* Expressing feelings to 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.
* Behaving right despite feelings
Some people bring unhappiness on themselves by choosing ill-gotten gain. For example, craving satisfaction, they may do something that destroys their chances of ever achieving happiness. God’s principles for right living bring lasting happiness, because they guide us into long-term right behavior in spite of our ever changing feelings. (NLT)
Proverbs 10:2 – Ill-gotten gain has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.
* Feelings can hinder obedience
Ezekiel was bitter and angry, not at God, but at the sins and attitudes of the people. Ezekiel’s extraordinary vision had ended, and he had to begin the tedious job of prophesying among his people, who cared little about God’s messages. Before the Exile, the people had heard Jeremiah, but they would not listen. Here Ezekiel had to give a similar message, and he expected to be rejected as well. But Ezekiel had the vision of the four living begins and the wheels to back up his message. He had nothing to fear because God was with him. Despite knowing the probable outcome, Ezekiel obeyed God.
As we grow, we will have times of great joy when we feel close to God and times when sins, struggles, or everyday tasks overwhelm us. Like Ezekiel, we should obey God even when we don’t feel like it. Don’t let feelings hinder your obedience. (NLT)
Ezekiel 3:14-15 – The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord’s hold on me was strong. Then I came to the colony of Judean exiles in Tel-abib, beside the Kebar River. I sat there among them for seven days, overwhelmed.
* Right actions lead to right feelings
Forgiveness involves both attitudes and actions. If you find it difficult to feel forgiving toward someone who has hurt you, try responding with kind actions. If appropriate, tell this person that you would like to heal your relationship. Lend a helping hand. Send him or her a gift. Smile at him or her. Many times you will discover the right actions lead to right feelings. (NLT)
Romans 12:19-21 – Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.” Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.
* Don’t confuse feelings with Holy Spirit’s leading
If your desire is to have the qualities: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, then you know that the Holy Spirit is leading you. At the same time, be careful not to confuse your subjective feelings with the Spirit’s leading. Being led by the Holy Spirit involves the desire to hear, the readiness to obey God’s Word, and the sensitivity to discern between your feelings and his promptings. Live each day controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit. Then the words of Christ will be in your mind, the love of Christ will be behind your actions, and the power of Christ will help you control your selfish desires. (NLT)
Galatians 5:16-18 – So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law.
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