Let’s first read James 1:19-20, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”  These are such wise words to us that are so practical to us in our lives.  We should be quick to hear what others have to say to us.  We should be slow to respond to those words.  And we should be slow to anger.  Some have said that we should count to 20 before we respond to what has been said to us.  This is to make sure we think about what we have heard and are able to speak intelligently without being angry.  Indeed, this is a scriptural principle. 

The one who can ‘hold his temper’ is greatly benefitted.  Proverbs 15:18 tells us, “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but HE THAT IS SLOW TO ANGER APPEASETH STRIFE.”  We read in Proverbs 16:32, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”  Indeed, the Lord Himself is “slow to anger” (Psalm 103:8, 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Nahum 1:3), and this is what He expects of us. 

We are told that “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”  We cannot serve the Lord or do His work when we act of out of human anger.  Our wrath acts in opposition to the love of God. We go on to read in James 3:18, “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”  The fruit of righteousness cannot be sown in anger.  It is planted in peace by them that desire to make peace.

Now let’s compare this with what we have in Psalm 76:10, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.”  How can the wrath of man praise the Lord?  Let’s go back a couple of verses to learn the context of this statement.  We read in verses 5-9, “The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands. At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep. Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry? Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still, When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.” 

In this portion, we learn that man’s wrath praises God by its futility before His power. The full fury of man’s anger only serves to manifest His greatness, power, and glory…and thus brings praise to the Lord.  We read in Psalm 9:1-3, “I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.”  The Lord’s enemies shall all be turned back, and they shall all fall and perish…and the Lord’s people shall praise Him with our whole hearts.

So, while we cannot serve and honor the Lord in our anger, the anger of the enemies of God only serve to bring praise to Him as He overcomes all His enemies by His great power.  (444.6)