* Emotions can cause us to forget facts about God
When the chorus of despair went up, everyone joined in. Their greatest fears were being realized. Losing their perspective, the people were caught up in emotions, forgetting what they knew about God’s character. What if the people had spent as much energy moving forward as they did moving back? They could have enjoyed their land—instead they never even entered it. When a cry of despair goes up around you, consider the larger perspective before you join in. You have better ways to use your energy than to complain. (NLT)
Numbers 14:1-4 – Then all the people began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. their voices rose in a great chorus of complaint against Moses and Aaron. “We wish we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they wailed. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and little ones will be carried off as slaves! Let’s get out of here and return to Egypt!” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a leader and go back to Egypt!”
* Avoid rash promises in heat of emotions
Jephthah’s rash vow brought him unspeakable grief. In the heat of emotion or personal turmoil it is easy to make foolish promises to God. These promises may sound very spiritual when we make them, but they may produce only guilt and frustration when we are forced to fulfill them. Making spiritual “deals” only brings disappointment. God does not want promises for the future, but obedience for today. (NLT)
Judges 11:34-35 – When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter—his only child—ran out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish. “My daughter!” he cried out. “My heart is breaking! What a tragedy that you came out to greet me. For I have made a vow to the Lord and cannot take it back.”
* Worship involves full range of emotions
The celebration after laying the Temple foundation was marked by contrasts of emotion—shouts of joy and sounds of weeping. Both were appropriate. The Holy Spirit can stimulate us both to rejoice over the goodness of his grace and to grieve over the sins that required him to correct us. When we come into the presence of almighty God, we may feel full of joy and thanksgiving, yet at the same time be sobered by our shortcomings. (NLT)
Ezra 3:13 – The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud commotion that could be heard far in the distance.
* Don’t be afraid to express your emotions
Job did not hide his overwhelming grief. He had not lost his faith in God; instead, his emotions showed that he was human and that he loved his family. God created our emotions, and it is not sinful or inappropriate to express them as Job did. If you have experienced a deep loss, a disappointment, or a heartbreak, admit your feelings to yourself and others, and grieve. (NLT)
Job 1:20-22 – Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground before God. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
* – Job felt deep anguish and bitterness, and he spoke honestly to God about his feelings to let out his frustrations. If we express our feelings to God, we can deal with them without exploding in harsh words and actions, possibly hurting ourselves and others. The next time strong emotions threaten to overwhelm you, express them open to God in prayer. This will help you gain an eternal perspective on the situation and give you greater ability to deal with it constructively. (NLT)
Job 7:11 – “I cannot keep from speaking. I must express my anguish. I must complain in my bitterness.”
* – John stresses that we have a God who cares. This portrait contrasts with the Greek concept of God that was popular in that day—a God with no emotions and no messy involvement with humans. Here we see many of Jesus’ emotions—compassion, indignation, sorrow, even frustration. He often expressed deep emotion, and we must never be afraid to reveal our true feelings to him. He understands them, for he experienced them. Be honest, and don’t try to hide anything from your Savior. He cares. (NLT)
John 11:33-38 – When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, he was moved with indignation and was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them.
They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him.” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Why couldn’t he keep Lazarus from dying?” And again Jesus was deeply troubled. Then they came to the grave. It was a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance.
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