Monday, October 3, 2011

The Roller Coaster of Negative Emotions

"See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright -- but the righteous will live by his faith." - Habakkuk 2:4 (NIV)

God tells me that I am to live by faith. Yet, the big question is this: do I live by my faith or by my feelings? I wish I could say I live more by faith than by feelings but I'd be lying. Don't get me wrong! It's okay to have feelings. I'm not supposed to be unfeeling or hard-hearted. But, when my emotions rule over my faith, there's a problem. When they separate me from the spiritual blessings God has for me, there's a problem. Especially when they are negative emotions.

What are negative emotions? Well, let's see, there's: anger, fear, anxiety, hatred, bitterness, pride, greed, jealousy, envy, guilt, shame, doubt, suspicion, rage, arrogance, annoyance. self-pity, loneliness, boredom, depression, dissatisfaction, inadequacy, violence, judgement, inferiority, hopelessness, uncontrolled desire, irritation, resentment, discouragement, rejection, disbelief, insecurity, cynicism.....just to name a few! Satan loves to sneak these emotions into our lives when we're least expecting them. We can be having a wonderful day, then...whoosh...right down into the pit of negative emotions we go. Maybe someone cut us off on the freeway...ANGER! Maybe someone said something and our feelings got hurt...SELF-PITY! Maybe we didn't get the job we worked so hard for...REJECTION! Maybe a friend got a brand new car while yours is falling apart...ENVY! Maybe we saw someone in the mall and couldn't believe they would go out in public dressed like that...JUDGEMENT! Maybe we compare our marriage to another couple's and find ours lacking...DISSATISFACTION! Whatever it is, it doesn't take much to get us on that roller coaster, does it? And the enemy, the devil, will do his best to keep us there.

God, on the other hand, gave me something that can keep me on an even keel, if I let it. Faith in Him!! God, our Heavenly Father, never has and never will change. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13 NIV). He is, always has been and always will be, there for me. He'll keep me off the roller coaster, which is fine by me! Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you just how much I don't like roller coasters. If I do get on one, it's with my eyes closed, hanging on as tight as I can, face screwed up and screaming at the top of my lungs the whole way!! NOT a pretty picture, though a lot of people do get a laugh from it. Satan gets a BIG belly laugh when I get on that roller coaster of negative emotions. Do I really want to give him that satisfaction? NO WAY!

 I prefer the positive emotions that God brings to me: abundance, hope, joy, peace, acceptance, confidence, courage, humbleness, inspiration, kindness, love, patience, satisfaction, worth, wisdom, tranquility, honor, forgiveness, enthusiasm, excitement, compassion, empathy, balance....too many to name. All of these are waiting for me, just by choosing to get off the roller coaster of negative emotions and live by faith.  "The righteous will live by faith" (Romans 1:17 NIV; Galatians 3:11 NIV).  "We live by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV). "My righteous one will live by faith." (Hebrews 10:38 NIV). Let's get off the roller coaster and live by faith. It's a surefire way to ruin Satan's day!!

"Emotions we have not poured out in the safe hands of God can turn into feelings of hopelessness and depression. God is safe." - Beth Moore

Heavenly Father, I want to get off the roller coaster, Lord. I want to live by faith. I want to distrust and reign in any negative feelings that invade my thoughts and heart. When I feel Satan trying to worm his way into my life through negative emotions, may I loudly hear Your voice telling me to turn them over to You. I know You will never change but my emotions will. Thank You for being the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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