We live in a time when emotions seem to trump everything. Truth doesn’t hold a candle to how one feels about a situation— I know I can be the same way. If something scares me, like the Leviathan rollercoaster at Canada’s Wonderland, it doesn’t matter how many times it has run safely. It doesn’t matter. I am scared to death and therefore I will not get on it!
A few years ago, God was challenging us to trust Him and have faith to purchase a particular home in an area we didn’t think we could ever afford. We were in a season of transition and we were already feeling stretched beyond our gifting’s and trusting God financially as well. Was God really asking us to trust Him with one more thing? Didn’t one more thing break the camel’s back?
It would be an understatement to say that we were overwhelmed and nervous and a little scared. Marriage can be challenging during these times but God made us partners and so He will often build up one’s faith so they can help carry the other. At least this is what we have found. In this case, God had shown his grace to me with an incredible, supernatural faith. I just knew we were about to see God do a miracle. He was about to move a mountain right in front of us.
Our situation looked impossible. And we felt pretty fearful, to be honest. What we learned through that time though, was something we will carry with us the rest of our lives. What we see and what we feel is not necessarily an indication of what God is doing. In fact, many times, it is not. That’s why it’s called faith.
I once heard Brian Houston from Hillsong Church preach a message called “My Spirit, My Responsibility”. I have quoted that to myself and to others so many times I have lost count. We don’t have to live by our feelings. We don’t have to be controlled by our emotions. Proverbs 25:28 says “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down without walls”. Brian preaches that “walls are for protection. If broken, we are vulnerable, we are open to attacks: poor choices, emotional roller coasters, vulnerable to anxiety and all kinds of negativity that want to rule our spirit”.
I am sure you can think of a time that you were an emotional roller coaster and experiencing anxiety or negativity. I have been prone to anxiety in my life, where I can actually feel my blood pressure rising. There were moments of some pretty severe anxiety and fear in that season. But I would quote this line to myself, over and over again: My spirit, MY responsibility. It is no one else’s responsibility to keep my peace of mind or my joy or anything else for that matter. It is my responsibility.
So, how do we do this? Here are three things you can do when you are overwhelmed:
- Pause and pray. Bring your emotions to God and ask for His peace to rule in your heart. Col 3:15
- Recount His faithfulness. Remember a time when you needed God to come through and He did. He is always faithful and He is always with you and He will be faithful again.
- Cultivate a grateful heart. Thank Him for what He is doing. Thank Him for always providing. Thank Him for never leaving you. Allow thankfulness to flood your situation and then watch how God changes your spirit.
I know there are times when things are beyond our control and we need to seek professional help. But I also believe there are many times when we are simply not taking our emotions to God and allowing Him to settle our spirits. So, this is what I am trying to do more of – My spirit. My responsibility. I want all God’s peace and comfort and strength and calm He can give me.
Jesus, let your love and peace rule in my heart. Amen.