers - Respect and value the dignity of people who have different views than your own.
“… endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:1-3).
- Study the Sermon on the Mount lifestyle in Matthew 5-7 - It is the lithmus test to living godly in the end times. Especially study the beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12. Pray for these qualities in your life.
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled." (Matthew 5:5-6).
Ask God to help you grow in your prayer life and in seeking Him - We must be intimately connected to Him in order to respond rightly in angry situations.
"I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me (Proverbs 8:17).
In the spring of 1894, the Baltimore Orioles were in Boston to play a typical baseball game. But what happened was anything but ordinary. The Orioles' John McGraw got in a fight with the Boston third baseman. Soon both teams were joined in the fight. The warfare quickly spread to the grandstands. The fight among the fans went from bad to worse. Then someone set fire to the stands and the entire ballpark burned to the ground. That fire spread to 107 other Boston buildings as well (Daily Bread, August 13, 1992).
This is just one example of the incredible harm, anger and hatred brings on the earth. Now is the time for the Church to arise, bringing in God's power, truth and righteousness on a global scale. It's time for the Church to learn the secret power of humility in an age of anger.
"Jesus, you are teaching me to fight a new kind of war, not with bullets and angry outbursts, but with kindness and loving words. You are teaching me a new kind of wisdom that outsmarts the devil, one that brings your Kingdom down to earth and imparts to me the joy of the Spirit in a radically painful world. You are showing me the way of life and grace in the midst of hopelessness and suffering. You are showing me the way of the Kingdom, a way to supernaturally touch the pain of humanity. Help me to breathe Your life, truth and righteousness into my family, friends and workplace instead of negative or ungodly speech. Help me Jesus. I need You to bridle my tongue. I need Your grace to make it a reality in my life situations. Help me to be like You when You walked this earth. No more anger, no more fear - but hope, righteousness, and peace. In Jesus' name, amen."
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“The revelation of His glory includes seeing One so high (transcendence) who went so low (condescension) to bring us so near (redemption) because we are so dear (Bride). The Most High God went so low because of such great desire to partner with us. Jesus wants adoration and gratitude based partnership with Him at the deepest level imaginable. We are awestruck by His power, overwhelmed by His humility, and made confident by His love.” - Mike Bickle