What to Do About Those Negative Emotions

The man Jeri had thought would someday be her husband announced he was moving away and ending their relationship. The thought filled her with pain. 

"How do I stop feeling so connected to you?" she asked. "I guess you have to want to," he candidly replied. 

But strong emotions filled her heart and she cried until she became emotionally numb.

"God, I prayed about this relationship! How could you let this happen?" How do I get out of this desolate place?" she cried to the Lord.

God seemed to remind her, "I never promised that you would never suffer heartbreak or be exempt from suffering. But I did promise that whatever comes or goes, I will never leave you." 

Then He seemed to say, "Now speak to those negative emotions and command them to leave."

Obediently, she wiped the tears from her eyes, took a deep breath and began to speak encouraging words to herself in the power of God. A sense of joy and freedom flooded her heart and mind. What had seemed intolerable seconds earlier became another proof of God's love and faithfulness.

Charles Spurgeon said, "There are certain things in life that we need not pray about--moods, for instance. We will never get rid of moodiness by praying, but we will by kicking it out of our lives....We have to pick ourselves up by the back of the neck and shake ourselves; then we will find that we can do what we believed we were unable to do."*

When David and his men returned from battle and found Ziklag destroyed and their children taken captives, his men were all angry enough to stone David. "But David found strength in the Lord his God" (1 Sam. 30:6). He refused to give into the mood that filled the others. Perhaps that determination was one of the key things that set David apart from others.

Dear Jesus, help us to be aware of when we allow negative emotions to hinder what You want to do through us. 

"Rejoice in the Lord always" (Philippians 4:4). (Written by Paul, the prisoner.)

*From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition, May 20, 2018