Rev. Dr. Billy Burch
This Sunday, CCC started a brand-new series going through the book of Psalms. In this series, we’re going to be talking about what to do with what you feel. You see, David and the other psalmists often expressed poetically what they felt through the Psalms as a way to present them to God. Because when we present our emotions to God, He will meet us here in the present moment.
But why is it that we feel these emotions in the first place?
It’s because God feels just as deeply as we do. Many of the emotions we display have been placed in us because God has, at one time or another, felt them as well.
On Sunday, I mentioned several Scriptures in which God expresses emotion. And Jesus even more so during His time on Earth. Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these emotions, first looking at the feelings of God the Father.
ANGER - Micah 7:18
“Where is another God like you,
who pardons the guilt of the remnant,
overlooking the sins of his special people?
You will not stay angry with your people forever,
because you delight in showing unfailing love.”
COMPASSION - Isaiah 54:7
“For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great compassion I will take you back.”
GRIEF - Psalm 78:40
“Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland.”
LOVE - Jeremiah 31:3
“Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”
HATE - Proverbs 6:16
“There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:”
JEALOUSY - Exodus 34:14
“You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.”
JOY - Zephaniah 3:17
“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
There are many more examples as well when we start talking about Jesus, who was fully God but fully man.
ANGER - Matthew 21:12-17
“Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”
The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.”
But the leaders were indignant. They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”
“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’” Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.”
COMPASSION - Mark 6:34
“Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”
SADNESS - John 11:35
“Then Jesus wept.”
GLADNESS - Luke 10:21
“At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.”
JOY - John 15:11
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
EXHAUSTION - John 4:5-6
“Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.”
FRUSTRATION - Matthew 17:14-20
“At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”
Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
AGONY - Matthew 26:36-39
“Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
ABANDONED - Matthew 27:46
“At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
God created us in his image to be emotional beings. And while we often attribute many of our emotions to sin, the truth is they all originate from God. Sin has only distorted our emotions as well as our perspective of them.
So what do we do when we don’t know how to handle our emotions? We open the Scripture and learn from the Source of all emotions.
And the Psalms are a great place to turn when it comes to emotions. The psalms teach us that God uses our emotions to get our attention. They teach us how to praise God genuinely, to seek God constantly, and to relate to God freely. And they also show us that for each emotional need, an attribute of God is made known.