When we go through tests and trials, there is often a roller coaster of emotions. But we don’t have to let our emotions run the show! As believers, how can we learn to live by something other than our feelings and emotions?
Also read about the meanings of God’s name, how joy follows loving discipline, and how the truths of the Gospel contain the power of God.
Job 29 & 30
I Corinthians 1.1-31
7 Way to Avoid a Roller Coaster of Emotions
Job 29 & 30:
Don’t Let Emotions Run the Show!
Our friend Job is on quite a roller coaster. In yesterday’s reading he had some of the most incredible revelation from God and in today’s reading He thinks God has totally abandoned him.
Isn’t that a picture of the roller coaster of emotions we can all experience when we are going through a test or trial? The important thing to remember is that even though the feelings are there, they’re real, and they’re often strong, we don’t have to be controlled by our emotions. By that I mean, we don’t have to let them determine the way we act and respond!
In spite of all his roller coaster feelings, Job stayed faithful to God. Remember what his wife said at the beginning, “Why don’t you just curse God and die!” (my paraphrase). But Job didn’t waver from his faith in God, even though he didn’t understand why God was allowing all this calamity.
So how can we avoid letting emotions run the show in our own lives?
7 Ways to Avoid a Roller Coaster of Emotions:
- Spend time in God’s Word. It reminds us of the bigger picture and builds us up spiritually (Rom. 10.17, 15.4).
- Pray. Talk to the One who moves mountains and walks with us through our valleys (Heb. 4.16).
- Remember. He know our limits and will not allow anything in our lives that we can’t handle as long as we rely on His grace (1 Cor. 10.13).
- Focus on His promises. He will provide for all our needs (Matt. 6.25-34). He will give us the grace we need (Heb. 4.16). We can rest in His protection (Ps. 23, Ps. 91). And so many more. Find one that speaks to you.
- Know. Whatever He has commanded us to do, He’ll give us what we need to do it (Phil. 4.13).
- Rely. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you (Rom. 8.11).
- Determine. Make a decision to live by the principles of God and not your feelings.
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope (Rom. 15.4).
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4.16).
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Cor. 10.13).
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4.13).
God made us as emotional beings. Our emotions are real and we can’t turn them off and on like a faucet. We can’t will them to change by trying hard enough. But what we can do is stop letting them lead our thoughts, words, and actions. Instead, we can decide to live by the principles of God, in spite of our feelings. The amazing thing is that when we do, our emotions will often get in line.
Today’s Other Readings:
His Holy Name
In ancient times, a person’s name didn’t just refer to what his parents called him. It was who he was. It was his character, the representation of his person. So when the Bible talks about God’s name, it’s referring to the character and the very person of God. If you want to get a greater understanding of God, it’s good to study His various names: Lord, Master, Savior, King of kings, Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father, Jehovah, and the list goes on. There are also the compound names of God: Jehovah-Jirah, Jehovah-Shalom, etc.
Many in our generation don’t really know who God is. They may see Him as some generic god, some higher power, some super-natural being, but they have no real concept of the God of the Bible. Some even think Allah, Buddha, the Great Spirit, etc., are all just different interpretations of the same god. But the truth is: there is only one God and He is the God of the Bible. All the others are “nothing” at best and demonic at worst.
3 Forces at Work in Our Children
These two verses speak of the joy a parent experiences when her child demonstrates wisdom which is lived out in words and actions. But notice it follows the verses we talked about yesterday and the day before:
“Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge. Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell” (vv. 12-14).
Of course, we know that doing all the “right things” (as much as in humanly possible) doesn’t guarantee that our children will grow up to serve and love God. After all, God is a perfect parent and look what some of His children do.
There are three forces at work in our children’s lives: our instruction, the Holy Spirit, and their own will. Our job is to faithfully do our part.
1 Corinthians 1.1-31:
Christ Crucified … the Power of God
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God … but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (vv. 18, 23-24).
Foolishness … that’s what some think about the Gospel! They think the Bible is full of silly superstitions which science has proven to be wrong. Many schools and universities are busy educating every bit of faith out of our children. And many, even in the church, struggle to believe things like the creation account, the flood and the virgin birth.
Nothing has really changed since the first century although we think it has. We are so puffed up with our science, our inventions, and our enlightenment, but the intellectual Greeks had much the same attitude. Acts 17 describes Paul’s interaction with a group of Greek philosophers in Athens:
“Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, ‘What does this babbler want to say?’ Others said, ‘He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,’ because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection … And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked …” (Acts 17.18, 32).
The legalistic Jews were no better. Like many today they thought they were right with God because of all their religious activity.
The Gospel—to the intellectual—is foolishness! And to the one who thinks he can get to God by his religion, his good deeds, his attendance at church or mass, his prayers, his humility, his piousness, etc.—it is a stumbling block! But to those who believe—it is the power of God for salvation!
In the next few days we’ll talk about salvation and eternal security, how to know you would be in heaven tomorrow if you died tonight; how ease, entertainment, and over-indulgance can lead to poverty; and how to honor parents who were less than perfect. Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.
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