God chose Jonah to carry His message to a particular people. Jonah ran from God. Today the proper technique is to ignore God and keep right on with what you are doing. God was merciful to Jonah and got his attention and surrender to God’s will, but it took a giant fish/whale and three days in the digestive process. Jonah obeyed God, but He was not pleased with the outcome – those who heard his message repented whole-heartedly to God. (Jonah 1:1-17).
For some reason I can relate to Jonah as he was interested in accomplishing things, if he said something he believed it was true. He didn’t pretend he had not heard God, but He reasoned incorrectly about God’s will and intents. God sent Jonah with a warning message, not a judgment. Jonah knew the Lord was merciful, but he could not see himself as both a participant and tool of His mercy. This made him angry. God said to Jonah, “Have you any right to be angry?” (Jonah 4:4).
This is the question I asked myself. Anger can lie dormant, but still be resident in the heart. It usually flares-up triggered by some event or a reminder thereof. If so, has it actually been resolved and released? God incited Jonah’s latent anger, to which He answered, “I am angry enough to die.” (Jonah 4:9). Jonah thought he was right and that God had made him out to be false. He was not seeing the events through the eyes of God’s mercy for this city of a hundred and twenty thousand people.
Jeremiah the great prophet of God was an example of the opposite nature. God sent him to the remnant of Israelis who were not carried off to Babylon. God wanted to be merciful to them and sent Jeremiah with His message that would preserve them, if they obeyed. Again and again Jeremiah delivered God’s message, but the remnant refused and treated Jeremiah with contempt. Jeremiah never complained, he was faithful to God. However, he seemed a failure in the sense that he was sent to warn the people, but they rejected the warning.
I don’t have any psychology for dealing with anger. The Bible says, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Eph. 4: 26-27). Many things can trigger anger and Yeshua seemed angry when He drove out the money changers from the Temple, but it was zeal for God’s house. (John 2:17). Judging success and failure, right and wrong is a heavy burden, and one we are not well equipped to do alone. God wants us to be obedient to His voice and leave the consequences, outcome, and our reputation in His hands. “My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Ps. 62: 7-8). Our Messiah was a perfect example of this saying. “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.” (Isa. 49:3).
Dealing with latent anger is much like dealing with forgiveness, it takes the Holy Spirit’s power to overcome our natural self that rises like a Zombie, the walking dead. We renounce our sense of right violated and the associated anger; just as we pronounce forgiveness to those who rob, cheat, and offend us. Then when we lest expect it a memory triggers the latent emotions. By the power of the Holy Spirit we can put a spiritual weapon to work and keep our peace, because we have relinquished our rights and we have forgiven our brothers (yes, our offenders are now our brothers). No weapon formed against you will prosper. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10: 4-5).