Friday, September 10, 2010

Feelings of Despair

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. (Psalm 43:5 NAS)

FeelingsHow we feel is never a good measure of what is true or a fact. This is because reality may be far different. Too often our feelings are clouded by the circumstances we are in that we become too easily influenced by our moods rather than rational thinking.

If we feel deeply grieved because someone we loved has left us, it does not necessary mean that someone does not reciprocate our love. If we feel alone, it does not mean no one cares. Feelings are often misleading, and if we fall too deep into it, we can end up in despondency. We may even become depressed to the point of devastation if we let our feelings rule our lives.

Let us for a moment think about how our Lord must have felt when Peter—whom He loved—denied Him three times. Surely, Jesus must have felt something within Him. What about Peter? How do we think Peter have felt when Jesus looked at him after his denial? Peter was grieved, and he went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:56-62).

Like Peter, we may grieve and weep bitterly because of our sins and be unable to forgive ourselves, much less expect God to forgive us. We may feel God is far away or He does not care, but the truth is God is always near and He cares for us more than we can imagine. Just as Peter was restored by confessing Christ (John 21:15-17), we can also be restored by confessing our sins and returning to the Lord (1 John 1:9). Instead of dwelling too deep in despair or devastation, therefore, let us not give up our all because of the ensuing feeling of guilt or regret. Instead, let us again praise God and hope in Him, for He is our help (Psalm 43:5). If we are truly repentant, we are definitely not beyond hope to receive God’s salvation and forgiveness. There is therefore no need for us to despair or be disturbed within our soul, for in Christ we have been cleansed by His blood which was shed on the cross for us (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Rather than dwell in despair, let us forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3:13). Even though there will still be days we need to go through sorrow and agony, and times when we feel down and out, we need not despair. The Lord is our confidence; He will keep us firm and not let us fall (Proverbs 3:26), for as believers we are partakers of Christ if we hold fast our assurance until the end (Hebrews 3:14).

Just as King David knew when he should grieve and when he should stop grieving over his child’s impending and eventual death (2 Samuel 12:16-23), let us also know when to stop letting our emotions and feelings overwhelm us. Let us not allow our emotions and feelings run wild, otherwise it may overtake us and lead us to despair. We may be hurting within our hearts, but we ought not to dwell too deep in sorrow, because excessive grieving is not good and can lead us to devastation. Let us therefore not be deceived by the devil into believing the solution is to give up all, because reality is far different from how we feel. We need not succumb to devastation or feelings of negativity, for in Christ we have been set free, and in Him we have victory (1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 John 5:4).

Dear Lord, forgive us for the many times we feel You have neglected us or are far away. Help us Lord not to let our feelings rule over our rational thinking to believe what is untrue or be overwhelmed to the point of devastation. Lead us Lord to hold fast with confidence our assurance in knowing that You will keep us firm and not let us fall. Thank You Lord that although we may grieve at times, we need not despair, because we are partakers in You.

3 comments:

  1. And women may be even more susceptible than men to be ruled by their emotions. Your words are right on target.

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  2. Excellent article.

    God has certainly blessed us with a plethora of emotions. However, problems arise when we rely on emotions instead of the Holy Spirit. Unchecked, this can lead to emotional captivity. But -- praise the Lord -- God has another plan. He desires that we experience emotion from His perspective -- love, joy, peace, patience, goodness,faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. God is so wise!

    I am currently reading "The Cry of the Soul, How Our Emotions Reveal Our Deepest Questions About God", by Dr. Dan B. Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman III. It is quite eye-opening.

    Be blessed.

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