Some of the wisest and most loving people I know have gone through misery. They know heartbreak and pain. They’ve seen the depths of despair and have dug themselves out of it. They are people who appreciate life, who truly love everyone, and who are honest with their emotions. They’ve gained a deep understanding of who God is.
The one thing they all have in common is that from the depths of their soul they’ve cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Or in today’s word, “why have you allowed this to happen? ” They’ve all felt pain.
Pain is a feeling. And for many of us it’s hard to have feelings-none the less express them or control them. We tend to suppress them until they explode. We are masters of ignoring them and sweeping them under the rug. We have believed the lie that they make us weak or less of a person. But God created us to have feelings. It’s part of who we are. We should not be ashamed of them. We should own it – feel it – honor God with them. Many of us don’t know how to handle our feelings or better yet what to do with them. We were never taught correctly.
Our feelings are an expression of God. We are created in His likeness. We should honor them -wear them as badges not bandages. God too has feelings and scripture is filled with them. Jesus wept. God grieved; His heart was filled with pain when saw man sin. He loves you with an everlasting love and is moved with compassion for us.
As we discover our feelings, we need to keep them in check. Our feelings should not control us. They should be a reaction of God’s love for a situation not what dictate our life. Do not get confused, our relationship with God should not be based on our feelings. It’s based on our faith of His existence.
We must be disciplined and check our emotions and make sure we aren’t living by them. Discipline and disciple have the same root. As a disciple of Jesus, we must be disciplined. We need to make sure we aren’t ignoring, suppressing and pushing our emotions under the rug. When we suppress our feelings we tend to react to others in a way that is not pleasing to God. We need to face them in a healthy way. In order to run the race with perseverance, we need to train our emotions to line up with God. You need to be disciplined in your training. Meaning you need to spend time with God, reading His word, praying and hearing His voice, understanding what are God’s emotions and His reaction. When we pray it’s like breathing. It’s vital. Being disciplined in our emotions means facing them – enduring them – but not letting them control you. Discovering our emotions doesn’t mean yelling at people, being angry, or an excuse for our behavior. They do not dictate how you react to others, to God, to life.
“Be joyful always. Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.”
1 Thess 5:16-18
We need to trust that God is good. That He is with us, even when we don’t see him or feel him. We need to not feel anxious or be fearful. We need to have the assurance that He is with us, that God is good and that He loves us in the midst of the misery.
(Ps 22, Gen 6:6, Jn 11:35, Mt 26:38, Jer 31:3, Mt 9:36, Jer 32:27, Prov 3:5, Deut 31:6)