They are the devil, am I right? Okay, no not really. Feelings can actually be a blessing in many ways, though they often feel like a nuisance.
What would it be like to experience feelings apart from the fall? To experience love in it’s purest form, or the closeness of a relationship without fear of being hurt. Can you imagine the joy of motherhood without the stress?
God is good to give us beautiful glimpses on earth of his original design for emotions. One day we will live in the reality of perfection, but we haven’t made it there yet. Sadness, stress and heartache still grip our hearts. Unwarranted and sinful feelings still seek after our minds to capture our thoughts.
So what do we do?
They’re Lying To You
Our feelings often times are telling a story. We have to think about what we’re thinking about. Sounds redundant, but it’s true.
All day, we are fed truths and lies from every direction. A TV show can cause us to become sad (The Walking Dead, anyone?). A conversation with a friend can leave you feeling like your husband isn’t nearly as sweet as hers. The magazine rack at the store can make you feel less attractive. So many things feed into our emotions.
When unwanted or sinful feelings arise, we must hold them up to the truth found in God’s word.
You may feel like God has turned his back on you, but he has promised to never forsake his own.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV)
Maybe you’ve turned away from sin but still feel like he won’t forgive you, but he has wiped away all of your sin.
As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12 ESV)
Or you could feel like he is holding back good gifts from you, whether that be marriage or a baby or a fulfilled dream. But he lavishes gifts on his children.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11 ESV)
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32 ESV)
You might feel like you should have married someone else, but God’s word says you are right where he wants you to be.
What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:9 ESV)
So many different emotions touch our heart day in and day out. We need to be able to distinguish truth from a lie.
Where To Find Truth
Already, we’ve discovered that the truths needed to combat our faulty feelings are found in the bible.
In order to hold our emotions up to scripture, we have to know it. In order to know it, we have to read it and allow it to soak into our hearts and minds. I shared how I study the bible here. It’s extremely important to consistently study the word.
So many lies force their way into our minds and we hold the living word in our hands that can correct our thinking and change our lives, leading us on the path of righteousness.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:104-105 ESV)
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3 ESV)
“Through your precepts I get understanding.” How do we sniff out the truth among the lies? Through God’s word which is living and active and discerns the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.
He wants to speak beautiful truths to you today through his word. Listen to him above all other voices. Remember, your feelings might be lying to you.
My husband and I sought marriage counseling, and if there was anything that was hard for me to accept, it was what our pastor said regarding feelings. His thoughts lined up with yours. But let me tell you, at the time, mine did not! I was clinging onto my hurts as if they were the standard of truth. I can fully recall sitting in that room being given solid guidance, and in my head thinking, “but he hurt me”– as if my feelings were of greater value than God’s truth itself.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
I think the most important point to take away from your post is that we need to be in His Word consistently to see where our heart is deceiving us. I’m not sure how I ended up on this particular post this morning, but thanks for this reminder!