FAITHFUL FRIDAY

We can feel depressed or sad or angry or lonely. We can feel happy and hopeful. We can be cheerful one moment then suddenly get road rage. We can feel like we love someone one moment, then frustrated at them a moment later. We can feel optimistic or hopeless. Some of us wear our feelings on our sleeve. Some of us, like me, are good at hiding their feelings. I was asked did I ever feel sad or depressed. Of course the person asking did not know me before and during my storm. I spent almost two years sad and depressed. And even before that, unknown to many, those feelings were constant visitors in my life. Glory be to God they don’t visit like they use to, and when they do, trust me, it’s a short visit. Possibly because I’m not very hospitality. I rather entertain Jesus. Their cousins; anger, frustration, disappointment, doubt, and fear also like to visit. They too are not welcome. However, I love when peace, calm, happy and contentment stopover. They can never overstay their welcome! They bring me joy! We all get these visitors and I know they are true in the sense that they are real. We really do feel things. Feelings are not necessarily right or wrong. For example you may feel like a total failure. But are you a TOTAL failure? I may feel that no one loves me, but does that mean NO ONE really loves me? These feelings are true feelings, but are they necessarily the truth? I may say,  “I need to go somewhere. I feel like I’m going crazy in this house”. True feeling. But not necessarily the truth (at least I hope not). Because feelings are not necessarily the truth, and not necessarily right or wrong, we have to be careful about jumping to conclusions too quickly about them and judging others.

We must learn to express our feelings in the right setting to the right people who will listen. Of course we can’t tell everybody everything! And some people you can’t tell anything! But it is releasing to have the other person know how you feel and to think they understand you. Even after forgiving someone, we may still need to express our feelings. Some of us must learn to verbalize our feelings. This has not been easy for me, I’m working on it. I don’t like sharing my feelings of discouragement or sadness because I feel weak when I do. See what I mean, I feel weak, but I know I am not weak, I am strong in the Lord!  When people are going through and they are discouraged or depressed, let’s not be so quick to quote scripture or tell them they need to have faith. Feeling some type of way does not mean you don’t have faith, let me say that again, feeling some type of way does not mean you do not have faith! We must realize that we cannot possibly grasp the pain that others go through in every situation. I can’t understand the challenges others go through if I haven’t been through them. And even if I have, everybody react to things differently. Often the best thing to do is as the scripture says, first weep with those who weep before attempting to help someone overcome their feelings. I’m grateful that in recent years the Lord has been helping me empathize with others.

We may feel like we have no choice but to follow the dictates of our feelings. The first place to look when dealing with our feelings is the Word of God. We who believe in Jesus are no longer slaves to our feelings. As new creations, Christ is our Lord and Master, not our feelings. And he gives us his Spirit to empower us to obey him and keep his commandments. So when we know what he commands in any situation, we should ask our Lord for help and strength to obey him, whether we feel like it or not. We can pray for help to love a person and to do good to him even though he is unkind. We can pray for help to be patient and gracious. Lord, please help me to respond to this angry person with gentleness, help me to give with cheerfulness. Lord, you know I don’t feel like Bible study today, but help me worship you with all my heart. And Jesus, when I feel like giving up, help me persevere and keep going. Scripture tells us we are often tempted to anger when we want something and don’t get it. Scripture addresses our feelings of envy, discontentment, and discouragement. As we meditate on God’s word day after day, and as we ask Jesus to help us and to give us joy, peace and contentment, we will find ourselves no longer led by our feelings, but led by the Spirit. To the person who asked me the question about feelings of sadness and depression, I hope this explains it better. The Holy Spirit lives in me, so I am working on only letting the fruits of the spirit visit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness).  Love and Blessings…

 

 

 

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