John 11 : 35, Jesus wept. KJV
It only takes this one very short verse to show you that Jesus had emotions just like the others who wept at the tomb of Lazarus. I find it strange that Jesus would shed tears because He knew why Lazarus was dead; and He also knew that He was about to raise him up. Perhaps Jesus wept to show us that, as our High Priest, He could be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. However, my goal in today's Word is to help you see that Jesus is our example of how to live a life that isn't controlled by emotions.
Through His Word, we know that God, Himself, has emotions. He feels both joy and anger; and since we were created in the image of God, we, too, have emotions. Nevertheless, unlike God, we are sometimes controlled and held like prisoners by them. Just as your skin has feelings, your soul or consciousness has emotions or feelings as well. God has given us feelings so that we can enjoy and experience His presence and His goodness; however, when the fall of man occurred, emotions became an easy target for Satan to exploit and use like a weapon against us.
Have you had someone hurt you recently? If so, then you are more than likely experiencing some "raw emotions." When we are in a healthy emotional state, we can enjoy life through those things we are passionate about; nonetheless, the moment we become wounded, those emotions can become chains that can keep us from forgiving others and moving on with our lives.
If you have been hurt by someone, the first thing you felt was an emotional pain from your soul. I don't see much difference between a hurt in your physical body and a hurt in your emotions. After you experience a pain in your body, it is usually followed by a reaction to try to protect the affected area. The same occurs with our emotional heart when pain has been inflicted upon it. Our emotions kick in and demand a response that will protect our heart from further hurt.
Here is where our emotions can become chains that can prevent us from facing those who hurt us and dealing with the pain. Emotional pain can cause us to feel anger, hatred, or vengeful, which can lead to bitterness or a hard heart. When we're in this state of mind, Satan will try to exploit our emotional pain and the feelings that have resulted from that pain. He is the cause of most offenses in the world. We know this because Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that we don't war with flesh and blood; we war with spirits of darkness. Satan wounds us, hoping that we will begin to harbor "ill feelings" against the person or persons that have injured our hearts.
As long as we hold onto the hurtful feelings, we hold ourselves in bondage to our emotions. If we don't let go, it will only prolong the healing process and can cause infection (sin) to fill our hearts. Here is where the Lord must be given a place to minister to us and our wounded heart and emotions.
Paul teaches us in Romans 8 that, as the sheep of God, we are counted for the slaughter. He goes to write that we are killed all the daylong for Christ's sake. Next, he writes something that is very powerful that you must know in order to overcome this world and its offenses against you. Paul wrote that, through Christ, we are more than conquerors in all these hardships and heartaches. Therefore, we must not turn inwardly and view ourselves as the victim; we must turn to Christ and see ourselves victorious in our afflictions. How we see ourselves in the light of emotional hurt will either help or will hamper our healing process.
Satan wants us to view ourselves as victims so that we will hold onto the pain; we will then feel justified in our own mind in returning the favor to those who have wronged us. Although vengeance may make your flesh feel better, you will remain in bondage to your emotions, and can become physically ill as a result of holding onto the pain for an extended time. Refusing to let go will also displease our heavenly Father because He wants us to be free from unforgiveness.
The key is to keep our eyes on Jesus, and on the afflictions that He endured and overcame through obedience to His heavenly Father. If we will see ourselves as God does and open our hearts up to His healing power, He will begin to remove the pain. We hold the key to the chains of our emotions that keep our pain alive. If we give control of that key to the Lord, He will release us from the bondage that we have to hurt emotions; and the underlying pain will heal. Our release of desiring revenge will empower God to set us free from Satan's agenda and power.
Trying to hold on to hurt or wounded emotions only holds us in bondage and keeps the pain of the past fresh. Once we obey the Word of God and forgive from the heart, as God, for Christ's sake has forgiven us, then the healing process can begin. The hurt can be filled with God's love, making that area of your heart stronger than it was before the offense occurred. Finally, it comes down to your will or willingness to forgive and release. This is an act of the heart.
Forgiven and Forgiving,
Pastor Asa Dockery