Feelings are not reality – Monday, 12 March
“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”
1 John 3:20-21 King James Version (KJV)
Just because you feel something doesn’t mean it’s true. Feelings are the by-product of your perception of reality – and what you perceive might be wrong!
How would you feel if I were to tell you that I just received a phone-call and I’m sorry to tell you that your best friend just passed away in a tragic accident? A normal reaction would be sadness and grief to some degree. Imagine as you started to cry, a big smile came over my face and I said, “I’m just joking!” What emotions would you feel now? Probably anger, confusion and even a bit of relief, but you’d probably want to box my nose! When you thought your friend had just passed away, you were sad and started to mourn – but it was all a lie! Then your emotions very quickly changed when I turned it into a joke. You cannot trust your feelings. If you have the wrong information you’ll end up experiencing negative emotions which have no basis in reality. You may make decisions and react to circumstances in ways which you may regret, all because what you thought was true was actually a lie. I felt like committing suicide once. I didn’t because I knew it was wrong.
The devil is the father of lies (John 8:44) and his whole existence is about trying to sell you lies about God (“He isn’t really good all the time”), yourself (“you’re a mistake… God doesn’t have a purpose for you”) and others (“they’re not really your friend”). When we accept these lies that he would plant in our hearts, they are like seeds which will reap a negative harvest.
I remember thinking one day that I wasn’t really good enough for anything and that no one really wanted to be my friend. At first, I knew it was a lie, but I chose to think about it and eventually I accepted it and said: “that’s right!”. Over the next couple of weeks, I went into a downward spiral and eventually I was depressed and started thinking suicidal thoughts. I had friends. I knew that people loved me. But I chose to focus on a lie and my emotions got carried away. I withdrew from people because I thought no one wanted to hang out with me, and then I started feeling even lonelier.
“For to be carnally minded isdeath; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Romans 8:6 King James Version (KJV)
Even if our hearts condemn us, and we feel bad, God is greater than our hearts. This means that it doesn’t matter what we feel, but God is greater than what we feel and what He says is real and trumps any feeling you could have. Loneliness is a lie. You may feel lonely and you may look around and see no one around you. But the truth is that God said that He would never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). You may feel alone, but you are never alone. So if you feel lonely, just begin to focus on the truth of the Word and continually say to yourself “I am not alone for God is with me!”. Then begin to talk to God. Let Him talk back. Enjoy some fellowship.
If your feelings contradict the Word of God, then your feelings are wrong! (Romans 3:4)
“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.”
Guard your heart against seeds of negativity and don’t give any place in it for the lies of the devil. You need to protect what you allow your heart to focus on because it is where all of life flows from.
Your focus determines your emotions. Make the Word your focus and you will start to feel what the Word talks about. Continually remind yourself of how much Jesus loves you. Don’t allow yourself to be dominated by your emotions.
March 19, 2018
March 16, 2018