Anger Can Be Good

todd shupe

Anger Can Be Good

 “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back” (Proverbs 29:11 NLT).

 

 

Many people think that all anger is bad or sinful.  We tend to associate anger with a loss of control, shouting, and aggressive behavior.  However, anger can be good and only becomes sinful when it is expressed in an inappropriate way.  There is nothing wrong with anger if it is properly directed.  We are taught, “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).  We are less likely to model Godly behavior, and sin, if we are controlled by our anger rather than we control our anger.

 

Sometimes the most appropriate response to a situation is anger.  I am angry when I see injustice occurring in the world.  I am angry when I see children, elderly, people with special needs, and animals abused.  I am angry when I see churches burned, people killing each other, and babies born that are addicted to drugs due to a drug habit of the mother.  I am angry at the lack of anger of others when they see oppression, injustice, and abuse.  I am reminded of an often-quoted line of a letter from Edmund Burke to Thomas Mercer – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

 

Did you ever consider that anger can be an act of love?  Of all of the Synoptic Gospels, I like the imagery of John 2 as it describes the anger of our Lord as he encountered the money changers outside the Temple.  Scripture tells us that He became angry, fastened a whip out of cords, and overturned their tables. I see this as an act of love for the Temple (God’s house), but also discipline for His children.  As parents we discipline our children out of love.  I can only imagine the love that Jesus had for His children then which surely extends to us all today.  The Psalmist wrote, “Give thanks to the Lord because He is good.  His love continues forever (Psalm 136:1).

 

The Bible says God gets righteously angry, and we are able to experience anger because we are created in His image.  However, anger certainly can, and often does, lead to sin, which separates us from God.  We often make poor decisions when we are angry so perhaps that is why Scriptures urges us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

 

While uncontrolled anger is a sin, controlled anger is beneficial because it gives us a clear-headed view of the situation and allows us, due to His grace, to turn the other cheek and respond with God’s love.

 

One of the greatest blessings we have from God is free will, and we can use that when we have been wronged.  Nobody can make us mad.  We choose how to handle our anger.  This is often not easy but with the help of the Holy Spirit it is certainly possible. 

 

Proverbs 29:11 says, “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”  Our relationship with Christ is critical to determine how well we master the anger in our lives.  When anger is managed wisely and appropriately, the fruit is great marriages, families, friendships, communities, and churches.  Our anger can be used to bring honor and glory to Him and reveal a powerful witness. 

Prayer:  Dear God, Please help us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

 

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics…

  • An Attitude of Gratitude


    Your Gratitude Determines Your Attitude

    An Attitude of Gratitude
    “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).
    We all know someone with a lousy attitude, maybe that person is you.  If your attitude is bad, you probably lack gratitude.  If we focus on our past mistakes and sins, we can’t see our present blessings.  Sometimes, we are stuck in the past with a legitimate complaint – Why did I not get the promotion?  Why did my house burn down?  Why did my child die before me?   Life is hard and sometimes unfair.  Jesus spoke about the certainty of…
    Read More

  • Complete The Mission



    Complete The Mission
    “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24 NIV).As men, we love projects.  We love to build something and to be a part of something greater than ourselves.  Most men enjoy working with their hands and tend not be comfortable speaking to a group of strangers, especially about their faith.  We have many large tasks that we want to accomplish in life – pay off the mortgage, raise our children…
    Read More

  • Making a Difference in the Lives of Men



    Making a Difference in the Lives of Men
    I encourage you to prayerfully consider joining me in donating to Rev. Mark Lubbock’s ministry – Gulf South Men. Please visit Gulf South Men’s website and GSMen.org to get a glimpse of the scope and impact of this ministry or give Mark a call at (225)252-3331. Mark’s ministry helps men become Disciples that are servant leaders as modeled by Jesus. His work cuts across boundaries of denomination, race, age, etc. His goal is to raise up Godly men that bring Christ into their homes and families and then out into the world. There…
    Read More

Do We Realize Who Is With Us?

Do We Realize Who Is With Us?

Do We Realize Who Is With Us?

“… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV).

Some of the rotten “fruit” of the enemy is fear and doubt.   If we truly stopped and contemplated who is always with us, then fear would be defeated.   Eventually, Jesus will return, and the enemy will be destroyed along with all of his weapons of spiritual warfare.  In the meantime, we can exercise our free will to live in the dark or live in the light.   The darkness is scary because our own vision is useless.  I have always believed that we can learn something from everyone that we meet.   Blind people each day are walking by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).  If we chose to walk in the light, we are walking with Jesus.  John 8:12 teaches us, “…I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

So, what is the right next step here?  How do we actually walk with Jesus?  We use our free will and our mouth and heart and declare Him our Lord. Paul teaches us in Romans 10:9-10, “… if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.   For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

So, how do we walk with Jesus? We stay in the Word.  The Word became flesh when Jesus came (John 1:14).   The Word remains with us in the form of the Holy Bible.  The Pslamist writes in Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  The Bible is an instructional manual for daily living.  Note, the emphasis on daily living.  God wants us to live for today and enjoy the blessings of today.  Yes, we are to plan for tomorrow but not worry about tomorrow.  Do you recall the words of Jesus when instructing his disciples how to pray?  “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).  Please note the focus is on this day and not this week or this year.  Now, check out the Scripture at the top of this blog from Matthew 28:20.  Jesus is promising His disciples that he will be with them always.  That promise and invitation is still valid for you and me – this day and every day.

Prayer:  Dear God:  When we live in the flesh, we walk using our eyes and do what is right in our own eyes.  Help us dear Lord, to always seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness.  Thank you for loving us, walking with us, and being the Light that we so desperately need.  Please continue to shape us as you are the potter and we are the clay.  We could not be in any better hands.  Amen

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics…

  • Keep Your Eye On The Prize



    Keep Your Eye On The Prize
    “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV)
    We all have so many distractions that it is very hard to stay focused.  We all want to obey the first commandment and put God first in our lives, but we are pulled in so many directions from family, work, and friends.  I love the expression “keep your eye on the prize.”  It is often associated with athletes that are focused on performing at the highest possible level.   The Bible speaks to this in 1 Cor. 9:25 “All…
    Read More

  • Be Childlike not Immature


    Be Childlike not Immature

    Be Childlike not Immature
    “At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children” (Matthew 11:25 NIV).
    One of the better-known Scriptures in the Bible is, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).  Jesus clearly had a love for children.  Jesus wants us to be like little children because most children are eager to learn.  If we are to be followers of God, we need to know God…
    Read More

  • Evil Is Happening in Our Churches!


    Evil Is Happening in Our Churches!

    Evil Is Happening in Our Churches!
    “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good  (Romans 12:9 NIV).
    I am angry about the continued shootings at our churches. Our churches are God’s house on earth.  Psalm 46:1 teaches us, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).   I think we can substitute “church” for “God” in the scripture.  As Christians we seek out His refuge and strength, particularly on Sunday mornings as we gather with the Body of Christ.   This is a special, holy, sacred time.  It should also be a safe time.
    I…
    Read More

Evil Can Occur During Church

Evil Can Occur During Church
Evil Can Occur During Church

Evil Can Occur During Church

“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me” 

(Romans 7:21 NIV).

I am angry about the continued shootings at our churches. Our churches are God’s house on earth.  Psalm 46:1 teaches us, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).   I think we can substitute “church” for “God” in the scripture.  As Christians we seek out His refuge and strength, particularly on Sunday mornings as we gather with the Body of Christ.   This is a special, holy, sacred time.  It should also be a safe time. 

I understand that since the beginning “sin has been crouching at our doors” (Genesis 4:7).  The Psalmist later wrote, “…Their evil imaginations have no limits (Psalm 73:7). 

I stand on the words of Paul in Romans 12:9, and “hate what is evil and cling to what is good.”  I hate church shootings (and school shootings, mass shootings, and all shootings).  These attacks are pure evil and cowardly.  A strong church (and strong families) are the greatest threat to the enemy and attacks on both are evidence that the both pose a serious threat to his plan.

So, “I cling to what is good.”  I pray blessings for all those impacted in all shootings, including the victims, the entire congregation, family and friends of victims, and the pastor.  I know that I am also called to pray for the shooter.  We are taught in 1 Peter 3:9, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”  On my own, I simply cannot pray for the shooters, but “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).  So, with His help, I pray for the shooters too.  They have sinned, but so have I.

All sin is detestable to God.  The late Rev. Billy Graham was asked if all sins are equal in God’s eyes.  His response follows.  “It is always difficult and dangerous to attempt to list sins according to their degree of seriousness. In one sense, all sins are equal in that they all separate us from God. The Bible’s statement, “For the wages of sin is death …” (Romans 6:23), applies to all sin, whether in thought, word, or deed. 

At the same time, it seems obvious that some sins are worse than others in both motivation and effects, and should be judged accordingly. Stealing a loaf of bread is vastly different than exterminating a million people. Sins may also differ at their root. 

However, remember that whether our sins are relatively small or great, they will place us in hell apart from God’s grace. The good news is that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and the sins of the whole world at the Cross. If we will repent and turn to Jesus in faith, our sins will be forgiven, and we will receive the gift of eternal life.” 

My church is now making plans for an active shooter situation.  I am saddened that time and resources that could be spent on evangelism and missions are being spent on this, but I know it is necessary.  Please pray for our churches.  It really is important. 

Prayer:  Dear God, Please protect us at church and everywhere we go.  Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • Do You Know A Proverbs 31 Woman? I Do!

    Do You Know A Proverbs 31 Woman? I Do! “When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the LORD, and the LORD will pay you back” (Proverbs 19:17 GNT). Scripture is full of stories of women that have played essential roles in advancing the work of our Lord.  These prominent women include the Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, Miriam the prophetess, Deborah the judge, Huldah the prophetess, Rahab, Esther, and many more.  Many of these women are recognized in the Faith Hall of Fame found in Hebrews 11. Proverbs 31 describes the many virtues of Godly woman.  The Proverbs 31 woman can be commended for all the wonderful things she...
  • Knowledge

    Knowledge “My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding" (Proverbs 2:1-6 NLT).I think society tends to confuse knowledge with education.  However, a person can have extensive education and college degrees and not necessarily be very knowledgeable.   Perhaps they...
  • Serving Single Dads: How the Church Can do More

    Serving Single Dads "Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court" (Psalm 127:5 NIV). How the church can do more? According to a recent post in the DailySignal.com, one in three children live in a single-parent household. This clearly presents challenges for the parent who is raising the children. A child needs an active father and mother in their life and when one is missing or present on a limited basis, it can be difficult for the child. Men face the same challenges as women...

When You Walk Through The Fire, You Will Not Be Burned

todd shupe

When You Walk Through The Fire, You Will Not Be Burned

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).

 

todd shupe

Please closely read the Scripture at the top of this blog.  Hopefully, everything is going great for you in your life right now.  However, if you are not in a period of adversity now, you will be sometime in the future.  More about that later.

 

As I think about Isaiah 43:2, my mind thinks of situations in which God has delivered His people from water and fire.  I can remember as a child in Sunday School listening to the story of the parting the Red Sea as Moses lead his people out of Egypt.  Exodus 15:4 states: “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea.”

 

The reference to fire in Isaiah 43:2 may be particularly relevant to many people today.  We don’t often have a 100-year rain event, but it sure does seem that we often have some sort of “fire.” There is an old expression, “The heat is on” when the pressure gets high. 

 

Daniel 3 describes the story of three friends of Daniel that were literally subjected to heat and fire.   Daniel’s friends would not bow in worship to a statue of King Nebuchadnezzar.  So, the king had them tossed into a fire and had the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual.

The LORD was with Daniel’s friends, and they were not harmed.  They actually lived out the last sentence of Isaiah 43:2. “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2). 

How did this happen?  The furnace was seven times hotter than usual.  The men should have been instantly consumed by fire. The answer is in Daniel 3:24-25: “Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, ‘Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, Your Majesty.’ He said, ‘Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Jesus was with them in their actual fire.  He was the fourth man.  Jesus is also with us in our “fires” when the “heat is on.”  How do we know that Jesus also be with us in our “fires”?  We can take comfort that He will be with us because He tells us, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).  Now go back to the top and read Isaiah 43:2 again.  Notice that it does not say if you pass through the waters or if you walk through the fire.  It states when you walk through them.  Scripture is promising that it will happen, but when it does God is also promising that He will be there with us and we will survive. 

One more promise – the fire, water, or other problem will ultimately result in good.  God promises that in Romans 8:28. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Prayer:  Dear God:  Thank you for never leaving or forsaking us.  Please draw us close to You in both good times and bad.  Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist under the direction of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is currently in training to become a Lay Minister under the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He enjoys writing inspirational Christian blogs at ToddShupe.com and Todd-Shupe.com .

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • The Holy Covenant of Marriage – Part 1: Instructions For Men

    The Holy Covenant of Marriage Part 1: Instructions For Men “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7 NIV).I have been asked a few times over the years to share my thoughts about marriage.  I have prayerfully organized my thoughts into four blogs.  My target audience is men.  Hopefully any man regardless of his current marital status will find these blogs useful at best or...
  • Present but Absent

    Present but Absent “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2 ESV). Many men are inherently competitive.  We want to be the best at what we do.  It pushes us to harvest the largest buck deer, catch the biggest fish, or grow the largest tomato.  We even compete in fantasy football.  A competitive nature helps us climb the ladder at work.   This inner drive has helped us to be financial providers for our...
  • Knowledge

    Knowledge “My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding" (Proverbs 2:1-6 NLT).I think society tends to confuse knowledge with education.  However, a person can have extensive education and college degrees and not necessarily be very knowledgeable.   Perhaps they...

Look Past The Sin To See The Person – Examples From Godly Women

Look Past The Sin To See The Person – Examples From Godly Women

Look Past The Sin To See The Person – Examples From Godly Women

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10 NIV).

Women have always been vitally important to Christianity.  Their love and compassion have been recorded since the beginning of time.  When thinking about the beginning, we often think of Eve and her sin of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden.  Due to God’s grace she still had children and is forever known as the mother of all creation.  But we tend to focus on and remember her sin.  However, our focus should be on her redemption.

Sarah was the wife of Abraham, the great Patriarch.  She could throw fits and sometimes behaved badly.  She could be manipulative and even mean.  Sarah is also listed in the Faith Hall of Fame. “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised” (Hebrews 11:11).

Rahab is first introduced in the Bible as an unsavory character – “a harlot named Rahab” (Joshua 2:1).  She was immoral and living in a pagan culture.  She knew of the greatness of God and provided assistance to the spies sent by Joshua to investigate her hometown of Jericho.  However, she is specifically singled out by name for her faith. “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient” (Hebrews 11:31). Rahab even appears in the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1. 

So, how do we apply this to our life today?  I think the right next step is for us to reflect on how we view others.  For example, I have a friend that spent time in prison for killing a police officer.  He admits that he did it.  I did not know him until he had been released for many years and he was active in ministry.  Somebody else told me, “that guy killed a cop.”  However, by God’s grace it did not affect my perception of him.  I had already built my perception based on what I had seen.  I had seen the sincerity of his faith, the fruits of his witness, and the depth of his faith.  I was not really interested in the details of his prior life, regardless if they were true or not.  Don’t we all love to sing Amazing Grace?  I was lost but now found.

As Christians we are not immune to sin in our current life.  As I become aware of sin in the lives of others, I can offer my judgment or my prayers.  Judgment is the job of God.  Conviction is the job of the Holy Spirit.  My job, and yours, is to love and pray.  I try to use my words and thoughts to build up the Body of Christ.  That does not mean I agree with everything, but it does mean that we should let God be God and do His job.

As men, we should remember what Adam said regarding Eve in Genesis 2:23, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”  As men we are called to honor the women in our lives.  One way we do so is to forgive them of their sins as we too seek to be forgiven and view them as Christ views us all.

Prayer:  Dear God, Thank you for the Godly women that you have placed in our lives.  May we always honor them as we honor you.  Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics…

  • Evil Is Happening in Our Churches!


    Evil Is Happening in Our Churches!

    Evil Is Happening in Our Churches!
    “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good  (Romans 12:9 NIV).
    I am angry about the continued shootings at our churches. Our churches are God’s house on earth.  Psalm 46:1 teaches us, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).   I think we can substitute “church” for “God” in the scripture.  As Christians we seek out His refuge and strength, particularly on Sunday mornings as we gather with the Body of Christ.   This is a special, holy, sacred time.  It should also be a safe time.
    I…
    Read More

  • Put On The ‘Full Armor Of God’ To Maintain Hope


    Put On The ‘Full Armor Of God’ To Maintain Hope

    Put On The ‘Full Armor Of God’ For Hope
    “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes”  (Ephesians 6:11 NIV).
    We all experience times in our lives in which we feel hopeless. For some, these periods linger into years and years. Given these circumstances, I would like to equip readers with some thoughts on how to maintain hope when all hope appears to be gone. In this article, you’ll find some thoughts on the importance of hope in your life. For your consideration, Job was a strong disciple of God, but had…
    Read More

  • A Prayerful Life



    A Prayerful Life
    16“Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
    The Bible has much Scripture that encourages us to seek God through prayer.  The Gospels and the Epistles are particularly filled with Holy Scripture that encourages us to seek God’s face through prayer.   Our direct line of communication to God is prayer.  It is a deeply personal process by which we bring Him our prayers of thanksgiving and supplication.  We go into our inner room and pray to our loving Father with full confidence that He hears us and…
    Read More

Finding Peace During the Corona Virus Pandemic

Finding Peace During the Corona Virus Pandemic

Finding Peace During the Corona Virus Pandemic

God says, “I will save those who love me and will protect those who acknowledge me as Lord.  When they call to me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them.  I will rescue them and honor them.  I will reward them with long life; I will save them”

(Psalm 91:14-16 GNT).

Many people are scared due to the uncertainty regarding the Coronavirus (CORVID-19).  I think each time a politician tells the public “don’t panic” that it unfortunately causes some to panic more.  I am a person of faith but also of science.  As we wait in faith for this to pass, we all should remember a few things.

1.  God has power over every storm.

I take refuge in the passage from Matthew 8:23-27 when Jesus calmed the storm.   The disciples were afraid of the storm and woke up Jesus.  Matthew 8:26 teaches us that He, “rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”  Jesus will rebuke these winds.  It will be calm.  His divinity is often more clearly revealed in the midst of a storm or other crisis.

2.  Keep your focus on Him

The disciple Peter was able to walk on water as long he kept looking at Jesus.  Once his focus  was shifted to the water, he began to sink.  We can walk through this storm in faith  as long as we maintain grounded in Him, His truth, and His word, or we can struggle in the storm without Him. This is a battle, but the battle belongs to the LORD (1 Samuel 17:47).  Go read 2 Chronicles 20 for an example of how God fights for us in what seems like an impossible situation.

3.  Jesus is with us

The God of heaven and earth is always with us.  He wants nothing but good for all of us.  We have the greatest power on our side.  We are able to connect through prayer with Him at any time.  Remember this, “If God is with us, then who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).  In Him, we have peace.

Storms, viruses, and other crises provide us an opportunity – worry or worship, faith or fear.   If we choose to look to Jesus above everything else, we will begin to see that the storms we face are nothing compared to the Savior choosing to walk through the storm alongside us.

So, how can we turn our worry into worship?  It begins with honesty.  Tell God exactly how you feel.  Trusting God with your feeling is a form of worship.  In the Old Testament, Job did this.  “Job stood up, tore his robe in grief, and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and worshiped” (Job 1:20).  Don’t keep any negative emotions and feelings inside.  Give them all to God and just as important – leave them with Him.  God understands and appreciates our emotions.  We are made in His likeness and He has emotions.  The Bible indicates that God has feelings of love, anger, jealousy, and grief. God can handle your feelings.Lamentations 2:19 teaches us to, “Cry out in the night . . . Pour out your heart like water in prayer to the Lord.”

When the Prophet Nehemiah heard panic-filled news about his people in Jerusalem, he did two things.  He “fasted and prayed before to the God in heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4).  Fasting and prayer reminded him who God is, what He has done, and what He can do.  The same is true today.

As I typed earlier, I am a person of faith and science.  So, as for science we should also remember a few things.  You already know these, but repetition is the key to learning.

1.  Hand washing is an important tool to reduce our risk of exposure. We have all been told since we were children to wash our hands.  Now, we also know to follow good social distancing to keep ourselves and others healthy.

2.  Our bodies are more vulnerable to attack when we are not resting, exercising, and eating properly. Go to bed on time, exercise, and avoid junk food.

3.  Do not try to isolate your physical health from your mental and spiritual health. All are important and connected.  Stay positive and read Psalm 91, avoid hysteria, stay connected (skype, text, call) and safely help friends , family, neighbors, and elderly.

 So, click HERE to read the Bible, and  click HERE for the Center of disease Control (CDC) web page.  Both are important.

Prayer:  Dear God, We wait for you to rebuke this storm.  As we wait, may we find refuge in you and comfort in your promises.  LORD hear our prayer.  Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics…

  • Return to the Father


    Return to the Father

    Return to the Father
    “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me” (Jeremiah 15:19 NLT).All of us that follow Jesus have many things in common.  One of which is that we are all sinners.  As we become a believer in Christ, we are born again into God’s family.  Once you are born again you cannot be unborn.  Our relationship with God can, and will be, damaged by sin.  However, read this closely – no matter the sin- the relationship is still there.  The Parable of the Prodigal Son (also known as the Two Brothers, Lost…
    Read More

  • Service is Ministry


    Service is Ministry

    Service is Ministry
    “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”  (Galatians 6:10 NIV)
    We live in a self-serving secular world in which people act to serve their own self interests.  I had a dear friend that has gone on to Glory but on earth he worked as an economist.  He claimed that the entire system of economic theory is so purely deductive that everything in it can be deduced from one essential axiom.   The rationality axiom states that “a rational person maximizes his/her utility.” Some economists will…
    Read More

  • Why Did Jesus Cry Before Raising Lazarus?



    Why Did Jesus Cry Before Raising Lazarus?
    Scripture: “When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”  (John 11:4-7).
    One of the most fascinating Biblical stories is the raising of Lazarus as described in John 11.  Many of us learned this story as children in Sunday school.  It is…
    Read More

Finding Comfort During Grief

Finding Comfort During Grief

Finding Comfort During Grief

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 NIV)

Finding Comfort During Grief

Grief is inevitable.  We grieve our loss – a child, spouse, parent, close friend, or pet.  I have grieved many losses in my life – sister, marriage, father, friends, and many pets.  It is important to understand that grief is a process and it never ends but does take one through different stages.  It is a passage to go through but not a place to linger until the final stage of acceptance.  Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith and trust in God.  Did Jesus not grieve when he learned that his friend Lazarus had died?  As Jesus grieved the death of His cousin John the Baptist, He withdrew to be alone with the Father in prayer.  Then, it is important to note that He then ministered to others.  He allowed the love of the Father to flow through him to others even though He still grieved his friend.  Grief is a clear and evident sign that love was present.  Healing begins when we realize that

love is still present.  God is love and understands our grief.  He experienced grief over His own pending death and modelled for us the path out of sorrow – prayer.  Jesus yielded to the will of the Father.  His will is always greater than ours and is a plan for us to prosper and live life abundantly.

Upon deeper reflection, I now realize that grief for the loss of a loved one is perhaps selfish.  We want to continue the relationship.  We want to maintain the status quo.  We think God should support our desires rather than we seek and support His will.   It is very important to realize that it is not God’s will for a young baby to die, a young father to die in a car wreck, or other tragedy.  However, He can and will use these tragedies as an opportunity to bring us into a closer relationship, and in a supernatural manner, He can and will make good out of the bad.  The best response to grief is faith in our Lord. 

Death is not the end.  It is the beginning of a life in paradise with the Father.  It is the end of pain for those that have been suffering.  If you are experiencing grief, I encourage you to read Matthew 5:4 and then ask God for His blessing and comfort.  Ask and you will receive.  The Lamb of God will comfort you and draw you near.  No, it won’t happen overnight, but day by day you will walk more in faith and the Spirit will grow in you.  As the Spirit grows, the blessing becomes more evident and you will find comfort that surpasses all understanding.

Prayer:  Dear God, we all come to you in different stages of grief.  We rejoice that our loved ones are with You.  However, we miss them.  Send your Holy Spirit and remove our grief and fill the void with your love.  We are broken as individuals but whole when we step out in faith and stand firm on Your promises.  We thank you for your grace and love.  Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • Dealing With Your Own Judas

    Dealing With Your Own Judas “but Jesus asked him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’" (Luke 22:48 NIV).Perhaps one of the most memorable stories of the New Testament is the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot.  Jesus was also denied three times by Peter.  In fact, all the disciples fled for their own safety after Christ was arrested.    We know as humans that others will disappoint us and we will surely disappoint them.  We also know that as Christian we are called to forgiveness.  However, betrayal takes on a whole new meaning when the person that...
  • What is in Your Heart – Envy or Contentment?

    What is in Your Heart – Envy or Contentment? “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV). Hebrews 12:1 teaches us that God has prepared a “race” for each of us.  To me, this means we each have our own unique life.  We don’t all have the same race, experiences, joys, and failures but we each have a unique race.  God has a plan that He wants us to pursue that...
  • Finding Joy While Suffering

    Finding Joy While Suffering “God lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rockand gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2 NIV).One of the more common questions from Christians is about suffering.  Why does a God that loves us as His own children allow suffering?  Perhaps the greatest challenge to our faith is to understand pain and suffering. Many people point to the Book of Job to understand suffering.  God did not cause Job’s suffering but allowed the devil to cause suffering.  Job was tempted and tested.  Job struggled...

Recipe for Joy

Recipe for Joy

“I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance” (Philippians 1:18-19 NLT).

I love to cook.  As any chef will tell you, the key to a good dish is the proper ingredients.   Sometimes if I cook something good, I wonder what can I add to make it great?  God is known by many names but is seldom referred to as the “master chef.”  However, He provides all the ingredients we need to regain our joy. 

Sometimes in life things are simply falling apart and as men we try and try to put the pieces back together and get more and more tired and frustrated.  We cry out and ask, “Where is God?” when the fact is the He is right next to you waiting for you to trust in Him and let Him take the pieces of your old life and transform them into a new life that is centered in Him. 

We all reach a defining crossroad at times of great adversity.  Our options are to worry (depend on yourself) or worship (trust in God).  Paul modeled for us the value of choosing worship.  His ministry in Philippi was grueling.  When Paul went to this city to start a church, he was whipped, falsely arrested, thrown into prison, and survived an earthquake.  Despite these obstacles, Paul gave thanks.  “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God” (Philippians 1:3).  Paul had learned the “secret of being content in any and every situation (Philippians 4:12).

Paul reveals several “ingredients” for strength for being joyful in tough times.  Paul says in Philippians 1:18-19, “I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.”   Paul keep his perspective on God and not his problems.  I like how Paul writes “For I know.” In times of trouble we fall back on what we know to be true.   Paul was falling back on the promises of God that he knew to be true.   

Paul knew that he had people praying for him.  He also knew that “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16).   Paul also acknowledges “The Helper” (John 14:16) and received support from the .   The passage ends with “This will lead to my deliverance.” Paul had faith that God would work out his problem for good (Romans 8:28).

Paul had God’s perspective, the prayer of righteous men, the Holy Spirit, and faith.   Paul had all the necessary ingredients to continue to rejoice.” We also have the same ingredients.  So, do we choose to worship or worry during hard times?

Prayer: “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.   The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed” (Psalm 103: 1-6).

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • Lessons From Gideon

    Lessons From Gideon “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”  The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive” (Judges 6:15-16 NIV).I love the story of Gideon as told in Judges chapters 6-8.  Below are a few of the many lessons that we can learn from this Holy Scripture.1.  You Shall Have no Other Gods but MeThe Israelites were worshipping the false god Baal, and for seven years the Israelites were under the...
  • What Is The Meaning Of “Iron Sharpens Iron”?

    What Is The Meaning of "Iron Sharpens Iron"? I am a volunteer with a national men’s ministry known as “Iron Sharpens Iron.” The name of our group is based on Proverb 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Iron Sharpens Iron is a Conference Network made up of individual ministries that are working interdependently to most effectively offer local church resources for men.This group is accomplishing this by mobilizing ministries to resource local churches with a first-class one-day equipping conference that is designed for men age 13 and older.  These one-day conferences bring in world-class speakers to address...
  • The Battle for Purity

    The Battle for Purity "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8 ESV).According to recent statistics, there are over 24.5 million web sites dedicated to pornography.  A report by Bridges and Wosnitzer in 2007 found that there are 13,000 porn videos produced annually with revenue of $13 billion.   In the same year, 507 movies from Hollywood produced $8.8 billion.  Another report found that over 25% of all internet searches are for pornographic material.  I am certain that what was true in 2007 has not gotten any better today.  Marketing advertisers have long used sex and scantily...

Happy Memories from Bad Experiences

Happy Memories from Bad Experiences

Happy Memories from Bad Experiences

“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God”  (Philippians 1:3 NLT).

Happy Memories from Bad Experiences

I love the encouragement found in the book of Philippians.  One of the reasons Paul wrote this book was to thank the church at Philippi for their helpHe writes, “I thank God for the help you gave me” (Philippians 1:5).  He also wrote, “no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only” (Philippians 4:15); “Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again” (Philippians 4:16).    The generosity of the Philippians to Paul compelled him to assure them “my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).   This is quite a thank you letter.

It should be noted that Paul did not have a pleasant experience in Philippi.  He was beaten, whipped, humiliated, falsely arrested, thrown into prison, and survived an earthquake. Then, he

was asked by the city leaders to leave town.  In spite of all of this, Paul writes, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God” (Philippians 1:3).

How can he survive such a difficult experience but express such deep gratitude?  Paul is consciously choosing where to focus his attention.  He has selected not to dwell on the painful memories but to express gratitude for the good things that had been done for him and through him.

I have a friend that lost his house and all of his possessions in a flood a few years ago.  We were recently talking about the flood and he said, “I do not really remember the flood itself, damages, or losses, but I vividly remember the angels that God sent to help rebuild and refurnish my house.”  What a testimony!  He saw the Hand of Christ throughout the flood and the subsequent recovery.

Our mental, physical, and spiritual health is connected.  Too often we allow painful memories to linger in our minds and then suffer the adverse consequences to our physical and spiritual health.  Scripture teaches us to “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).   This process allows us to “weed out” negative thoughts and live a life of gratitude.  Paul was likely following his own advice that he gave the Philippians.  “… Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable” (Philippians 4:8).

Paul had a lot of reasons to focus on painful memories of Philippi. Instead, he chose to be grateful for the people that helped him, and the work God was doing in and through them to build His church.  When we forgive others for their wrongs against us, then we can have happy memories even though we had difficult circumstances.  This attitude honors God, and He bless our relationships far beyond our expectations when we focus on His blessings.

Prayer:  Dear God:  Thank you for helping us to forget painful memories and focus our thoughts on you.  Please continue to lead, guide, and direct us in all that we do.   May others know that we are Christians by our love.  Amen. 

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • Can We Really Be Thankful in All Circumstances?

    Can We Really Be Thankful in All Circumstances? “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV). One of the most difficult concepts for all Christians is to be thankful in all circumstances.  I think all of us have lifted prayers of supplication during times of great adversity.  As we prayed, we were probably nervous, angry, or perhaps scared.  We certainly were not thankful. Prayer must be grounded with gratitude, confidence, and humility.  We express gratitude when we thank God for what He has already done.  This concept is well stated...
  • Finding Peace

    Finding Peace “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:25 NIV).One of my greatest desires is peace.  However, it also can be one of the most elusive.  I “postpone” peace until some task is completed.  The problem is that some tasks can often go on for years, if not for a lifetime.  As I hurriedly try to check items off my “to do” list, more items are added. A friend recently told me that I should focus on discerning what it is that God wants me to learn, see, or do while...
  • Partner With God While Waiting

    Partner With God While Waiting "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1 KJV). Waiting is a daily occurrence: We wait in line at the grocery store, post office or on the phone. Sometimes, we are waiting long-term for news regarding a loved one who has suddenly become ill or was in an accident. Waiting is also a part of joyous occasions such as the birth of a child or marriage. In any case, worrying almost always leads to anxiety. I have five favorite scriptures that I go to while waiting. 1) In Isaiah 40:31, it says:...

Finding a Way Out from Temptation

Finding a Way Out from Temptation

Evangelism Begins With Discernment

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13).

Finding a Way Out from Temptation

I recently ate lunch with friends at a local cafeteria.  As I walked with my tray to the cash register, I passed the desserts.  They looked really good, and I was very tempted to get one but did not.   In the overall scheme of things, this was a pretty mild form of temptation.

Temptation comes at us each day in a variety of forms.  It has been around since the very beginning when the serpent tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Adam and Eve disobeyed God and gave in to the desires of the flesh and ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The enemy later tempted Jesus immediately following His baptism.  You may recall that Jesus used Scripture to “rebuke” (2 Timothy 3:16) satan as Jesus was tested and tempted by satan

(Matthew 4:1-11).  Jesus modelled for us the power of Scripture.  Also, Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to sleep with her.  Joseph modelled for us that we should remove ourselves from temptation.  As Potiphar’s wife grabbed Joseph’s cloak, he ran out of the house (Genesis 39:12).

The enemy knows that we each have a weakness and will use these as temptations to move us away from God and toward sin.  Temptation should be dealt with consistently, ruthlessly, and immediately because sin is “crouching at the door” (Genesis 4:7).

It is important that we realize the pathway and source of temptation.  James 1:13-15 teaches,  “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”  Adam and Eve did not die in their physical bodies, but their sin separated them from God.  A life separated from God is no life at all.   

Yes, “the wages of sin are death” (Romans 6:23).  However, we have eternal life through the blood of Jesus because the complete verse of Romans 6:23 is: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  “As the Scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through faith shall live” (Romans 1:17).

Temptation is clearly not from God, but we can use temptation to deepen our relationship with God.  John Quincy Adams, our sixth President, said, “Every temptation is an opportunity of our getting nearer to God.”  God will provide a way out from temptation, and He is “the way and the truth and the life”  (John 14:6).

Prayer:  Dear God:  Please protect us as we face temptations that would serve to draw us away from you.  Grant us a keen sense of discernment as we seek comfort from you and not from this world.  Amen. 

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • The Holy Covenant of Marriage – Part 4: Divorce

    The Holy Covenant of Marriage - Part 4: Divorce “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9 NIV).  If marriage is a Godly uniting of a couple together, then divorce is a secular process to separate what God has united.  The separation is not done with surgical precision and results in a “tearing apart.”   The result is ugly and does not honor God.It is well known that approximately half of all first marriages end in divorce, and the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. I think this...
  • From Flooded Out To Flooded With Faith: A First-Hand Recollection

    From Flooded Out To Flooded With Faith: A First-Hand Recollection In this blog I would like to explore the effects that the 2016 flooding in Baton Rouge had on my home and why it only strengthened his faith in the end. As I type this on August 13, 2017, I reflect on the one year anniversary of the "great" flood of 2016 that damaged so many homes in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area – mine included. In my humble opinion there was nothing “great” about the flood; it was a terrible event for all and resulted in hardship for many.The “great”...
  • How Can We Lead During A Pandemic?

    How Can We Lead During A Pandemic? “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save” (Psalm 146 NIV).I enjoy participating in several men’s groups throughout the week.  Before COVID-19 these groups would meet in person at a local church, restaurant, or somebody’s house and we would read and discuss Scripture or a devotional, share our concerns and prayer requests, and enjoy fellowship with each other. These meetings are now on Zoom.  Although I prefer in person meetings, I am grateful for these opportunities on Zoom to spend time with my friends.  One recurrent issue that I have encountered when...