In this world, physical senses hold so much sway – yet we must live by faith, not by sight. Emotions can drastically influence our being – yet we must live by faith, not sight. All the norms of human trust are diametrically opposite to this life of faith. Sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, signs – all contribute to the way we believe things to be – yet we are to live by faith and not by sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, signs – for without faith it is impossible to please God – and I do so want to please Him Heb.11:6
As I trail a wrong path, I blunder, until I start to see with spiritual eyes of His understanding/ (as did Job). So I must seek His reason, His judgments, His divine guidance – not my own. I must be humble of heart; teachable in spirit; gentle in my dealings. I must seek to have my emotions; desires; thoughts and reason aligned to Him.
And even my emotions are God-given spices to enhance my life, and others – but the pains, wounds, and disappointments of life, so often distort rational thought, and we flood our conversations and bury our actions in false imaginings that we consider as truth. Yes, I do desire to reason with the Lord… but it must be on His terms and not mine. For my own reason will sink my boat. My own reason will bite my own hand. My own reason will bury my desired hope.
That secret abode that houses all the deepest desires of your longing heart, with its affections and emotions; its passion and plans – that private place that buries all the deepest lacerations that life can throw at it; its failures and disappointments – its wounds and its pains – blameless. (note – the new life in Christ and not the old sinful Adamic nature).
Trial and Difficulties
Thanksgiving is not always a sentiment accompanying a life of trial and difficulties. Praise and worship is not the first behaviour displayed in times of desperate need. Grateful thanks are hardly an emotion we adopt when we are in deep pain or trouble.
The Love of God
The love of God was love in deed and in truth. It did not materialise from an inward emotion. It was not based on selfish need. The love of God was expressed in a way that we can never doubt:-
When circumstances seem impossible, when all signs of grace in you seem at their lowest ebb, when temptation is fiercest, when love and joy and hope seem well nigh extinguished in your heart, then rest, without feeling and without emotion, in the Father's faithfulness; abide in the fact that He loves you infinitely, and even now is working in you faithfully; and honor Him, and put the enemy to flight by taking to yourself the words of Job: Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.' I have prayed for thee' (says the One who ever lives to make intercession for us) that thy faith fail not.' -D.T.
When the ecstasies and the emotions and all the more superficial elements in our salvation are brought under the stress of terrific opposition; when in addition to that the enemy lays on his accusations, then the foundations are discovered, and many, many breakdown.
All are of the soul.... Spiritual death marks that realm, and while there may be intense emotions which make for resolves, high thoughts, and desires, there is no genuine change in the nature of those concerned, and repeated doses of this must be taken to maintain any measure of soul-self-satisfaction which makes them feel good.
The result is that in the work of God all the world over you have people serving the Lord in the energy of the flesh, in the reasoning of the flesh, in the emotions of the flesh.
Do you see what a havoc the enemy can make in that which is called the church, because people with best intentions and purest motives have come to serve the Lord with all their own intelligence, their own strength, and their own emotion?
But Christ was also fully Man – and as such he had a human nature – yet without sin. He was a man with a mind and emotions and He had a human body, a soul and spirit. As Man He grew weary and could legitimately say, I thirst – give me to drink… and as Man He could rightfully say to the High Priest at His trial – you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.
And faith in God fluctuates between good and bad circumstances. And trust in God ping-pongs as emotions rise and then tumble. And life has no stability because we have not fixed God’s Word in our heart.
Throughout Scripture “God” is Elohim..
the Strong One – the Powerful God ping-pongs, as emotions rise and then tumble.
work that is often couched in the terms of ‘Vocation’; ‘Calling’; ‘Evangelism’… service that is often dependent on senses; intellect; emotions – the external appeal – labour designed to satiates the tickled ear, the straying eye, the emotional high.
We do not set the statements of Jesus in front of us as a standard; but when The Spirit is having His way with us, we live according to His standard with out knowing it, and on looking back we are amazed at the disinterestedness of a particular emotion, which is the evidence that the spontaneity of real love was there.
It has to be something more than emotion, and more than glorious doctrine; yes, more than a truth to which we give some assent.... If it is true that we are one with a risen, enthroned Lord, it ought to have tremendous repercussions.
that God made man in His own image and likeness, with a mind to think, emotions to feel and a will to make choices - and the man that God created was destined to rule and reign as His appointed regent over all the whole earth, in total dependence upon his God and in willing submission to his gracious Creator.
Our unbelief looks at the overwhelming circumstances in our own lives and the tremendous troubles raging in the wider world and we cry “hopeless' and our emotions ebb and flow as we fluctuate between two opinions and question God's goodness - depending upon our feelings or our fortune.
Those who wait on the Lord are those who have the assurance and inner confidence that the promises He has made to His people, and the things for which we hope, are a matter of fact and a present reality... that cannot be contradicted by senses, emotions, reason or fear.
When He walked by the way He was hungry and tired, and our Great High Priest was not exempt from the human emotions of hope and fear, of joy and pain, of anger and grief, nor was He free from suffering and sorrow but lived a life of humble obedience to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit.
and Satan's prime objective is to turn the human race against the One Who made them in His own image:- with a mind to think, emotions to express feeling and a free-will to choose between the evil and the good.
Whatever value we place on bodily senses or emotional awareness to stimulate and inform us, God's greater commendation and divine approbation is given to the one who is not influenced by physical senses, human emotions or life's circumstances, but who simply trusts His Word.
Although God knows that trust may be triggered by our senses, emotions, and daily living, He also knows those things can as easily be shattered into a thousand tiny fragments and sifted like wheat by Satan, if faith is not securely anchored to Christ as fact.
God is Spirit and He is invisible while man is flesh and is clothed with a physical form and yet like his Creator, man was given the ability to communicate through speech; the power to reason with his mind; the freewill to make wise choices; the capacity to work and the privilege to expresses his inner feeling through a variety of God-given emotions.
For the man or woman who chooses to take God at His word and live their Christian life trusting all He says – no matter how much their emotions, feelings or circumstances seem to scream the opposite - is the man or woman that will be taught by the Spirit of God and come to a deeper understanding as He gently guides us into all truth.
In the Bible, the heart is often linked with the emotions, while the mind is associated with one’s inner motives, and in his heart and mind, David is convinced that he has walked righteously before the Lord and is claiming God’s promises to come to his defence when opposed by evil. David knew that God’s loving-kindness was ever before his eyes, for he was a man of faith, who trusts God’s word – and we have His same promise – that He will also fight for us when we are surrounded by ungodly accusers.
It suggests an inner calm that is not adversely affected by the fluctuating emotions of other people and identifies one who demonstrates an understanding and peaceable spirit, when maligned or misunderstood.
God often heals the physical wounds and earthly diseases that trouble our mortal bodies, and play heavily on our minds and emotions, but oft-times He whispers into our hearts, My grace is sufficient, for My strength is made perfect in your weakness... in your sickness, in your hardship - in your loss, and your pain.
Those in the emperor's service knew very well that any display of emotion or pain, anger or sadness, should be kept hidden before the king and his court.
Nehemiah knew that men had been executed for exhibiting such emotions in the presence of a king, and he became, overwhelmed with fear. However, Nehemiah explained that his sadness of heart was on hearing that the city where his ancestors were buried lay in ruins and its gates destroyed by fire.
Saul painted a picture of a proud man who allowed his fleshly emotions to rule his life and permitted hatred to fester within his heart, while David demonstrated a man whose heart was right before the Lord, trusted Him in the most difficult circumstances, and allowed God to avenge his enemies.
Fear is a dangerous emotion that entangles man in deep dark problems, and fear is also a favourite tool that is used by the enemy... who seeks to bring saved men down into the 'Slough of Despond' and entrap them in the 'Pit of Despair' which can cause a believer to doubt the veracity of God's Word and the truth of Scripture.
David was a man whose emotions fluctuated from ecstatic joy to despondent disquiet, for although he acknowledged the faithfulness of God to finish the good work that He had started in his life, and to fulfil all that He had promised to this man after God's own heart.
Indeed, it is not only the heart that is stained with sin but the mind, the conscience, the emotions, the will, and the inner being of all human-kind. Anyone with the audacity to claim that they have cleansed their heart and made themselves pure from sin, is greatly deceived.
Human love is influenced by emotions, whereas divine love is a matter of the will - a will that is guided by the indwelling Spirit of God and a heart that is content to say, 'Thy will not mine be done in my life'.
But sadly, many Christians are diverted away from this path of faith to living by sight, by signs, by senses and emotions, by imagination, by feelings, by worldly philosophies, or extra-biblical revelations, especially when they see life's stormy seas and the mountains of difficult circumstances rising up to block their path.
When the enemy seeks to instil worry in our heart or to whip up our frantic emotions - it is the Shield-of-Faith that is our protection - for God's Word is sure and we must stand firm on His truth, however fragile life's circumstances may have become.
Ambitions and emotions, temptations and trials, hope and fear, inner thoughts and expectations, together with spiritual strengths and weaknesses, can all be reflected in the face and mirrored in the expression of the eyes.
There is an intensity and urgency in this earnest pleading to guard your heart about all else, and in scripture the heart is the seat of the thoughts, the will, the conscience and the emotions.
We have been endowed with reason and choices, with emotions and a will, which is bound up in our hearts – and we have been given them by God to glorify Him and to enrich our lives.
But they should never be given free rein to rule our lives and dictate our decisions for unguarded feeling can fluctuate; unguarded emotions can twist and turn on a whim; unguarded thoughts can toss to and for like the wave of the sea and an unguarded will can lead you away from the path of peace.
Having created man in His own image and likeness on the sixth day, with a intellect; emotions; a moral nature; the ability to communicate and a free-will to make wise choices, God blessed them - and gave His first set of instruction to Adam and Eve..
And having formed and fashioned the man that He had made, God breathed His own breath-of-life in to Adam's lifeless form, and Adam became a living being - made in the image and likeness of God - with a mind to think, emotions to feel and a will to make freewill choices.