Tag Archive: emotions


Has anyone been feeling discouraged in the battle lately? Is anyone sick of finding yourself at rock-bottom emotionally? If this is your reality right now, please continue to choose to hope for your future to change. Life can be different, but as we know, it takes work.  I would love to share some truth about how to begin to do battle in our minds, but first, would you consider Hebrews 11:6:

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Choosing to change the way that lays out for us in the Bible is a good start. I say this realizing that many of you feel anger, hostility, disappointment, and even bitterness toward God. Some may feel like they cannot possibly believe in God. Faith is not easy, but the starting place for healing is to come to God choosing to exercise faith (against what you feel) that he exists, that he is good and that good reward will come from seeking him. He knows you and loves you. If you have not invited this God into your heart and life as your only Savior, you will not know the victory he can bring. There is hope in God. There is no hope in this life, or in eternity apart from Jesus. This being said, believers have been told to wage war in their hearts and minds. During my worst days, I found myself asking, “how did I get here in this really bad state of mind!?” Answer: I thought my way there. No matter what the circumstances there are two ways to process: by faith or unbelief.

I have often chosen to interpret my life through eyes of unbelief, and have found myself in dark places. I’ve heard it compared to tumbling down a staircase. Normally, you would begin at the top of the stairs and take step after step until you reached the bottom. The top step is a thought that is against how God has told us to think in Philippians 4:8 (read it!). Choosing to walk down the steps one bad thought at a time, we end up at the bottom of the stairs in a really bad state! Eventually, that certain “staircase of thoughts” or that pattern of downward-spiraling thoughts becomes habitual. When you have thought a certain way for an extended amount of time, you can end up at the bottom, in a dark place in your mind after the first thought. I’m asking you to consider your thought patterns.

Sometimes we can think thoughts that we do not even realize we are thinking. If you find yourself in a bad place emotionally it helps to pull out a sheet of paper and list all that you can remember thinking in the past five minutes. Next, evaluate each of these thoughts in light of what God says is true in the Bible. Practicing this is seriously so helpful in renewing your mind. God does tell us what is true, while the Enemy lies and deceives us. Believe God. He is for you (Romans 8:31-32).

The good news is that as believers we can put off our old self, and live the beautiful, redeemed life that Jesus has bought for us with his own blood! It’s possible to be freed, beginning in your mind. Here is how we fight:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

…One thought at a time.

Follow the link below for a worksheet to help you take your thoughts captive and be obedient to Christ!

Renewing_a_thought_worksheet-_extended-_-final (1)

 

(post written by Lauren Mathers)

Advertisements

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!!!

Everyone Overcome

 (This devotional blog was written by Amber)

Hey Girls! I’m so excited for the opportunity to write this month’s devotional! Since trusting God was a topic for a chat we had a few weeks ago and since many of you seemed to really be encouraged by the Overcome video that I recently posted on the forum, I thought I’d combine the two to tell you a little about my experience with both. For those of you who have watched the video (and for those of you who haven’t I’ve attached it below) you know that my church over the last two years has endured scandal, murder and terror…and it all happened within the span of 13 months. It started with waking up one morning to find my pastor plastered all over the media and our church, the top headline on just about every newspaper and TV site nation-wide. The details that follow were grueling and are still sometimes hard for me to talk about because the trauma continued for so long before resolution came. But in that moment…in the midst of grief and pain, I had a life-changing decision to make. Would I walk away from the anguish and humiliation we were walking through as a church and find another place to call my house of worship, or would I, with my church family, walk through the valley pained with trauma and fear of not knowing what was to come? I had no idea how long it would take before the trauma ended…I certainly never dreamed it to be a full 13 months, nor did I have any idea that a year into it a gunman would come into our building right after services and murder two of our teenage girls. I’m actually thankful that I didn’t know how long it would endure when I internally agreed to walk it out because I don’t know if I would have made it. But all I could do is walk through one awful day at a time convicted deep inside somewhere by the fact that we were a family, and families stick together.

Through it all, I was in a way forced to lean on God for my strength, because I certainly didn’t have enough on my own.

But I’ll tell you what…I found a new capacity and depth of trusting God during that 13 months than I‘ve ever known before. It took huge faith for me to believe that the humiliation we faced, the reputation that was destroyed, the pain we endured would somehow dissipate and that one day God would lift us out of that place and allow us influence once more. And it was by no means an instant process. A few weeks ago, we experienced the 1 year mark since the shooting and while we’ve healed as a church tremendously, many of us are still walking through the pain on a personal level, trying to decipher how we can ever trust another human, another pastor after such deception for so long. And how you can ever know if a person is truly who they claim to be if the person with the most Christian influence in your life who, in my case had been my pastor for over a decade, had been leading a double life.

How do you trust then?

One of the biggest things we’ve learned as a church is to not put our trust in man, but in God and God alone. And I think that’s something we have to learn on a personal level over time and by experience, but if I can in any way encourage you and bring you a long a little farther so that perhaps you don’t have to experience quite as much pain as I have to get there, I beg you to learn from my experience.

See…it was out of our pain that the song “Overcome” was written and has since become the anthem over our church. Taken from Rev. 12:11, it says, “We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony…everyone overcome!” And I believe the family and core people at our church have done that. It completely amazes me to go to church on Sundays and still see thousands of people gathering to worship God, because according to statistics, with all that happened, our building should be closed down and used for storage. But God had more in mind and how thankful I am.

You too can overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony.

Prov 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” On another worship song (I’m a big fan of worship if you can’t tell) it says, “Here in your presence, everything bows before you.” And as I’ve thought about it during this season of life, it’s become a very comforting concept to me. Think about it…EVERYTHING bows before God…all circumstances, all relationships, all situations…your work, your family, your schooling…all your hopes, your fears, your dreams…the mountains, the seas…your pain, your emotions, your desires to self-harm…everything.

Ultimately EVERYTHING must bow before the name of Jesus.

And when I start to think about all that ‘everything’ includes, I find great comfort. I encourage you girls also, to begin thinking about everything in your life that must bow before Christ. Maybe make a list, surrendering them each individually to God. Recently I’ve found myself laying prostrate on my living room floor telling God (and reminding myself) that everything in my life bows before Him. If you’d like, I’d love for you to join me in doing the same. I think it’s a process…a constant proclaiming to God and reminder to ourselves as we let the truth sink deep into our hearts and lives. I would love for you girls to join me in this journey of trusting God. It’s tough…you must be willing to risk it all. But I promise you it’s worth it.

Lay your life before Him, allowing everything to bow before His name. And together, let’s everyone, overcome!

You can find the Overcome Video on Youtube by following these links:

Overcome Story….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9yoKNzBq3g

Overcome Song….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sjYWrpNoCs