In Your Feelings

Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

How many times have you been advised to “follow your heart” whenever you found yourself at a crossroads needing to make a critical decision? Without a doubt, your heart can gauge your current emotional state. However, people who rely on their heart for guidance typically do so to their detriment. Though the intense feelings generated from the heart are real, emotions which are constantly influx should never be mistaken as a source of truth. As badly as we want to make the most satisfying decision and move forward, we must realize that sometimes we are the ones getting in our own way.

In the book of Matthew chapter 26, Jesus confronts His feelings while in the Garden of Gethsemane. Awaiting His imminent arrest and crucifixion, the task of going to the cross begins to weigh heavily on Him. After commissioning His disciples to pray, they evidently fail Him, and Jesus grows increasingly sorrowful and troubled. Due to the intensity of the anguish He experiences, Jesus appeals to the Father for relief three times (Matthew 26:44). Essentially, Jesus was dealing with some very real feelings and was looking for a way of escape.

If you intend to live purposefully in 2021, you will undoubtedly have to learn to manage your feelings. As a Christian, you are not exempt from the struggles between your spirit and your flesh (Galatians 5:17) and so do not pretend you are an apathetic robot. Through prayer, acknowledge your emotions but also acknowledge God. Despite the fact that Jesus started off praying, the initial prayer itself did not take His feelings away (Luke 22:44). However, when Jesus acknowledged His lack of emotional strength (Matthew 26:38), He positioned Himself to be empowered by an angel (Luke 22:43). And it was this empowerment that aided in His progression to overcome His emotions and ultimately to fulfill the will of God. For this reason, overcoming your feelings is not a simple act of solely addressing your emotional state, but it is in your resolve to surrender and to be obedient to the Father.

Furthermore, there is no weakness in being truthful even if it requires you to become a little vulnerable. So, be honest with yourself and acknowledge how you feel by imitating Jesus in His moment of transparency. Since emotions are not always logical, the reason certain triggers elicit certain reactions may not always seem to make sense to others or even to you. Yet, you don’t have to be at the mercy of that internal confusion. When you tell God how you’re feeling, you invite Him in to have a conversation about what you are going through. In doing so, you render yourself open to receive instruction. And, rather than relying on your heart which can cause you to take risks blindly, you will move forward in faith as God commissions you with His Word. In this way, your time of weakness before God can be transformed into a time of strength.

At times, life will leave you feeling overwhelmed by a surge of emotions. It can be tempting to give in and do what feels right, but for every choice you make, there are consequences you have to face. No decision will ever be worth forfeiting purpose. So, decide today that instead of ignoring your feelings, you will navigate through them with God as your GPS. Remember, it’s one thing to be in your feelings, but your feelings do not necessarily have to have you. 

Reflection:

What were some of the decisions you made the last time you chose to “follow your heart”? 

What areas of your life do you need to be more truthful in and when sharing your feelings with God?

Prayer: Father God, thank You for granting me fullness of life through your Son Jesus Christ. God I admit, that sometimes my emotions trip me up. God I do not want to be derailed by these emotions, but I want to bring them to You. So I pray that You would search me and know my heart…see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Empower me and let not my will, but Yours be done. In Jesus name, Amen.

Written by Deborah Nimoh