God created, God given. But boy can we allow one or more of them to spin out of control at times. God created us in His image and with that He gave us the gift to feel.
We have so many emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, love, compassion, guilt, hatred, and the list goes on and on. God intended for us to use them to respond to situations in our lives.
Our response reflects what is truly in our hearts. Scary huh?? Why?? Because our emotions can often be corrupted by our sin nature. What we choose to think and dwell on can cause our emotional state to be positive or negative.
Honestly, it is easy to have a positive emotional response when things are going great. When God’s will seems so clear and we feel like He has heard all of our prayers, when He has given all that we desire in the moment and we feel so blessed and content.
We have people all around us who love us and celebrate us, and we do the same for them. It makes us feel so good when we have the means to help our family, friends, or even the less fortunate, and to have compassion for someone who is hurting. And oh, how we love when people show us gratitude for what we have done. In these moments it is so easy to walk through the day with our heads held high, our emotions are all in check, and we can easily choose joy. These are all good feelings and God loves for us to experience times like this.
“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.” Psalm 126:2-3
BUT… God has also given us emotions that can be difficult to control. Sadness, anger, and guilt are just a few that prove to be more challenging. Yes, they are God given, in that we feel them in so many areas of our lives. We must be careful and most definitely learn to use self-control in our responses.
God wants us to trust Him with every fiber of our being, even when we want to allow our emotions to go haywire. We need to pray and patiently wait for God’s help.
When we feel sadness over a loss of someone we love or we face trials and tribulations, which we will, we must stay strong in our walk with God. When we seek his will and guidance, He will give us comfort and peace.
If our thoughts dwell on our sadness and pain we can fall into traps of anxiety and depression, hindering the good that God wants for us. He wants us to seek Him and experience the peace and comfort that only He can give. When we fully accept God’s help then He will give us the ability to in turn help others. There is no greater reward than to help someone else, even when we are still struggling.
“All praise to God, the Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3
Anger can be an emotion that a lot of us may battle daily. I mean the struggle is real!!! There are so many things in one day that can cause us frustration or irritation and that can easily lead to anger. Sometimes it can be the small issues like someone cutting us off in traffic, or we get the wrong food at the drive thru, or even a justified anger when we must stand up for ourselves.
Other times it can be something bigger like someone you love hurting or rejecting you. Either way we must always remember to respond with love and patience. When we choose to respond with anger, we cause more damaging consequences. We may blow up instantly and spew out all our feelings on someone and in turn cause hurt that we never intended. Then, when we calm down, we feel guilt.
When we feel instantly angered, we need to be quiet, go to God in prayer and ask if our anger is justified, and even if it is, ask for help to respond with love. We should never seek revenge or let our anger cause us to act in a hateful manner. We must learn to truly seek God’s will for our response. 100% of the time He will lead us to a loving, forgiving response full of grace and mercy.
“But You, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15
As I said, acting out on anger can lead to feelings of guilt. When the Holy Spirit convicts us, and we know we have failed to do God’s will we feel guilty. Guilt is not all bad, whether it is a sign that we need to consider what God is trying to tell us. Most of the time it stems from a sin in our lives, and it is His signal to draw us back to Him. But God does not want us to hold on to our guilt. When we do it hinders what God intends for us to be. It causes feelings of inadequacy and makes us feel unworthy.
We place ourselves higher than God when we fail to believe that He will take away all our guilty stains. All we must do is heed the warning, repent of the sin, and turn away from it. Then we should feel grateful that we are back in a place of comfort and peace. Praise God, he makes it so easy for us!!
“But if we confess our sins to Him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9