Pastor Lydia P. Ford
Bible Study Teaching Topic: Harnessing Your Emotion by Andrew Womack
This is a snippet of a lesson I taught yesterday at Bible Study. I thought it would be beneficial to my members, because it is something that I was currently having a problem with. During the fall season, particularly in the Months of October and November, I usually start feeling some kind of way. I know it is primarily due to the fact that I lost precious members of my family during those months. I began to feel my sadness creeping up on me, and felt the overwhelming pressure of bill, the church ministry and personal relationships making me feel weighted down,
I came across this book that I had ordered some time ago and began to read it. It was just the medicine that I needed to help deal with the depression that I felt coming on. The devil is a liar! He will not hold me hostage during this coming season. My healing, restoration and prosperity is on its way. I claim it in the name of Jesus!!!
Chapter 1: God’s Attitude toward Emotions
Definition of harness: “to bring under control and direct the force of.”
God would have us to deal with and directly be responsible for handling or harnessing our emotions. He wants us to control, and to direct the force of our emotions.
We all have emotions and we cannot deny they exist. Yet some people, because of the negative experiences they have had with their emotions, go to extremes and try to become emotionless. They try to just quit feeling anything. We see this played out with wives and husbands that have hurt one another in their marriages, pastors who have had congregants that have hurt them, left the ministry, or talked disrespectfully to them in public etc.
A lot of ministers withdraw and never get close to anyone based on the emotional turmoil they have experienced at the hands of other preachers and members of their congregation. They do not develop close friendships, because of a fear of being hurt. They may avoid hurts, but they also miss out on one of God’s greatest blessings.
The fact is that God created emotions, and it’s wrong to try to become emotionless, to withdraw to a state in which nothing ever bothers us-a state in which we are desensitized to pain and disappointment. That is certainly not what God wants for any of us. We were created with emotions, and we are to enjoy those emotions.
God Himself is a God of emotions. First John 4:8 tells us that God is love, which is an emotion. It is not only and emotion, but it involves emotion, The Bible says in many different places that the Lord is a jealous God, not only is He jealous, but he gets angry as well. All of which are emotions. In Ephesians 4:30, it says we can grieve the Holy Spirit.
Emotions are meant for enjoyment. We were created in God’s image, and part of that likeness of God is emotions. God gave them to us to be enjoyed. When God created the world, he looked at everything He made and said, “It is good: (Genesis 1:31). Emotions were created to be something good. They are one of the spices of life that really make life worth living. It there was no love in our lives, if there was no hope or joy, what would be the point of living?
However, many people find their emotions out of control. Instead of us controlling our emotions, our emotions wind up controlling us. Emotions were made to have a positive effect upon our lives, but they can also be the very thing that drives us into depression, which causes all kinds of problems, sickness disease, and infirmities/weaknesses. Some emotions, when out of control can lead to destructive behaviors such as suicide, murder, rape, incest, etc.
The world is going to hell in a handbag because of its inability to harness, reign in its emotions. Psychologist just tries to make people feel better by telling them they shouldn’t worry about their lack of control or emotional stability. Some say they shouldn’t look at themselves as being abnormal, because everyone else is as crazy or bad off as they are. But that is not the counsel that God would have us to receive.
It is sad that the Christian community has not taught or dealt well in the area of emotional stability. Most of our teaching comes from the point of view of coping, not conquering our emotions. Seldom do we have the victory of them, but we cower and submit ourselves to the enemies control, manipulation and power in that area.. With God’s help however, we can learn to help people to not just cope and survive; they can be taught to hope and thrive in this area of emotions.
Andrew Womack, the author of this book, stated that 80% of the Christians that he has ministered to around the country stood up for prayer who have been fighting depression and losing the battle. Many times he said, the numbers reached as high as 90%. And he said that sometimes it looked as if the whole congregation was standing.
The truth is that our Lord came to deliver not just our eternal spiritual man but also our soulish, emotional personality as well. Jesus paid for that at the cross. Mental and emotional health is a part of what Jesus came to bring. There are truths and instruction in God’s Word that if followed and applied, will guarantee us to live an emotionally stable life.
Isaiah 26:3 says that the Lord will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon Him because he trusts in Him. Well, peace is an emotion, and you and I can live in a state of perfect emotional peace.
God was angry with Israel because they did not take responsibility for their emotions. Let’s read (Deuteronomy 28:45-48).
In this passage of Old Testament Scripture, God judged Israel’s sin harshly. He was telling them that because they had not done certain things, he was going to bring judgment upon them. This judgment was the result of their acts of sin. In the Old Testament, God judged sin harshly. In the New Testament, our judgment has been placed upon Jesus, so even though we don’t always do what we should, God does not judge us. But we can still benefit from seeing what the Lord judged as wrong conduct.
God tells Israel that He was bringing judgment upon them because they did not serve Him with joyfulness and gladness of heart for the abundance of all of the things He had given them. Most people read it and say, “Yes, God hated sin: and judged it.” But this passage shows that God not only hated sin; He hated negative emotions. It was because His people had not served Him with their emotions that He was bringing judgment upon them.
Very few of us ever see emotions in that light. Most of us look at emotions as being something that is optional. People would like to have positive emotions, but they don’t feel responsible for producing them. Most of us do not wake up in the morning and decide to have a rotten, no good, horrible,terrible, bad day. Yet when certain things happen and they begin to feel that way, they don’t feel guilty. They don’t feel they have done anything wrong, instead, they feel justified. Most of us make excuses when we come to the house of prayer and make the decision, that; “I’m upset; I don’t feel like praising God. Look at what is going on in my life, house, ministry, relationship.” God has me on the “Potter’s Wheel and I’m tired and ready to give up and give in.” Most of our thinking seems to be, I’m justified in feeling this way because of my circumstances. How else can I feel?
Most people feel that if something negative happens, there must be a negative emotion to correspond with it. They see emotions as simply a response, not a choice. To them, emotions are not something they have any authority or control over; therefore, they have no responsibility for them.
Emotions are just something that happen, that is what most of us believe. Yet that can’t be true, or God would have been unjust to bring judgment upon the nation of Israel because they did not serve Him with their emotions, it would be unjust for God to hold us accountable for something we had no control over.
Read John 14:1
Most feel that whenever something is going fine, we should be praising God and operating in joy and peace. But when bad things come along, they act as though they have some responsibility for their emotions. But when big problems come, they think that relieves them of all responsibility for their emotions: No one can be expected to overcome in this situation, or can they?
Think about what Jesus was telling his disciples, before he went to the cross. The disciples did have the power to control their emotions, but they did not exercise it, so the Lord wound up forgiving them, ministering to them, and comforting them. But His best was for them to put their trust in Him and not let their hearts be troubled.
We are going to have to get rid of the lie that we have no authority over our emotions. Emotions are not just something that happens to us like a chemical reaction we have not ability to control. We are not like animals that just respond to stimuli. We are people created in the image of God who have the power of choice. (Deut. 30:19). We do have authority over our emotions through Jesus Christ, and it is time to walk in that authority and take control of our feelings.
I hope that helped you today, because it ministered to me. I think I will continue this discussion. Remember, we got the victory in Jesus. and as always:
"Don't Forget To Say Your Prayers."