But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry? ~Jonah 4:1-4~
Most of us have heard of the story of Jonah the prophet. How he thought he had a right to hate the pagan Ninevites. When they repented and God showed them mercy, the Bible says Jonah “was greatly displeased and angry.” How could a prophet that was showed mercy in his own life, get so angry and upset when God showed mercy to the Nivevites?
What was God's response to Jonah's anger? God asked him, "Doest thou well to be angry?” In other words, do you have a right to be angry?? If you stop and think about it, we tend to let things make us angry. We choose to get angry. If we choose to get angry, we can choose not to get angry.
Jonah is a little bit like us all, he thought he had the right to control his own life and environment—to have things go his way and to get upset when they didn’t. Sadly, that sounds a lot like a lot of us.
Do you often find yourself annoyed when things don’t go your way: a rude driver, a decision at work, a long line at the checkout counter, child constantly asking for something, or a person that gets on your last nerve. Or what if it is something like you finding out you have cancer, or your child has a terminal disease or something traumatic has happened. It's enough to leave you moody and uptight. And when you are moody and uptight, you are not a joy to be around. Remember, we can choose to be angry or not to be angry or annoyed.
We then have to answer the question, just like Jonah did : “Doest thou well to be angry?” Did I have the right to be angry at God when we found out about Camryn having Cystic Fibrosis or when Ethan got shot? And the answer to that question is, no. I had to accept what the Lord had for my life. Is it alright for you to be angry at God when things do not go your way? And the answer for the things that happen in your life must always be “No. Lord, all Your ways are right even if I don’t understand them.”
Want to know a way to get off an emotional roller coaster? Here it is: yield your rights to God's plan and purpose for your life--remember this as you face annoyances, frustration, and unexpected happenings today.