Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Fighting Negative Emotions’

Erin has prayed for years that her estranged son would come home.

Tricia can’t seem to shake a gray cloud of despondency, ever since her fiancé broke off their engagement.

Jack worked many extra hours to qualify for a prized promotion, but the boss’s unpleasant nephew was awarded the position instead.

Stacie has faced the loss of one job and a stressful transition to another.

Kate goes through the motions at church and even continues with her quiet time. But God seems to have distanced himself. She hasn’t sensed his presence for weeks.

Such circumstances can cause a downward spiral in our spirits, as debilitating emotions like frustration, anger, worry, and depression threaten to move in and take over. If we feed these emotions with negative thoughts, our faith in God begins to falter, and the devil’s lies begin to sound like truth:

  • So much time has passed; God is never going to answer your prayer.
  • Since bad things keep happening, it’s obvious God has abandoned you.
  • God doesn’t care about your life. Otherwise, why would he allow you to fail?
  • They say God offers love, peace, and joy, but none of it’s coming your way.
  • It looks like God’s forsaken you and to make matters worse, you don’t even know why.

Is it possible to fight against such feelings and fortify our faith? Oh, yes!

Our fight begins with truth—straight from God’s Word. We have to choose facts over feelings—just like a pilot does, as he flies through miles of thick clouds. In order to stay on course, he can’t trust what he feels is proper speed, direction, and altitude; he has to rely on the facts presented by his instruments.

So what scriptural truths might help us maintain our spiritual equilibrium? There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of passages that address our various needs with pinpoint perfection.

Other scriptures provide broad-sweeping truths that cover almost any situation. One example:

If we read the Bible with the intent of finding applicable truth for our circumstances, we won’t be disappointed.

“Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us.  And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”

Romans 15:4 NLT

Now the question becomes: Will we take God at his word and act upon it?

Hebrews 11 gives us a lineup of faith-stars who did just that–based their actions on faith, not feelings.

By faith Noah built an ark (v. 7).   He didn’t allow feelings of inadequacy to stop him.

By faith Abraham left home with no notion of where he was going (v. 8). He didn’t allow fear of the unknown to deter him from following God’s direction.

By faith, the parents of Baby Moses hid him from Pharaoh. They didn’t allow fear of punishment to stop them. “They were not afraid of the king’s edict” (v. 23).

By faith the people of Israel marched around Jericho, even though it must have seemed a strange tactic (v. 30).

Bottom line: Faith is the exercise of our minds, based on the stable truth of God’s Word, in spite of what we might feel. Emotions are just the unreliable, fluctuating condition of our minds. [1]

On the other hand, God doesn’t ask us to ignore our feelings. Job, David, and the prophets honestly expressed frustration, fear, disappointment, and discouragement. But! They didn’t allow their emotions to cripple them. [2]

Also worth noting:  None of these faithful people were perfect, yet God honored their faith.  He doesn’t need perfect people to accomplish his purpose, just willing and faithful ones.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Forgive me, Lord, for allowing feelings to impact my faith. Help me to fit every thought. emotion, and impulse into the structure of a Christ-shaped life.  

Thank you for listening and offering encouragement as I confess my feelings.  You even supply strength, peace, and hope.  

And finally, I praise you that you preserve the faithful. I am secure in you.  In fact, you, my all-powerful God, are security itself.

2 Corinthians 10:5, MSG; Psalm 10:17; Psalm 29:11; Psalm 31:23; Proverbs 18:10

Notes:

[1]  J. Clarke, http://www.writtentreasures.org

[2] See Psalm 13 for a worthy example.

Art & photo credits: http://www.pexels.com (Liza Summer); http://www.pexels.com (Karolina Grabowska); http://www.pxfuel.com; http://www.publicdomainpictures.net (George Hodan); http://www.publicdomainpictures.net (2); http://www.wikimedia.org; http://www.dailyverses.net.

(Revised and reblogged from February 9, 2015 while we enjoy a visit from our younger son.)

Read Full Post »

Still Traveling

Impressions Becoming Expressions

Living Our Days

Gaining a heart of wisdom

Becoming HIS Tapestry

Christian Lifestyle Blogger

He Said What?!

I'm Patty, and my husband and I are living with our adult son who has autism and epilepsy. I love sharing lessons learned from life around me, especially life with Aaron.

Meditations of my Heart

Impressions Becoming Expressions

Linda Stoll

Impressions Becoming Expressions

Debby Thompson

Impressions Becoming Expressions

Signora Sheila

Brewing Joy on the Journey

Colleen Scheid

Writing, Acting, Living in God's Love

Walking Well With God

Impressions Becoming Expressions

Mitch Teemley

The Power of Story

Heidi Viars

Stories about the Imago Dei and other Holy Moments

(in)courage

Impressions Becoming Expressions