How does God walk with us when negative emotions threaten to overwhelm and take charge? How are our emotions being made in His image and what does that process look like? The antidote to negative feelings is not to banish emotion from our spiritual development. It’s to discover the emotion of God that He wants us to experience instead.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run in and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10. The Passion Translations says, “The character of God is a tower of strength, for the lovers of God delight to run into his heart and be exalted on high.”
The true nature of how God feels about you is your unchanging place of refuge. His heart is the safest place of all to be. His love, His kindness, His mercy for you will lift you up from a pit of negativity to the high place of His affection… where you can be free from the tyranny of negative emotions defining your reality and identity.
God’s process isn’t to wait until you get rid of your negative emotions. Thank the living Lord! He has an opposite, beautiful emotion for every negative one you have. His desire is to fill you up with how He feels so that there simply is no room for that negative emotion anymore. And if that proves too difficult, that would be a sign that repentance is required.
Remember: Any time we miss an opportunity to think, speak, or act in a way that is aligned with our true identity in Christ, it becomes a wonderful opportunity for learning. We can apply it and we can grow from it. But what we absolutely cannot do is fail … because we are so amazingly loved by Him. If we ever “fail” to learn, then we always have the joy of repentance.
If there’s a long-term pattern of behavior or habit that’s been created by the enemy, then God offers you the opportunity to turn and go a more excellent way. Repentance isn’t just about what we’re turning away from. It’s about God’s gift of righteousness that we’re turning towards. Peace becomes so much more desirable than anxiety. Gentleness and graciousness become more captivating than anger or harshness. Joy becomes an anchor in your life, so that even when times of sorrow occur, you know it’s only for a while … because the relentless nature of joy comes every new day.
Jesus stripped Himself of everything that came with being God. He became a human so that He would have a total human experience. His compassion for you is immense and unchanging, and He remembers what it’s like to be like you. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” When the temptation towards negativity was present, He resisted it. All of us are going to resist something. We’re either going to resist the empowering grace of God in those difficult moments, or we’re going to resist the devil … and that comes with a promise that he will flee. James 4:7.
On some days, you’ll learn what NOT to do or how not to respond. But the only “failure” is if you fail to learn. What was the opposite of the negative emotion that God had on offer? Where were your opportunities to receive it? Did you learn where you were vulnerable and where you can depend on Him? Is there an opportunity to receive the comfort of the Holy Spirit? If there is an old way that you’ve continually chosen for moving through life, what is the alternative new Way, Truth, and Life that God has for you emotionally?
At all times, connect first with the Truth of how God feels about you. It may not always be present to your emotions. Sometimes, God is present to our faith. He’s kind enough to train you in both faith and feelings, so that on any day, in any situation, you can always remain open-hearted towards Him and receive who He wants to be for you in that place. He’s that good.
Want to learn more? Tune in to today’s podcast as we continue learning how to develop an inner territory with God that keeps us living refreshed!
As always, thanks for listening!