There is an African – American Spiritual which declares to each of us today,
There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul
Sometimes I feel discouraged
And deep I feel the pain
In prayers the holy spirit
Revives my soul again
There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.
Let’s take a feeling test this morning.
Let Me Ask each of us these questions:
What are you and I feeling now?
What all did you and I feel yesterday?
What do you and I hope and pray you and I will feel tomorrow?
Who felt loving, happy, sad, hateful, angry, joyful, thankful, disappointed, depressed, jealous, ambitious, surprised, convicted, hopeful and who felt as though God’s love wanted to use them to make a difference in someone’s life?
Today we are going to take a brief biblical look at emotional health.
That is how to deal with how you feel.
Yesterday we talked about the heartbeat of love and hate.
“I Hate to Love!” and “I Love to Hate!”
Today we are going to begin looking at how to manage your emotions.
Moving into a “GOD” direction of “I Love to Love!” and “I Hate to Hate!”
I am pretty sure we all know the answer to this question …
When has anyone of us here ever had a change, good or bad, take place in their life because they did not keep your range of Love and Hate emotions in check?
We are going to look at what the Bible says about our emotional health and how to perhaps, even hopefully and prayerfully, successfully manage your emotions.
In the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, how to deal with how you and I feel.
Mark 12:28-34 Amplified Bible
28 Then one of the scribes [an expert in Mosaic Law] came up and listened to them arguing [with one another], and noticing that Jesus answered them well, asked Him, “Which commandment is first and most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first and most important one is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’ 31 This is the second: ‘You shall [unselfishly] [a]love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 The scribe said to Him, “Admirably answered, Teacher; You truthfully stated that He is One, and there is no other but Him; 33 and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to [unselfishly] love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he answered thoughtfully and intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that, no one would dare to ask Him any more questions.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
Mark 12:34 … Young’s Literal Translation
34 And Jesus, having seen him that he answered with understanding, said to him, `Thou art not far from the reign of God;’ and no one any more durst question him.
Today we will begin to explore how emotional health and trust are linked.
Truth is, thanks be to God, we are all emotional beings and how we are doing emotionally (positively and negatively) affects all of us on a regular basis.
God our Creator, the Author of our entire Life has something to say about yours and mine emotional health, and it is my fervent hope you, the readership, are and become greatly encouraged and feel the touch of just one of the tears Jesus cried for you and receive a fresh anointing from the Holy Spirit, come to know how deeply you and I are loved by the Lord as we focus in on this truth today.
Do you know that God cares deeply about your emotions?
Gospel Truth is this: Your heavenly Father longs for your life to be marked by emotional joy, fulfillment, satisfaction, and peace. He longs for your emotions to be rooted and grounded in his steadfast love and goodness.
Our Savior is an emotional Savior. He is not void of feelings.
We feel because he feels.
We have emotions because we are made in his image.
For much of my Christian life I thought my emotions had to be based on my circumstances.
I felt happy or sad based on others’ opinions, the pressures of life, and opportunities I had or didn’t have.
As a result, I was on a constant emotional roller coaster following the ups and downs of this shaky world. I found myself controlled by the things of the world rather than the foundation of love laid before me by the sacrificial love of Jesus.
Scripture continually describes a link between emotional health and trust.
Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
Psalm 56:3-4 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
And Psalm 33:21 says, “For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.”
We are robbed of having our emotions rooted in God whenever we take on more pressure than we are meant to carry.
Our emotional health is directly linked to our level of trust.
We feel pressure at work when we look to our job and co-workers for our provision, identity, purpose, and fulfillment.
We feel pressure in our relationships when our worth isn’t based on God’s perspective but the opinions of others.
We are robbed of peace when we try and plan our own steps rather than following our Good Shepherd into the green pastures and still waters.
In John 14:27 Jesus says,
“Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
God’s heart is to fill you with peace.
He longs for you to have all the fruit of the Spirit dwelling within you.
He has consistent, constant peace available to you.
But you must trust him in every area of your life.
You must hand over the reins of your relationships, job, identity, and plans to your Good Shepherd.
You must love and trust that he will guide you perfectly into an abundant life.
Mark 12:29-30 Jesus says this
“The most important commandment is this, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength.”
Do you understand the emotion involved in this passage?
If this verse had said, you must love your favorite football team, or favorite singer, or favorite actor with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength,
what imagery comes to your mind?
How are you going to act at the game, at the concert, or at the movie?
Would people think you were a little radical, a little nuts?
God is saying, I want to have an emotional relationship with you, where you throw everything, you have into it.
God even complains when we don’t do it.
He says, these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Have you ever seen somebody do something, and though they did it right, you could tell their heart just wasn’t in it.
God wants us to be emotionally involved in our relationship to him.
Look to your heavenly Father for peace.
Find rest in his abundant love.
Find your self-worth in the fact that God so desired relationship with you that he laid down his own life to have it.
UNDERSTAND MY EMOTIONS
Let me give you some truths about your emotions before we get into this.
1. First, Our Savior has emotions.
Jesus was God in the flesh.
Can you imagine the whole range of emotions he went through riding on the back of the foal as he entered the city gates of Jerusalem?
“Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna!” “Save us we Pray! Save us we Pray!” the crowd of people joyously shouted at the top of their lungs as Jesus recalled his destiny
He was happy to see the people turn out in large numbers.
He was thankful for the praises of the people.
He was disappointed that the Pharisees could not see what was taking place.
He was angry that religious leaders wanted him to silence the crowd.
He was so angry when He entered the Temple grounds, he turned over tables and yelled above the raucous din and activity of the “marketplace” inside.
He was sad that the people didn’t understand their true need.
He cried because he knew the destruction the Roman army would inflict on some of the people there.
He felt rejection because he knew the cross was still less than a week away.
Our Savior Jesus has emotions.
The only reason you have emotions is because you’re made in God’s image.
If our Savior was not an emotional Savior, we wouldn’t have any emotions.
We would not read: “Jesus Wept!”
2. My ability to feel is a gift from God.
Your emotions are a gift from God.
They may not always seem that way.
But even the negative ones have a role in your life.
God can use them to show you your need for him.
Emotions are a great asset.
They’re the one thing that make you and me human.
If you and I didn’t have emotions, you and I would just be a robot.
How many of you would want to be married to a robot?
It is our emotional ability that allows us to love and create and to be faithful and loyal and kind and generous and all the range of the emotions that are attached to both the good and bad and catastrophic things in life.
One of the most astounding verses in the Bible is
Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image.”
In OUR Image.
As I said the only reason you have emotions is because God gave them to you.
And you were made in his image.
3. There are two extremes to avoid.
There are two extremes you need to avoid in dealing with emotions.
One is called emotionalism and the other is called stoicism
Emotionalism means all that matters is how I feel.
Emotionalism is the extreme of saying the only thing that matters in life is how I feel.
It does not matter what I think, it doesn’t matter what’s right or wrong, it doesn’t matter what’s popular or unpopular, good or bad.
What matters is doing and responding to what you feel.
If it feels good, do it.
If I am full of Emotionalism, my emotions, they control my life, they dominate my life, they run my life and I am a very emotionally centered person.
Stoicism – feelings aren’t important at all. Stoicism is the exact opposite. It basically says feelings aren’t important at all. The only thing that matters is the measure of your intellect and your will – your volition and your intelligence.
So, the stoics say emotions are not part of life; feelings do not really matter.
We lean one way or the other and have a tendency to marry someone on the other end. One of us wants to tell the whole story with all the drama, and the other one just wants to hear the basic facts.
Like Joe Friday, from Dragnet, we say “the facts mam, just the facts.”
Actually, both of these are extreme positions.
And the happy medium is where you really want to be.
It’s not emotionalism or stoicism.
You want to know how to worship God with your emotions as shown by the facts of the truth of the Word of God.
God gave us our emotions for a reason.
God wants us to worship him emotionally.
God wants us to feel it.
In fact, God complains in the Scripture many times you’re just worshiping with your lips but not with your emotions, not with your heart.
You don’t really feel it.
By the way the word “emotion” isn’t used that often in the Bible because the Bible uses the word “passions” or “affections” or the number one term for emotions is “heart.”
We still use that today.
When you fall in love, what part of your body do you symbolically give to the person to show it.
You say, “I give you, my whole heart.”
Heart is the symbol of love and emotions.
Even today we say, “I love you with all my heart.”
In the bible, the word of God, the mind represents the intellect and the heart represents emotions. Both of them are involved in the worship of our God.
We come to church to learn about God and to feel the presence of God. That’s why our praise and our worship is as important as hearing the preached word.
We now know that those are actually two different circuit systems in your brain.
Your emotions have an amazing system as well as your thoughts do.
Some things you just react emotionally without even thinking about it.
4. GOD GAVE US THE PSALMS IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND OUR EMOTIONS.
If you have a hard time with some emotions in your life you need to spend a lot of time in the book of Psalms.
Psalms has every emotion known to man in it – the good ones and the bad ones.
The positive and the negative.
You read some of those psalms and you think,
“Why is this chapter in the Bible?”
It’s there to teach you about even those negative emotions.
Because not all psalms are about praise and thanksgiving.
There are psalms of anger and there are psalms of complaining and psalms of lament and sorrow.
There are psalms of arguing with God.
Every emotion known to man is in the Psalms and God is saying all of these are legitimate.
I give these Words to you.
Psalm 127:1 Amplified Bible
Prosperity Comes from the Lord.
A Song of [a]Ascents. Of Solomon.
127 Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
Psalm 100 Amplified Bible
All Men Exhorted to Praise God.
A Psalm of Thanksgiving.
100 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness and delight;
Come before His presence with joyful singing.
Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, [a]not we ourselves [and we are His].
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting,
His faithfulness [endures] to all generations.
Psalm 70 Amplified Bible
Prayer for Help against Persecutors.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.
70 O God, come quickly to save me;
O Lord, come quickly to help me!
Let those be ashamed and humiliated
Who seek my life;
Let them be turned back and humiliated
Who delight in my hurt.
Let them be turned back because of their shame and disgrace
Who say, “Aha, aha!”
May all those who seek You [as life’s first priority] rejoice and be glad in You;
May those who love Your salvation say continually,
“Let God be magnified!”
But I am afflicted and needy;
Come quickly to me, O God!
You are my help and my rescuer;
O Lord, do not delay.
In Psalm 70 we read today, in just those first five verses, we found desperation, frustration, anger, encouragement, confidence, humility and hope AND GOD!
So, we’re going to take some quality time at how to deal with how WE feel.
It is important for us to learn how to deal with managing our emotions and how to deal with an unwanted devotion.
Your Father counts you worthy of the death of his only Son.
Trust him today.
Place your entire life in his capable hands.
And experience God’s abundant life in the area of your emotions, rooting and grounding yourself in his unconditional, available love.
May your life be marked by increasing emotional health as you grow in trust.
Tomorrow, we’re going to try and examine why we must take quality time with God in our shared efforts to learn how to in Jesus’ name, manage our emotions.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
1. Meditate on the link between trust and emotional health. Allow Scripture to stir up your desire and willingness to trust God with every area of your life.
“For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” Psalm 33:21
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4
2. Where are you not experiencing abundant life in your emotions? Where are you feeling void of peace, joy, passion, and purpose?
3. Ask God to help you discern what part of your life you are not trusting to him. Hand over that area to him and find peace and rest in his trustworthiness.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27