Our emotions are a gift from God, and they carry a lot of influence in our lives. Sometimes we express them toward others with joy, happiness, peace, kindness, and goodness. Other times, our emotional expressions are brutal, caustic, harsh, and hurtful. As our emotions ebb and flow through the ups and downs of life, we must always remember that the Father gave us emotions so that we could enjoy life and express our inner being to others. The problem, however, arises when our emotions control us instead of us controlling them.
Throughout Scripture, we see many people expressing their emotions. Saul was jealous of David (1 Sam.18:6-9). Hannah expressed great sadness and cried out to God (1 Sam. 1:10). Elijah, supposedly a powerful man of great faith and courage, confessed numerous times in Scripture that he was afraid (1 Kings 19:2-4). And when you look at the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shares three different times with those gathered to listen, “Don’t be anxious … don’t be anxious … don’t be anxious" (Matt. 6:25-34).
Not long ago, I took an informal survey seeking to find what emotion was the most prominent in people’s thinking. By far, anxiety was number one. People were anxious about their jobs, health, financial situations, families, schooling, relationships, and national direction and leadership, just to name a few. There’s no doubt we live in an anxious and uncertain time. And “uncertainty” is the key word when it comes to anxiety. When we’re struggling with anxiety, we’re uncertain about what’s going on in the present moment, uncertain about how life will play out in the future, or uncertain about the impact of the past in each of our lives.
Anxiety in itself is not a sin. It’s a normal response to the uncertainty we face in the situations that play out before us in everyday life. The issue is what we do with those anxieties and how long we allow them to live within us. Gaining control of this destructive emotion is key to living the life God intended for us to live. And in the days ahead, I’m going to show you how you can gain the upper hand on anxiety and enjoy a victorious, faith-filled life.