It is easy to live under the illusion that we can determine what people should do or how situations should be decided. “My destiny should be this; therefore, people should do that.” We pray and expect God to do everything we ask.
The primary problem with these expectations can center around one simple word, pride. Ask the Lord, “Do I act as though I am at the center of my world?”
Here is a tough word from the Lord: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.… ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ ” (James 4:1–3, 6)
Anger over Circumstances: “I expected good things would always come my way … but life is clearly not what I’d expected.”
Anger toward Others: “I expected that you would always be here for me, to always support and love me … but now I’m left alone.”
Anger toward Yourself: “I expected to always excel … but now I am struggling and feel like a failure.”
- The more we expect people to do what we want, the angrier we become when they fail us.
- The more we try to control others, the more control we give them over us.
- The more demands we put on others, the more power we give them to anger us.
Instead, we need to humble ourselves and submit to God’s sovereignty over our lives and over the lives of others. We need to leave our destiny in His hands—where it rightly resides.
The Bible says that we are to lay our expectations before the Lord and allow Him to determine what we should receive. “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” (Psalm 62:5)
“How can I handle my anger over the losses in my life?” When you experience significant loss in your life, you will go through a time of grieving.
Admit your feelings—your hurt or sense of injustice, your fear or frustration. Release to God all the pain you feel, along with the situations that are beyond your control.
Express your faith—trust God to give you the grace and insight to deal constructively with each loss. Release your expectation that life must go your way.
Pray to your Father—“Lord, thank You that You are sovereign over my life. Whatever it takes, I want to respond to You with a heart of gratitude and to accept these unchangeable circumstances in my life. I choose to stop making myself and those around me miserable for something none of us can change. Instead, I thank You for how You are going to use everything in my life for my good and for Christ’s glory. In His holy name I pray. Amen.”
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
This information comes from Hunt, J. (2008). Biblical Counseling Keys on Anger: Facing the Fire Within, Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart.