God created emotion and He wants us to experience the fullness of life, which includes our vast array of emotions. What? Why would He want me to feel discouraged? Hopeless? Lonely? [Insert choice of crap feeling]?
Well… maybe we’re looking at it the wrong way. I know I did… for a long time…
For years, I hated the heart God gave me, because I couldn’t stop believing, investing, giving, encouraging and loving anyone who came into my life. I’m not talking romantic relationships. I mean literally any new friend I made. New acquaintances. New co-workers. New teammates. I would go above and beyond to ensure they knew they were appreciated and loved. And to make things more interesting, Abba blessed me with the ability to make genuine connections with people rather easily, and I’ve been told I love innocently and unconditionally. (It’s important to note I’ve recognized this isn’t MY love, but rather the Father’s love I invited into my heart at the age of 9. Ahha! That’s where it came from). And I don’t say that to boast. I’m not perfect. I know that loving unconditionally is something we as believers need to practice daily. All I’m saying is that it isn’t always easy. I’ve learned to see this heart as a gift now, but I saw it as a curse for many years.
Because with it comes a pain that I still am learning to reign in and give to Jesus: the pain of not having people believe the best about me and doubt my intentions; the pain of being misunderstood, taken advantage of and manipulated; the pain of knowing someone doesn’t love me the way I love them. But no matter what, I am convicted to always believe the best about them, be quick to forgive and prepare to move forward. Even writing that doesn’t make sense.
This heart isn’t a blessing. It’s a curse. Why did you give me this heart?! I hate it! I’m tired of being hurt – why do you want me to hurt?!
〉〉〉 Looking back I’m a bit amused at how selfish I had been, thinking it was MY heart and MY love that no one else could relate to. HA. 〈〈〈
“But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit”
1 Corinthians 6:7 [NIV].
REALITY CHECK: It’s not just me who Abba has given His heart to. It’s all of His kiddos. #ThanksJesus ♥ And while we all have varying strengths and giftings, I think many are able to relate to this specific struggle, as the need for His heart to be heard throughout the earth increases. But many have turned off the emotions because it is too painful. Too real. Too raw.
I get it. Really.
But, can I share something with you?
That I promise will bring so much clarity and revelation and [I pray] a newfound desire to turn the love BACK ON?
Yeah? Yay! Okay. Let’s remind ourselves of the nature of God, shall we?
God is love, and His love is perfect (1 John 4:8,18). There is NO darkness in Him (John 1:5). He cannot be tempted by evil and DOES NOT tempt His people (James 1:13). God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). He is a loving Father, and is the PERFECT Father. Here’s a link to over 60 scriptures denoting His Fatherhood.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”.
“Fullness of life” isn’t explicitly defined in the Bible. But what we do know is that God incarnated Himself to bring us back into union with Him and to give us His Spirit who is known as our Comforter, Counselor and Advocate (among many other names). I personally believe the “fullness of life” in which Jesus was describing was a life committed to Him: walking faithfully beside Him, with reverence to Abba Father and with an indwelling of the Holy Spirit inside of us. He is the Creator of life, shouldn’t we trust He knows how best to live it?
Okay so why would God allow us to be in pain and in grief and in brokenness?
REPEAT: Maybe we’ve been looking at it the wrong way.
Or, maybe we are looking at HIM the wrong way.
Do we only encounter the negative emotions? Do we only ever experience that in which we hate feeling? Of course not! Happiness, joy, peace, excitement, encouragement, hope – all of these are incredible emotions that Abba has created for us to experience.
» What He taught me is that I can’t pick and choose the emotions I want to feel «
I can’t experience supernatural joy without also experiencing pain. Why? Because He doesn’t. He embraces them. Emotions don’t scare Him. See, emotions are an indicator of where we are at and they’re important. They might not always correlate with truth, but how we are reacting to something is important. God actually cares about how we are doing.
*** Turning off our emotions doesn’t numb the pain at all – it magnifies it! We push ourselves FURTHER than what we are truly after, love! If we don’t allow ourselves to experience negative emotions, we don’t get the luxury of feeling any of the good ones either. (WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES).
Shame, guilt, condemnation, and feelings of the like are NOT emotions, but rather manifestations of hidden emotions often left unresolved (like fear or anxiety).
So wait, God wants us to experience fear? Hm… well, the FEAR of the Lord is biblical (Psalm 111:10), as is hatred, but when sin entered the world and Satan gained his kingdom, he hijacked and perverted many things, and emotions aren’t exempt from his poison.
Okay, so what to do with negative emotions?
Take ’em to God. All of ’em.
“The presence of God is not a place to bypass your emotions, it is a place to process them” – Pastor Steven Furtick (click here to watch a 1 minute clip from his sermon Setup in the Stronghold *the second link is to the full sermon*).
It may seem like a simple answer, but that’s the beauty. It is that simple. It’s not easy, but God wants us to live in TRUTH. John 8:32 says, “then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. (Also check 2 Corinthians 3:17). And the Holy Spirit is really good at revealing things to us that are hindering us in our walk or even our blessings! And remember, there is NO condemnation for ANYONE who is in Christ (Romans 8:1). Through Jesus, we are able to boldly approach the throne and ask for wisdom, clarity and guidance in how best to monitor and manage our emotions.
That’s all friends. I pray this inspires people to enter into His presence, grateful for His goodness.
Love to you all!
⋅ Miss Molly ⋅