frozen Anger - A Family Habit

Often time’s, angry people come from angry families because we learn from them. I never actually thought I got angry but my wife says I do and I'm a ‘stuffer’.  I stuffed my anger because my father stuffed his anger.
In an angry family, nobody listens. They think anger is the only way to get anyone to do want they want, so they use anger to make the kids behave; to stop the wife from spending money, to stop the husband from watching too much TV and they might even try to potty train a baby with a bit of anger!
Mostly we get angry because we don’t get what we want. Naaman was angry because the prophet didn’t do what he expected or what he wanted. 2 Samuel 5. 11. Ahab got angry because the guy next to his palace wouldn’t sell his little vineyard to him. Esau didn’t get his blessing and got mad enough to kill. Gen 27. It was a tantrum! That’s the bottom line. Our flesh “can’t get what it wants” Roman 6.2. We get angry if we can’t control people and make them do what we want for us. It's ugly and nearly all the works of the flesh are about controlling others. Now the actions of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, rivalry, jealously, outbursts of anger, quarrels, conflicts, factions, Gal 5:19
Balaam couldn’t even get his donkey to do that he wanted so he was going to kill it. Num22. When we throw a tantrum its usually a  blowing up type of anger (GK.Thumos), where we might yell at people or tear a strip off them.  But there is also stored anger (GK"orge") which is frozen anger. Disappointment in a person is frozen anger. We tend to become depressed or angry when our expectations are not met. We go on strike and don’t offer to help. We might withdraw our affection. Refuse to have sex. We let somebody do the work by themselves or give them a cold shoulder.

Friend, both are anger and both are destructive of your health, marriage and family. Is it time to yield your heart to God again and not try to control everyone around you?

JIM Shaw
Non Slip Soul

David watched the deer graze on the rocky hills above him.  It was amazing how they lived their whole life upon the rocks that soared above him.  They found food around the rocky outcrops and in the cool ravines they would rest and play. They seemed so confident on the rocks and it was a marvel to him how they never fell or stumbled, never lost their footing or their balance.  He thought to himself “He also makes my feet like the feet of deer.” (2Sam 22:34)  A deer’s foot has been incredibly made for its purpose.  It has sharp hooves which enable the deer to go up very steep cliffs and large pointed dew claws at the back of his feet, to help him come down without slipping and they do it with confidence.

God can make our feet like deer’s feet. As we live our life on the Rock we negotiate times and paths that are sometimes hard and very steep, but joy is our confidence. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy”.  (Jude 1:24) or you could say that it is our rejoicing in God that enables to keep us from falling. The prophet declared, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labour of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; …Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills”.  (Hab 3:17 -19) He rejoiced in the face of seeming lack. Deer never think that because they never found grass today they won’t try looking tomorrow. They never think present lack will determine future supply. They get up every day expecting to find food. Habakkuk believed his future was not determined by his past but by his faith. He knew that his future would be changed more by singing prophecy than sympathy. He understood that rejoicing in God would attract the spirit of fruitfulness, more than complaining about the present.

Friend, sometimes our way is “steep and slippery” but He has equipped our feet for every rocky path he leads us. The Lord has made your feet like hinds feet so go ahead and rejoice anyway because steepness never kept a deer from coming into Gods provision and goodness. He is able to keep you from falling and to present you perfect before Him with joy and it is the rejoicing in faith that keeps us from falling off the Rock!

JIM Shaw
Through the Window of Pain

Two weeks after she broke her knee cap, my wife still sits in a straight leg brace and my housekeeping skills have grown exponentially!   I love this verse. It explains a lot to me.

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers them out of them all.”  Psalms 34.19. 

We live in a world that is broken because of the bad decisions and actions of ourselves and others.   God doesn’t keep us from every affliction but He will help us out of the troubles, or through those troubles when we ask Him.

 We sometimes wonder, why God doesn’t stop pain from happening, but here’s the thing – He doesn’t even keep himself from suffering.  Only beings that feel and love, can suffer.  If we want the possibility of feeling love in the world, we also have to have the possibility of suffering.   Whoever loves the most, suffers the most and God suffers greatly to see the choices His children make but loves them enough to give us the freedom to make them.

He never stopped Adam from disobeying but when Adam realised his error, God quickly forgave and redeemed him.  God always warns people of consequences but doesn’t force anyone to obey.  He doesn’t stop people from disobeying either.   For God to stop every sin, crime or conflict that creates pain like an argument between husband and wife, he would have to override free will every day. He is not a controlling demigod, who takes away our personal freedom and personality but He gives us the dignity and responsibility of our own lives.  In the midst or our afflictions, he draws near to reveal himself and restore the broken, by empowering us with the strength and grace to overcome in this life.

Friend, if you were kept from every issue you could neither see more of God or know your need.  God does not keep us from every affliction but through the window of pain reveals Himself as the Comforter and wonderful Deliverer out of it all.  Today He is drawing near to you and wants to reveal Himself. Take time to look through the window.

JIM Shaw
I'm with Him

They looked everywhere but Mary and Joseph couldn’t find the young Lord Jesus.  They thought He was with them.   How different the day would have been if they had decided to stay with Jesus.

One time Jesus got into a boat and said: “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.”  (Luke 8:22).  While they sailed, a storm arose and the waves that hit the boat began to fill the little ship with water.  Jesus had fallen asleep so they woke him up.  He stood up, rebuked the wind and there was a great calm.   His question to the disciples was “Where is your faith.”  A bit harsh? I’m with the disciples. Safety gear wasn’t invented and buoyancy was limited.   Finally, they reach the safety of Gerasenes on the other side, and Jesus delivers a man with a legion of demons.

When we read this story, we usually see the disciples on a journey but accompanied by the Master, but of course, the main character in the Gospels is Jesus.  It is Jesus that is crossing over to work on the other side of the lake.  It is not the disciple’s idea; it is His. It was not their purpose, it was His.  It is not their mission, it was His.  He had invited the disciples to go along with Him.  Today still, He seeks to set captives free and invites us to join Him in His mission.  Comfort comes from knowing that Jesus is with us but the believer’s effectiveness and safety come from us being with Him. The church is not on a mission to love the world, inviting Jesus to come with us but He is on a mission to restore the earth and he invites us to partner with Him, as His body. Through us, as we are led by him, He is touching people and we are witnesses of Him and His work. Of course “As they went, the Lord worked with them,” because it was His work.

When He asked, “Where is your faith?” He thought they would understand that if the boat trip didn’t originate with them, the safety and effectiveness of the trip, didn’t depend on them either.  Our confidence is because He asked us into His boat, not that we invited Him into ours.

Each day let’s accept the Lords invitation to His Mission, then when storms from the enemy come into our lives we can say “Lord, I’m on the mission with you. This is a journey You started, so this is a storm that either You or both of us can fix!” And friend, if we have got into His boat, it is never going to sink.

JIM Shaw
Speak Calm and Carry On

As the disciples crossed the lake a violent wind whipped the water into waves and foam. The King rose to speak and the wind withdrew. Soon Jesus and His friends arrived on the beach to meet the man from the tombs. (Luke 8:22)  

When the devil knew Jesus was coming to set the man free, he stirred up a great storm to prevent Jesus coming to the region.  It was not the disciples he was trying to stop as they were merely men at this point. Christ did not live within them.  They were not anointed by the Spirit and Jesus’ authority was not resident within. The only person that worried the devil about that boatload of invaders, was Jesus!

But things are different now. Today Christ dwells within us and the devil will cause storms to come against us, to create fear, distract us or cause enough trouble to turn us back. Each day we say to Father “Today I want to live like a Christian. As someone who Christ can live through!’  But how many times have we made that commitment to be available to God, only to find that we soon face various storms arising on the lake of life? They come in the guise of conflicts, distractions, arguments or busyness but they drive us back or stop us dead in the water. The devil is not interested in stopping you particularly but he is seeking to stop the Lord Jesus from touching people’s lives.

Friend, Jesus is in your life just as He was in the boat. The enemy can’t stop Him and if the enemy seeks to rock your boat, rock his world. As a son or daughter in whom The Son resides, You have His authority to rise up, speak against the storm and carry on. Get to the other side for there is someone living among the dead who needs Him today.  Push through for there is Another One inside you that can bring life to the Legion.

JIM Shaw
The Price or the Cost

When I was 16, my father asked me to take our almost new car, to the garage for a warrant of fitness. Like many young men, I was an idiot and thought I’d show my friend how good I was at driving. Cutting a corner we met a Land Rover head on so to avoid hitting it, I swerved back to the right side of the road. Doing so, I lost control, took out a fence narrowly missed the end of a bridge and dived the car into the river.  I had never stopped to consider the high price of my foolish driving before I started out that day.

Before we buy things, most of us evaluate or compare the cost of the item, lest we pay too high a price. We know an ice cream selling for $2000, is over priced.  Before we do something we decide whether the cost is worth the fun of doing it. If the fine for speeding is $20 we can live with it, but if its $2000 and we lose our license, we would think it’s just not worth it.   The price for homosexuality is cheap -the cost could be AIDS. The price of flirting on facebook could cost a divorce.  The price of dishonour and disobedience to my father was a car wreck and it could have been death!

Most people understand price but some are not good at evaluating the actual cost of something.  Right from the start In the garden, the devil was tried to convince Adam that the consequences wouldn’t cost that much.

Friend, Samson and all of history tell us that sin will always take us further than we ever thought it would and the consequences are always a higher price than we ever intended to pay.  Don’t look at Delilah look at the cost!

JIM Shaw