"Why are you angry?"

Bible Reading: Genesis 4; 5

"The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.' ...Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, '...What have you done?'" (4:4b-10).

Instead of letting anger or jealousy brew inside me until I want to "kill" someone, may I stop and examine my own heart, considering God's probing inquiry, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?" May I strive to do what is right rather than striving to defend my "rights", for God has said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay" (Rom. 12:19). Instead of being overcome by evil, may I learn to "overcome evil with good" (Rom. 12:21).

God warns me of the danger of ignoring his voice and allowing my negative emotions to control me. He is ready to accept and forgive me. He waits with open arms for me to turn to him and do what he says. If I disobey him and "let anger gain control" over me, my "anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil" (Eph. 4:26-27 NLT). Satan is crouching in the shadows, waiting to attack; he desires to overpower and destroy me. He "prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). If I don't learn to "master it" when I hear the lion's roar, I will have to answer God's cry, "What have you done?" (4:10). May I yield to God's persuasion and resolve to do what is right, that I may receive from God the strength to overcome the sin that is crouching at my door.

Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? Have you talked with God about it? Will you place it in his hands and leave it there?