Thursday, October 17, 2013

Winning Emotional Battles

Some people asked how individuals could control their emotions well while others are out of control with worst results. The fact of the matter is this that our emotions are God-given and it is a huge part of what makes our life rich, interesting and challenging at times, however, with God’s help we can better manage our emotions at all times. Here’s a biblical example that King David experienced to illustrate the reality of emotional battles specifically in the area of depression: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar’” (Psalms 42:5 ESV).

Allow me to share four distinct things that we can learn from David in his response to his feelings of depression: (a) He starts out standing to one side looking at his soul, which is feeling, depressed and asked these questions to his own soul, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? (b) Secondly, he gives an immediate instruction to his soul, “Hope in God.”;  (c) Third, he declares what he is going to do; “for I shall again praise him.” We might say David has a talk with himself and if he can do that, so must we; (d) Lastly, he reminded himself to remember God and His miraculous power that He has done I the past “My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.” In other words, David was able to reverse the nagging feelings he was dealing with at the time by countering the negative effects of depression with God’s promises that he knew so well in his heart. By doing this, he was able to free himself from its grip and shake it off from him.

Here’s a specific illustration I found to give you a better picture of dealing with any emotional giant: “A painter once painted the devil playing a game of chess with a young man whose eternal soul was at stake. The scene showed the devil with a look of glee on his face as he checkmates the young man whose look of despair acknowledges defeat. There appears no other move for him to make. A great chess player came across the work of art and, after carefully studying the game, he set up a chess board with the pieces in a similar position. After much thought and time, he saw that defeat could be turned into victory. By making just one certain move on the young man's behalf, the devil was placed in a position of utter defeat.

In the game of life, the youth has no chance against the wiles of the devil that is determined to ruin the soul. But at Calvary the Lord Jesus intervened and made a 'move' that enables anyone today, who trusts in Christ, to have complete victory. `Thanks be unto God Who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”[1] Just one move can make a huge difference between defeat and success; depression and deliverance; freedom over bondage of emotional scars. Let’s choose victory and never become a victim again. Thus, we need to make our “victory move” through our Lord Jesus Christ to overcome all life’s battles of our Christian life today, tomorrow and until He comes. No one would have thought that Jesus gave us the winning card at Calvary for us to overcome any emotional battles that may come our way. Thus, never allow these emotional giants to dictate our direction in life but instead take a hold of them and overcome them with God’s promises. With this in mind, let me share three specific ways you can do to deal with difficult emotional battles you may have now: (a) You can communicate one’s emotion to express it properly and to build others intentionally, or; (b) You can camouflage one’s emotion to suppress it and place oneself in a trap, or; (c) You can counterattack one’s emotion to transform it with wisdom to benefit oneself primarily and others in mind. Here’s a clue to help you choose: always choose #1 and #3 AND NEVER #2.

Let’s talk again!

[1] Youth for Christ Magazine