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His Promises and My Emotions

Life is hard — and scary. There are those big moments full of doubt and hopelessness where you might feel like curling up in a pit of despair and giving in to the fearful aching that just will not go away. Times of broken hearts, money problems, family issues — they can all deliver a mean sucker punch.

I have no idea what is going to happen in my life. Will I end up with this girl? Will I have enough money to pay my bills this month? Will God use me for some greater purpose? Our future can’t be planned out. I have no idea how things will end up. But this is what I know: My God is bigger than the problems, greater than the fear, and more sure than the “what if’s.” In His Word, He tells me who He is. He is in control, He is good, He will keep me safe, and He knows everything.

But what am I going to do with His precious promises?

When I lay down in my bed after a long day, turn to my side and then toss to my back in an attempt to settle in, what are my thoughts dwelling on? Cause as I see it, I have two choices: to believe in God and trust who He says He is, or to refuse to believe in Him and essentially call Him a liar.

God, I don’t care what You say. All I know is what I feel right now, and it doesn’t match up with what You say. How can I possibly rest? Your peace frankly isn’t doing anything for me, God! Why can’t You just turn off these feelings?

Have you had thoughts and feelings like that? As somebody who has personally struggled with depression for months on end, I certainly have experienced these feelings. When I was in a rut of worry and depression, I hoped that God would pull me out. I was waiting for the magical moment where the worried feelings would just leave me.

But here is where God’s grace is so amazing! Throughout this past semester’s crazy and life-twisting circumstances, God has opened my eyes and strengthened my heart in ways that I could never have dreamed. He showed me that instead of waiting for a magical moment in the future when the feeling of worry would just leave on its own, my God was calling me to listen to His promises and obey Him.

I don’t think we always equate having the peace of God with obedience. But the Lord has been showing me that the Lord commands us not to worry but to think and rely on Him. For most of my life, this had always been difficult. I naturally run on emotions, and if my emotion declared that it wanted to despair, then there was no way I was doing anything different.

Over the past semester (and even in the past few weeks), God has done some major remodeling in my heart. He has shown me the importance of actively living in His promises. He has told me so many things, like that He will never leave or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6), that I don’t have a spirit of fear but of power and love and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). My God is the one who controlled the weather (Matthew 8:27) and brought people back from the dead (John 11). And this very God tells me — He commands me — not to worry.

On my own, in the heat of an emotional tumultuous upheaval, these promises frankly don’t mean anything — they don’t affect how I behave. But by living in the power of the Spirit, I can stand saying that the Lord’s promises have an incredible impact on His children, and He gives us the grace to obey Him and give Him glory.

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