I have been a Christian since the age of 17 and my flesh is no more saved today than the first day I came to Christ. Though it’s a little frustrating at times, it was also the admission of the apostle Paul when he said “in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” (Romans 7:18)
That said, I will also have to admit that there are times when emotional hurricanes come through my soul that could destroy my family and myself if I do not take cover as I should.
Here are a few tips for those times when your emotions are swirling and you feel as if you are about to do the worst thing possible, act out of your emotions:
Never make any major decisions when you are upset
I have heard countless people say things like “I’m getting a divorce”, “That’s it. We’re through!”, or “I’m never opening my heart to you again.” only to have a change of heart just a few days or even hours later.
It is always best to wait and take the advice of Isaiah 30:7 when an emotional storm is raging within. In this passage, God literally counseled His people “to sit still”.
Other passages that have proved to be helpful during these times are Psalm 4 and Psalm 27. In these passages God said:
“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” – Psalm 4:4
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14
Stay in the day
Worry has a way of casting a very dark shadow upon a matter. However, if you think about it, almost every time you are overcome with fear, you are thinking about something that may happen in the future.
Mark it down. We are commanded in the scriptures to stay in the day (Matthew 6:34). Once we get into the realm of what could happen or might happen, we are allowing our fears to take us on a horror ride to see things that 99.9% of the time never come to pass.
Acknowledge that your feelings are not a reality
Though your feelings are real to you, they are hardly ever parallel with the promises of God and the pure facts of a matter.
When you are tempted to wallow in your feelings, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I afraid of what I absolutely know to be true or what I think may happen?
2. Are my feelings parallel with the promise that all things work together for good to them that love God? (Romans 8:28)
3. Do I have 1000% hard evidence to back up what I am thinking and feeling at this time?
4. Can I do anything more than I have done about the matter?
5. Will it help me to dwell on this matter any more?
6. Are there people worse off than I? If so, maybe I should go and serve them during this time.
When my emotions are stirring about a matter, it has helped me to remember this little quote: if you are a Christian and you are sad, then it simply means that the story is not yet over.
This, of course, is true because God promises eternal blessedness to His people. That said, no matter how difficult the situation, it only means that there is always another chapter to be written by the finger of God. Our job is to obey and wait upon Him to bring those things to pass that will glorify Him and work for our eternal good. (Romans 8:28)
Know that your feelings will be different in a few hours or days
It is a great life skill to learn how to stay stationary until an emotional storm blows over. In fact, the fundamental problem with acting when you are highly emotional is that you typically end up making matters worse. Then the problem becomes a little more difficult because the recovery period is almost always longer because of the guilt you feel or damage that was done by acting out of fear, hurt, or anger.
God is good, good for us, and good to us – Dr. Force