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Posts tagged ‘Faith and Feelings’

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Faith and Feelings

Faith and FeelingsThe psalms are packed with all kinds of emotions—from fear to grief to anger to over-the-top joy and happiness. And today’s study passage is certainly no exception.

In fact, a wide range of feelings are covered right within this psalm’s 20 verses. As you read and study Psalm 77, note how the writer appears to move from anguish to hope as he reflects on how God rescued his people in the past.

Interact with God’s Word:  Psalm 77

  1. In verses 1 through 3, what feelings are being expressed and experienced by the psalmist?
  2. In what ways do the psalmist’s painful feelings intensify in verses 4 through 10? What are indications that he has fallen into deep despair? (See especially vv. 8-10).
  3. What shift takes place in verse 11? Why would constantly thinking about God’s past deeds have helped give the psalmist hope?
  4. What does this psalm imply about expressing emotions? About turning to God when life seems the darkest?
  5. When life seems particularly difficult, try to turn to this psalm (or others like it) for comfort, encouragement, and hope.

Spend Time in Prayer:  Confess your tendency to keep your feelings bottled up or to express them in harmful ways; ask God’s Spirit to help you practice self-control; thank God for feelings of joy and for feelings that move you to repentance and positive action.

Psalm 77

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of Asaph.

1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
2 When I was in deep trouble,
I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
but my soul was not comforted.
3 I think of God, and I moan,
overwhelmed with longing for his help.
Interlude

4 You don’t let me sleep.
I am too distressed even to pray!
5 I think of the good old days,
long since ended,
6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
7 Has the Lord rejected me forever?
Will he never again be kind to me?
8 Is his unfailing love gone forever?
Have his promises permanently failed?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
Interlude

10 And I said, “This is my fate;
the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
12 They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.

13 O God, your ways are holy.
Is there any god as mighty as you?
14 You are the God of great wonders!
You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
Interlude

16 When the Red Sea saw you, O God,
its waters looked and trembled!
The sea quaked to its very depths.
17 The clouds poured down rain;
the thunder rumbled in the sky.
Your arrows of lightning flashed.
18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind;
the lightning lit up the world!
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your road led through the sea,
your pathway through the mighty waters—
a pathway no one knew was there!
20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,
with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.

 

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Not an Emotional Guy

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.  – Psalm 120:1

Dig Deeper: Psalm 77

Joe was a tall and athletic man in his mid-50s. He had grown up on the Sand Hills of western Nebraska and had been a cattle rancher all of his life. When he came into my counseling office the first thing he said was, “I want you to know that I’m just not an emotional kind of guy.”

He went on to explain that some people, especially women, have a lot of emotions and some people don’t. He was convinced that he was someone who didn’t have or need many emotions.

That stoic philosophy had worked for most of his life. However, when land prices fell and he found out that his wife had cancer, his emotion-free world began to crumble, and he discovered that he didn’t have the resources to deal with all of his newly discovered emotions.

Here’s the deal. Some people are more aware of their emotions than others, but the experience of emotions isn’t optional. Regardless of gender, age, race, or socioeconomic level, emotions are an integral part of our standard equipment.

The only thing that’s optional is how we choose to express them. I can’t always choose what I’m going to feel. But I can choose how long I feel it. With God’s help we can change our emotional pattern.

—Gary Oliver in Mad About Us

My Response: When it comes to how I respond to or deal with my emotions, one change I might need to make is …

Thought to Apply: There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.—Carl Jung (Swiss psychiatrist)

Adapted from Mad About Us (Bethany, 2007)

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Our Painful Feelings

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. Philippians 1:29

Dig Deeper: Job 1; James 5:10-11

[One harmful view of Christian experience says] the Christian life is to be a pain-free zone. As Christians, we must not only expect hand-to-hand combat with sin, but we must also know there is no exemption from suffering in this life. Suffering is not indicative of a lack of faith. Pain is not the direct result of our sins and failures.

Certainly all suffering and pain is ultimately rooted in sin, but the notion that my pain and suffering is a payback from God is unbiblical. That is the theology of Job’s comforters. A theology of Christian experience that says only blessing, health, and prosperity are the lot of the faithful is a recipe for emotional disaster with deep accompanying damage to faith. Such teaching is void of the very gospel itself.

If we expect that “every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before”we will be in for some serious disappointments. If we expect that victory over sin will be one uninterrupted triumph after another, we will become disillusioned with God, his Word, ourselves, or all of the above. A sound theology of Christian experience makes room for the struggle of the war-faring pilgrim and the suffering of the wayfaring pilgrim.

—Brian Borgman in Feelings and Faith

My Response: Someone I admire for his or her ability to keep trusting God in the midst of great personal suffering is …

Thought to Apply: Can we follow the Savior far, who have no wound or scar?—Amy Carmichael (Irish missionary)

Adapted from Feelings and Faith (Crossway, 2009)

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – When Emotions Mislead

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret; the coldhearted get the cold shoulder.  – Proverbs 14:17, The message

Dig Deeper: Proverbs 9:7-9

Some years ago I made a presentation to a group to whom I was accountable for leading an organization. I was asking authorization for something I wanted to do, and they said no. I did not respond well. I became silent, probably sullen, and for the rest of the evening I spoke only when spoken to. Even then my voice must have been edgy. After the meeting, a friend steered me out the door and into a corner. His words, I shall not forget.

“You know, your behavior in there was not very classy. Those people were there to help you and to save you from making a bad mistake. But if they learn that you don’t like hearing the word no on occasion, they’ll stop telling you what they think, and you’ll have to face the consequences all on your own.”

My friend’s rebuke prompted an examination of my own emotional reactions. He was right, and I knew it.

What I learned that night has stuck with me for years and years. When I feel things going against me and feelings of anger or resentment begin to rise, it is time to stop and ask what is happening. Is this for the greater good or not? Is God speaking through this moment, or isn’t he? I must not let my emotions mislead me.

—Gordon MacDonald in A Resilient Life

My Response: What is my usual response when things don’t go my way? How might Gordon’s two questions help me in the future?

Thought to Apply: Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.—Vincent Van Gogh (French painter)

Adapted from A Resilient Life (Thomas Nelson, 2005).

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Gaining Self-Control

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.  – Proverbs 25:28

Dig Deeper: 2 Timothy 1:7

Not only does God command certain emotions, but he also commands that we exercise self-control. Self-control is about as popular as root canals. However, there is a serious requirement for believers to exercise self-control. It is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23) and a gift of grace. God straightforwardly expects us to exercise self-control (2 Pet.1:6).

What is it about self that we are to control? We must control every aspect of our lives, especially our emotions. As Spirit-filled believers, we are to be sober-minded, reasonable, sensible, exercising good judgment and prudence (Rom. 12:3; 1 Pet. 4:7). The presumption is that our emotions are under the control of God’s Word and Spirit and sound mental judgment.

The Bible commands us to be in control of our emotions through Spirit-empowered self-control. [But] how do we obey these commands? Let me quickly say that there [are] no seven easy steps. When we stop believing the lies of the Devil—that certain aspects of our life will never change—when Scripture begins to infuse us with the hope, and when we start practicing the truth we believe, there is change. Under the influence of the Word and Spirit, we really can begin to handle our emotions.

—Brian Borgman in Feelings and Faith

My Response: How have I bought into the lie that I can’t change my out-of-control emotions?

Thought to Apply: I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.—Aristotle (Greek philosopher)

Adapted from Feelings and Faith (Crossway, 2009)

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Commanded to Feel

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.  – Romans 12:15

Dig Deeper: John 16:20-24

A careful reader of the Bible will conclude as indefensible any view that says, “The emotions are off-limits.”Our emotions are a part of our humanity that needs to be sanctified and brought under the authority of God’s Word.

John Piper has accurately pointed out that the Bible commands all kinds of emotions. There is the divine imperative to be joyful or to rejoice (Phil. 4:4). There is the command to “forgive your brother from the heart”(Matt. 18:35, ESV, et al).

Anyone who has dealt with forgiveness (who hasn’t?) often says something to this effect: “I don’t feel like I can forgive him yet.”Forgiveness is more than an emotion, but whether we like it or not, it has an emotional element to it. We are also commanded to love. But “love is not a feeling,”say a few Christian pop songs and teachers. This will not do. We are told to “love one another with brotherly affection”(Rom. 12:10). Love may be more than a feeling, but never less.

What about the command to mourn? “Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom”(James 4:9). God commands us to mourn, which engages the emotions.

—Brian Borgman in Feelings and Faith

My Response: Of those emotions commanded in today’s devotional, which one or ones do I find most difficult to express? Easiest?

Adapted from Feelings and Faith (Crossway, 2009)

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Commanded to Feel

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.  – Romans 12:15

Dig Deeper: John 16:20-24

A careful reader of the Bible will conclude as indefensible any view that says, “The emotions are off-limits.”Our emotions are a part of our humanity that needs to be sanctified and brought under the authority of God’s Word.

John Piper has accurately pointed out that the Bible commands all kinds of emotions. There is the divine imperative to be joyful or to rejoice (Phil. 4:4). There is the command to “forgive your brother from the heart”(Matt. 18:35, ESV, et al).

Anyone who has dealt with forgiveness (who hasn’t?) often says something to this effect: “I don’t feel like I can forgive him yet.”Forgiveness is more than an emotion, but whether we like it or not, it has an emotional element to it. We are also commanded to love. But “love is not a feeling,”say a few Christian pop songs and teachers. This will not do. We are told to “love one another with brotherly affection”(Rom. 12:10). Love may be more than a feeling, but never less.

What about the command to mourn? “Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom”(James 4:9). God commands us to mourn, which engages the emotions.

—Brian Borgman in Feelings and Faith

My Response: Of those emotions commanded in today’s devotional, which one or ones do I find most difficult to express? Easiest?

Adapted from Feelings and Faith (Crossway, 2009)

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Faith and Feelings

Faith and FeelingsThe psalms are packed with all kinds of emotions—from fear to grief to anger to over-the-top joy and happiness. And today’s study passage is certainly no exception.

In fact, a wide range of feelings are covered right within this psalm’s 20 verses. As you read and study Psalm 77, note how the writer appears to move from anguish to hope as he reflects on how God rescued his people in the past.

Interact with God’s Word:  Psalm 77

  1. In verses 1 through 3, what feelings are being expressed and experienced by the psalmist?
  2. In what ways do the psalmist’s painful feelings intensify in verses 4 through 10? What are indications that he has fallen into deep despair? (See especially vv. 8-10).
  3. What shift takes place in verse 11? Why would constantly thinking about God’s past deeds have helped give the psalmist hope?
  4. What does this psalm imply about expressing emotions? About turning to God when life seems the darkest?
  5. When life seems particularly difficult, try to turn to this psalm (or others like it) for comfort, encouragement, and hope.

Spend Time in Prayer:  Confess your tendency to keep your feelings bottled up or to express them in harmful ways; ask God’s Spirit to help you practice self-control; thank God for feelings of joy and for feelings that move you to repentance and positive action.

Psalm 77

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of Asaph.

1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
2 When I was in deep trouble,
I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
but my soul was not comforted.
3 I think of God, and I moan,
overwhelmed with longing for his help.
Interlude

4 You don’t let me sleep.
I am too distressed even to pray!
5 I think of the good old days,
long since ended,
6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
7 Has the Lord rejected me forever?
Will he never again be kind to me?
8 Is his unfailing love gone forever?
Have his promises permanently failed?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
Interlude

10 And I said, “This is my fate;
the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
12 They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.

13 O God, your ways are holy.
Is there any god as mighty as you?
14 You are the God of great wonders!
You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
Interlude

16 When the Red Sea saw you, O God,
its waters looked and trembled!
The sea quaked to its very depths.
17 The clouds poured down rain;
the thunder rumbled in the sky.
Your arrows of lightning flashed.
18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind;
the lightning lit up the world!
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your road led through the sea,
your pathway through the mighty waters—
a pathway no one knew was there!
20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,
with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.

 

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Not an Emotional Guy

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.  – Psalm 120:1

Dig Deeper: Psalm 77

Joe was a tall and athletic man in his mid-50s. He had grown up on the Sand Hills of western Nebraska and had been a cattle rancher all of his life. When he came into my counseling office the first thing he said was, “I want you to know that I’m just not an emotional kind of guy.”

He went on to explain that some people, especially women, have a lot of emotions and some people don’t. He was convinced that he was someone who didn’t have or need many emotions.

That stoic philosophy had worked for most of his life. However, when land prices fell and he found out that his wife had cancer, his emotion-free world began to crumble, and he discovered that he didn’t have the resources to deal with all of his newly discovered emotions.

Here’s the deal. Some people are more aware of their emotions than others, but the experience of emotions isn’t optional. Regardless of gender, age, race, or socioeconomic level, emotions are an integral part of our standard equipment.

The only thing that’s optional is how we choose to express them. I can’t always choose what I’m going to feel. But I can choose how long I feel it. With God’s help we can change our emotional pattern.

—Gary Oliver in Mad About Us

My Response: When it comes to how I respond to or deal with my emotions, one change I might need to make is …

Thought to Apply: There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.—Carl Jung (Swiss psychiatrist)

Adapted from Mad About Us (Bethany, 2007)

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Our Painful Feelings

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. Philippians 1:29

Dig Deeper: Job 1; James 5:10-11

[One harmful view of Christian experience says] the Christian life is to be a pain-free zone. As Christians, we must not only expect hand-to-hand combat with sin, but we must also know there is no exemption from suffering in this life. Suffering is not indicative of a lack of faith. Pain is not the direct result of our sins and failures.

Certainly all suffering and pain is ultimately rooted in sin, but the notion that my pain and suffering is a payback from God is unbiblical. That is the theology of Job’s comforters. A theology of Christian experience that says only blessing, health, and prosperity are the lot of the faithful is a recipe for emotional disaster with deep accompanying damage to faith. Such teaching is void of the very gospel itself.

If we expect that “every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before”we will be in for some serious disappointments. If we expect that victory over sin will be one uninterrupted triumph after another, we will become disillusioned with God, his Word, ourselves, or all of the above. A sound theology of Christian experience makes room for the struggle of the war-faring pilgrim and the suffering of the wayfaring pilgrim.

—Brian Borgman in Feelings and Faith

My Response: Someone I admire for his or her ability to keep trusting God in the midst of great personal suffering is …

Thought to Apply: Can we follow the Savior far, who have no wound or scar?—Amy Carmichael (Irish missionary)

Adapted from Feelings and Faith (Crossway, 2009)

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – When Emotions Mislead

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret; the coldhearted get the cold shoulder.  – Proverbs 14:17, The message

Dig Deeper: Proverbs 9:7-9

Some years ago I made a presentation to a group to whom I was accountable for leading an organization. I was asking authorization for something I wanted to do, and they said no. I did not respond well. I became silent, probably sullen, and for the rest of the evening I spoke only when spoken to. Even then my voice must have been edgy. After the meeting, a friend steered me out the door and into a corner. His words, I shall not forget.

“You know, your behavior in there was not very classy. Those people were there to help you and to save you from making a bad mistake. But if they learn that you don’t like hearing the word no on occasion, they’ll stop telling you what they think, and you’ll have to face the consequences all on your own.”

My friend’s rebuke prompted an examination of my own emotional reactions. He was right, and I knew it.

What I learned that night has stuck with me for years and years. When I feel things going against me and feelings of anger or resentment begin to rise, it is time to stop and ask what is happening. Is this for the greater good or not? Is God speaking through this moment, or isn’t he? I must not let my emotions mislead me.

—Gordon MacDonald in A Resilient Life

My Response: What is my usual response when things don’t go my way? How might Gordon’s two questions help me in the future?

Thought to Apply: Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.—Vincent Van Gogh (French painter)

Adapted from A Resilient Life (Thomas Nelson, 2005).

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Gaining Self-Control

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.  – Proverbs 25:28

Dig Deeper: 2 Timothy 1:7

Not only does God command certain emotions, but he also commands that we exercise self-control. Self-control is about as popular as root canals. However, there is a serious requirement for believers to exercise self-control. It is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23) and a gift of grace. God straightforwardly expects us to exercise self-control (2 Pet.1:6).

What is it about self that we are to control? We must control every aspect of our lives, especially our emotions. As Spirit-filled believers, we are to be sober-minded, reasonable, sensible, exercising good judgment and prudence (Rom. 12:3; 1 Pet. 4:7). The presumption is that our emotions are under the control of God’s Word and Spirit and sound mental judgment.

The Bible commands us to be in control of our emotions through Spirit-empowered self-control. [But] how do we obey these commands? Let me quickly say that there [are] no seven easy steps. When we stop believing the lies of the Devil—that certain aspects of our life will never change—when Scripture begins to infuse us with the hope, and when we start practicing the truth we believe, there is change. Under the influence of the Word and Spirit, we really can begin to handle our emotions.

—Brian Borgman in Feelings and Faith

My Response: How have I bought into the lie that I can’t change my out-of-control emotions?

Thought to Apply: I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.—Aristotle (Greek philosopher)

Adapted from Feelings and Faith (Crossway, 2009)

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – Commanded to Feel

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.  – Romans 12:15

Dig Deeper: John 16:20-24

A careful reader of the Bible will conclude as indefensible any view that says, “The emotions are off-limits.”Our emotions are a part of our humanity that needs to be sanctified and brought under the authority of God’s Word.

John Piper has accurately pointed out that the Bible commands all kinds of emotions. There is the divine imperative to be joyful or to rejoice (Phil. 4:4). There is the command to “forgive your brother from the heart”(Matt. 18:35, ESV, et al).

Anyone who has dealt with forgiveness (who hasn’t?) often says something to this effect: “I don’t feel like I can forgive him yet.”Forgiveness is more than an emotion, but whether we like it or not, it has an emotional element to it. We are also commanded to love. But “love is not a feeling,”say a few Christian pop songs and teachers. This will not do. We are told to “love one another with brotherly affection”(Rom. 12:10). Love may be more than a feeling, but never less.

What about the command to mourn? “Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom”(James 4:9). God commands us to mourn, which engages the emotions.

—Brian Borgman in Feelings and Faith

My Response: Of those emotions commanded in today’s devotional, which one or ones do I find most difficult to express? Easiest?

Adapted from Feelings and Faith (Crossway, 2009)

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

How Does God Feel About Feelings? – God Feels. You Feel.

Faith and FeelingsWho Said It … Pete Scazzero

Pete Scazzero is author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a groundbreaking book on the integration of emotional health and spirituality.

Pete is the founder and senior pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a multiracial, international church representing over 65 countries. Pete and his wife, Geri, are co-founders of a ministry called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (emotionallyhealthy.org).

What He Said … God Feels. You Feel.

Scripture reveals God as an emotional being who feels—a Person. Consider the following (emphasis provided; all verses from the NIV):

  • “The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain“(Genesis 6:6).
  • “‘My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused‘”(Hosea 11:8).
  • “[Jesus] began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death'”(Matthew 26:37-38).
  • “[Jesus] looked around them in anger and, deeply distressed“(Mark 3:5).
  • “Jesus [was] full of joy through the Holy Spirit”(Luke 10:21).

Reflect on the implications of our God feeling. You are made in his image. God feels. You feel. At the very least, the call of discipleship includes experiencing our feelings, reflecting on our feelings, and then thoughtfully responding to our feelings under the Lordship of Jesus.

Adapted from Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Integrity, 2006).

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.