I don’t know about you, but I often struggle with my feelings. In a perfect world, I would feel happy all of the time. I would never be tired, or stressed, or anxious. I would feel sunshiny and energetic like I do on the perfect spring day when everything is going my way. The problem is… this world is not perfect… and neither am I.

How about you? Do you know what it is like to feel “all over the place” emotionally? Have you ever felt dark, overly tired, anxious, fearful, out of sorts, or just down? What do you do with those feelings? I have responded in many different ways to my feelings in the past… many of those ways were sinful which caused me to wind up with big problems on top of bad feelings. Not a pretty picture.

The Bible holds God’s answers for us no matter what emotion we experience… no matter how we feel compelled to handle strong emotions. If you belong to Jesus Christ, you should desire to know how your Heavenly Father wants you to respond to your feelings. He cares and understands feelings. He walked in our shoes once, and now he lives inside of his children. It’s amazing, he already lived his life here, faced every temptation and overcame, but he desires to “do it all again” as he walks with each one of his children through their individual lives. God made us. It only makes sense that he knows how we work … and how to fix our brokenness.

Sometimes we fear feeling how we know we’ve felt before. If you are prone to feel depressed, you may do all you can to avoid feeling those emotions. Anxiety is no fun either. (Not to mention that God tells us to trust him and stop the worry). A person who is “given to worry” may attempt to control her life in hopes that all of her worst fears will not come true. (Though no one ever has control… God does a much better job being in charge of our lives than we ever will!).

Sometimes we refuse to feel what we do not want to feel. We seek comfort at all costs. Often the cost we are willing to pay is great… we sin in order to avoid feeling. God has called us to take courage in him, believing his promises to us, and to face everything in our lives with his strength and help. Ps. 31:24 says, “Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.” (NLT). Being strong and courageous is the opposite of refusing to feel.

The truth is, we don’t like to feel uncomfortable feelings… so, it takes something very great to cause our hearts desire to worship during those rough swings instead of turning to our sinful feeling solutions. That very great thing is our very great God. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom…” Fear (or right respect and awe) for the Lord is the beginning of learning to handle our feelings in a way that would show we honor and love our God.

So how do we handle feelings? First, know that feelings are not inherently evil or good. Feelings are simply a reflection of the heart. If your heart does not trust God’s promise to plan your future for your good, you will most likely feel anxiety of despair. The feeling is not the problem. The feeling reflects the heart, just as the “check engine light” on a car reflects what is going on under the hood.

The best place to begin when choosing to handle our feelings is to ask, “What am I believing about what I am facing?” Then you can grab a godly friend and ask for help searching in God’s Word for the TRUTH about what you are facing. This is hard work. Facing feelings instead of running or being destructive is hard work, but it is the work of a courageous believer!!!

Sometimes bad feelings are legitimate. Sometimes they stem from sin in our hearts. In this case, the only solution is to pray and confess that you have acted or thought against God. They turn around and do whatever it takes to obey. Again, this is hard work and it is not for the cowardly person. The person who takes obeying and pleasing God seriously is in for great reward, though!!!!!! God’s way is so the best way to live!!!

If you don’t get anything else, get this paragraph!: Take this whole discusson clear and simple… bottom line: Don’t obey your feelings. Obey Jesus. Obeying your feelings will lead you to destruction and will dishonor your God who promises that he is strong to save you. Our hearts are deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Our feelings come from our own (often confused) hearts. The Bible says not to trust your heart! Feelings are temporary. God is your permanent King.

I have lived this ladies. I have been the girl who has acted irrationally and destructively in order to stop bad feelings instead of facing them… AND I came to a point of deciding God is worth obeying instead of my feelings, so with God’s strength and help (and the encouragement of godly people) I practiced obeying God over my feelings every day… and now I can truly say that I know what it means to have freedom in Jesus! My feelings do not rule me! They are defeated… I may still feel bad at times (we all do living here in a fallen world), but those feelings have no power over me. I obey Jesus! : ) Now, that’s living!!! I am praying all of you would know freedom through obedience!!!