Express His Glory in Your Life

Posts tagged ‘broken’

Harnessing Emotions

Emotions are part of God’s design for humanity.  They are not intended to harm us; they are to assist us in living with integrity.  If you have spent years ‘blocking’ emotions, it can be difficult to identify what you feel.  I encountered this feeling wheel years ago in “The Search for Significance” by Robert McGee.  I particularly appreciate the fact that it helps me trace peripheral emotions back to a root emotion.  It is not necessarily accurate in every case, but I found it helpful to look at the linkages in emotions.feeling wheelOnce emotions are identified, what do we do with them?  We trace them back to see what generated that emotion.  Emotions do not simply appear.  They are actually chemical responses triggered by thoughts.  So under every emotion is a thought.

Thoughts have roots as well.  Some are thoughts based on past experiences; others are divinely inspired thoughts.  Some are from the devil–yes, he can put thoughts in minds.  Thoughts are actual ‘things.’  They take up space in your physical brain.  Thoughts produce a chemical soup that either bring health or illness.  Thoughts are powerful!

Underneath thoughts are the things we believe.  Our beliefs are our foundation for living.  If we have a faulty foundation, our life will be shaky.  There is only one foundation:  Jesus Christ, the Living Word.

Here we have the purpose of emotion:  our beliefs hide!  Emotions are the marker that help us trace back to whether our beliefs are rooted in the Word.  God designed us to live according to Truth.  The deceiver continually tries to destroy us with lies and unbelief.  Emotions helps us discover what we believe–and then, when the roots are exposed, we get to work.

If you need help discovering roots, there are many resources on this page–and links for other helps.  If you need an extra hand, you may want to consider Discipleship Coaching.

Faith Story: Seeing His Glory In a Shattered Home

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Psalms 37:5

The devil specializes in sneak attacks. A deacon, a Sunday school teacher and husband to a faithful women’s leader, Jim never saw the battle line forming. In fact, his plans included only rejoicing and celebrating. Having renewed their vows at a recent anniversary celebration, marriage woes seemed the last of his worries. Returning from a spiritually uplifting Men’s Retreat, Jim thought the weekend only held a celebration of his birthday. Instead, it marked the beginning of a very fierce, painful battle.

Years of unresolved heart issues exploded for Jim’s wife; she left their marriage to begin a new life with a friend of Jim. Devastation, depression and desperate confusion marked Jim’s days. Victory in the early days of the battle was simply mustering the courage to face a new day. The promises of God seemed distant, but they were his lifeline. Jim says of that time, “I clung to the promise in Psalms 37 that if I committed my way to God, He would act. He has; but not in the ways I wanted Him to and not at the speed I wanted. I would never have chosen this, but without it, I would never have known God as I do. He has kept His promises.”

His wife’s decision irrevocably altered the structure of Jim’s life. An empty home, strained family relations and gatherings, difficulty with continually encountering the co-worker and disruption in the church family all followed her choice. Jim stepped down from leadership in the church and eventually sought a job that kept him from the loneliness of home more consistently. The scriptures he had taught for so long sometimes seemed to mock him…the promises felt empty and the heartache overwhelming. Yet, he faithfully sought biblical counsel from pastors, family and friends’ and pressed on. Time passed bringing new understandings, but not the deeply desired restoration of the marriage. Throughout the battle, Jim sought and shared glimpses of God’s hand; he was a faithful, albeit broken, witness for God.

lonely

In marriage, Jim had been controlling; the concept of forgiving infidelity beyond the scope of his world. Yet in his heartache, he came face-to-face with the reality of the pain of love willing to forgive. He felt, too, the pain of that willingness rejected. Gradually he began to see the glory of Jesus Christ in an entirely new dimension. Recognizing the cost of forgiveness and the pain of rejection, he could not help but be awed at the marvelous, perseverant love of God. His heart bowed in humble victory before God’s incredible love.

Understanding in such a personal way is a suffering that Jim does not wish on anyone, but grasping the preciousness of Christ is a privilege he does not dismiss. His victory did not look like he expected; he thought that his initial commitment to God would be the key to restoring his marriage. Instead, it was the key to expanding his experience of God.

The victories in our Christian life do not transform us into picture-perfect Normal Rockwell prints. Sin, broken-ness and rejection wound souls…both those who hurt and those who are hurt suffer. Healing in Christ is one person at a time, one life at a time. We cannot be healed for another but we can encourage another to seek healing. Victory stories are not about perfect people; they are about our perfect God. Give Him the glory, great things He has done and will do!

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