I was traveling with some friends to a band practice. I wanted to allow one of them to sit in the front passenger seat and I sat in the back seat behind them. Shortly after traveling I started to get sick to my stomach. Within a few more minutes I needed to have the windows open and the heater turned off. I thought I was going to throw up. Finally we arrived to our destination and I ran into the bathroom as I felt like throwing up. Fortunately I didn’t.
Motion sickness has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. Often I forget about it as I usually drive my own car or sit in the front passenger seat. But there was a time in my life, when I was growing up, that I would get motion sickness every time I traveled with the family. I would dread long trips in the car knowing I would be sick the entire time we were traveling. The only thing that would help me with my motion sickness is to have the car stop every once in a while and get out and walk around in the fresh air. I remember one time, after a women’s conference I spoke at, I was traveling in the back seat on the way to the airport. Sure enough I started to get sick to my stomach, and my traveling friend did too. My host said she knew exactly what I needed to make my stomach feel better. We stopped by her house and in a few minutes she came back with a handful of tootsie roll pops. My friend and I just looked at each other in bewilderment wondering how can a tootsie roll pop fix our motion sickness. We opened up one of the suckers and started sucking on them. To be truthful it really didn’t help, but it got our minds off of the sickness and gave our mouths something to do.
Being sick to our stomach is not a fun feeling. It pretty much takes away any strength we may have for the day. Sometimes being sick to our stomach can overtake us and stifle any activity we may want to do.
Thinking about motion sickness, and how it affects our lives, makes me think about our emotions and how they affect our lives. We can get emotional sickness if we are not careful. Emotional sickness is allowing our emotions to take over our practical thought life. God is bigger than our emotions and has given us the ability to have self-control and tame them.
If we allow our emotions to take over our lives we will be living in emotional sickness. Living in any kind of sickness for too long takes a toll on our bodies. Just like the physical manifestations that take place when we are sick, we can experience physical and spiritual manifestations when we are emotionally sick.
Emotional sickness can manifest in so many different ways. Do you find you are always asking for forgiveness because of hurting people’s feelings? How about isolating yourself because you think no one likes or loves you. Do you get mad easily over things that really are insignificant? Are people stepping back from you and giving you a wide birth? Do you always think about yourself and how things affect you? These all can be signs of emotional sickness.
HOW TO DEAL WITH EMOTIONAL SICKNESS
1. Learn to cry out all your frustrations to God
We have to remember that God is bigger than anything we are going through. God is big enough to vent or cry out our frustrations. Actually this is very healthy.
David cried out to God many times about what was going on in his life. Here are just a few verses expressing His cries:
Psalm 3:1 – 2 (NKJV)
“LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, ‘There is no help for him in God.’”
Psalm 4:2 – 3 (NKJV)
“How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the LORD will hear when I call to Him.”
Psalm 5:1 – 3 (NKJV)
“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD, in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.”
Psalm 6:1 – 7 (NKJV)
“O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; but You, O LORD—how long? Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows old because of all my enemies.”
David cried out to God often and also found comfort in doing so. Another example is Moses. He cried out to God often and even changed the Lord’s mind. Moses cried out to God concerning the plagues in Egypt:
Exodus 8:12 – 13 (NKJV)
“Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh. And Moses cried out to the LORD concerning the frogs which He had brought against Pharaoh. So the LORD did according to the word of Moses. And the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courtyards, and out of the fields.”
Exodus 17:3 – 4 (NKJV)
“And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, ‘Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?’ So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, ‘What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!’”
Moses was not afraid to share what was on his mind to God.
Exodus 32:7 – 14 (NKJV)
“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!’ ‘Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.’ Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a might hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom said to them, I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.”
2. Learn to manage your emotions
When we are feeling a strong emotion, especially if it is anger or fear, we need to learn how to manage it. Emotions are not good or bad, they just are. God created us as emotional beings. So to try and “control” our emotions, or totally get rid of them is impossible. It just won’t happen. But if we learn to manage them we will have a better life. We need to learn to vent our emotions properly.
Don’t be easily affected by your emotions. If you are in the middle of a situation and need to make a decision, allow time to think before you act. If you make a decision, allow more time to pass and see if that decision settles in your spirit. If you are uneasy still about it chances are it is the wrong decision. But if it settles in your spirit and you have prayed about it and sense God’s peace, then walk in that decision.
We all are human and we all have emotions. Men and women alike have the same emotions. Both men and women experience emotional pain and frustration. It is how we handle our emotions that seems to separate men from women. As a general rule; women have a tendency to vent their emotions outwardly and men keep them inward. Yet there are exceptions to every case. Still both men and women have emotions and have to deal with them.
I admire my husband as he is even tempered and very seldom shows any negative emotions. But, on the other hand, it is often hard to know if he is happy with something too. Because I have been married to him for 30 years, I know him pretty well. I know when he is mad or happy by just watching his body language. I appreciate how he handles things when he is frustrated. Most of the time the average person wouldn’t even know he is frustrated.
Scripture tells us to guard our hearts because out of it flow life itself.
Proverbs 4:23 (Amplified Bible)
“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”
3. Learn to live your life according to the Word of God and not your feelings.
If we look at the verses after Psalm 3:1 – 2 we can see how David stood on God’s word and didn’t allow his emotions to take over:
Psalms 3:3 – 6 (NKJV)
“But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.”
He reminded himself of who God is and what he can do. David encouraged himself in the Lord all by remembering what God has done. That is where the Word of God can help us. Getting into the Word and finding appropriate scriptures to help us with any emotional situation is standing on solid ground.
4. Learn to trust in the Lord for everything.
God is trustworthy. He has proven time and again His promises are true. He has shown throughout Biblical history His character and integrity. If God says it in His Word, believe it. There are so many scriptures in the book of Psalms alone that express how we can trust God. By trusting God, we learn to not be ruled by our emotions. It is a knowing in your heart that God is in control, and He will get you through any given situation.
Here are just a few verses on trust:
Psalm 5:11 – 12 (NKJV)
“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You, let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For you will bless the righteous, with favor You will surround him as with a shield.”
Psalm 7:1 – 2 (NKJV)
“O LORD my God, in You I put my trust; save me from all those who persecute me; and deliver me, lest they tear me like a lion, rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver.”
Psalm 9:9 – 10 (NKJV)
“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.”
We seek Him and He never forsakes us. This is a promise! You can look all through the book of Psalm and find verse after verse about trusting in God. If you have trouble trusting God, I encourage you to look and study the Word of God for yourself and find out what it says about trusting God.
The more we trust God, the more we won’t be swayed by negative thoughts in our minds. Thoughts will turn into strong emotions, and strong emotions will make us act. What thoughts are filling your mind right now? If you “feel” the need to act impulsively it is a sign that you are allowing your emotions to overtake you. It is a true symptom of emotional sickness.
To get rid of emotional sickness is part of revival because it frees us from the bondage our emotions can shackle us with. Emotions truly can prevent us from experiencing all that God wants to give us. Allow God to revive your emotions by healing your emotional sickness. Give God back control of your driver seat of your life and sit in the passenger seat and enjoy the scenery. Get ready for a adventurous ride of your life.
7 THINGS THE EMOTIONALLY STRONG DO
Emotionally weak people suffer tremendously. Being clingy or needy for love, acceptance or attention, they do things that they should not do and accept things that they should not. Inevitably, it generates in them a whole range of negative emotions (e.g. fear, anger, sadness, despair, guilt, doubt, depression, jealousy and shame) that slowly, but surely, destroys them from the inside out. Indeed, it is now well acknowledged that emotions greatly affect the way our body functions. Consequently, the emotionally weak suffer not only emotionally, but also physically.
In the end, even their spiritual well-being is impacted, which is very dangerous. It is therefore important to know what the emotionally strong do to live their life with power.
What are the 7 critical things the emotionally strong do?
- Emotionally strong people DO NOT BEG FOR LOVE
They receive all the love they need to function well as human beings directly from God. They know in their hearts that only their Father in heaven can love them with an uncontaminated and unconditional love. Additionally, they are aware of the fact that only He has their best interests at ALL times.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Continually receiving love from God, they feel accepted for who they are and experience strong feelings of self-worth. They are certain of their value and know that they matter, that they have a critical role to play in the overall plan of God for humanity. This makes their lives meaningful and truly worth living.
Filled with God’s love, they rapidly become givers of love, rather than takers of it. In other words, God’s love flows through them to others and nourishes them spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. When all is said, emotionally strong people do not beg for love: rather, they generously give love to others.
2. Emotionally strong people ARE NOT AFRAID TO LOVE OTHERS
They do not love others in order to be loved in return or be accepted by them, but simply because loving others is a key part of what defines them. And they love others, not as the world (or Hollywood) would like them to, but as God wants them to. Basically, they love others by treating them as they would have them do to them. This is the golden rule of love.
Mark 12:30 – 31 NKJV
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.
Not being dependent on others for their love, joy – and I should add peace – they can love others without being afraid to be rejected or hurt. They know very well that not everybody will respond to their (unconditional) acts of love in a proper way. However, this sad fact does not prevent them from giving love as much as they can. They do not focus on those cases for which their love was not received, but solely on those cases for which their love was appreciated. Even if 99 percent of their acts of love produce no results whatsoever, they take great joy in the fact that the remaining 1 percent helped transform the lives of receptive people.
3. Emotionally strong people FORGIVE QUICKLY AND COMPLETELY
Acknowledging that they needed God’s forgiveness to be with God, they quickly forgive others. In fact, they do so whether or not people ask for their forgiveness. They know that it is not worth spending any amount of mental and emotional energy on evil pursuits, and that by holding grudges they end up hurting themselves even more.
Being wise, they eagerly activate the power of forgiveness in order to free themselves from the chains that Satan tried to put around their hearts and minds. They know that in the vast majority of the cases, people do things to them without really knowing what they do because they might be spiritually blind or unaware of facts.
Col. 3:13 The Message Bible
Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.
4. Emotionally strong people DO NOT RETALIATE OR TAKE REVENGE
Rather than retaliate and take revenge, emotionally strong people let God defend them and render them justice in due course.
Romans 12:19 NLT
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.
They do not want to spread more hatred, animosity, bitterness, resentment, averseness and vindictiveness than already exist in this dark world. They know that they have already won the war against the powers of darkness thanks to what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and that God is the person best placed to render them justice for only He has a bigger view of things and of the evil forces that influence and deceive people.
I should add here that if we have been offended or hurt by someone, then it is also because we are not as strong emotionally yet as we should be. Indeed, the emotionally strong do not let their pride push them to be hurt by the behavior of people. We live in a dark world, and we are bound to be the recipients of sins committed by others against us. We cannot let those sins impact us so much that they destroy us through revenge and unforgiveness.
As Paul told us in Ephesians 6:12, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and spiritual forces. To combat sin, whether committed by others, or by ourselves, we should use the spiritual weapons that God put at our disposal: the belt of truth, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
Let me be completely honest with you now: if you want to take revenge personally or have been truly hurt by someone, then it shows that you care more about a situation than you should. Remember that you are not of this world anymore, and that this world, as we know it, will be completely destroyed before being totally recreated. Be detached from anything that this world can offer you, like an inflated ego, fame, and the like.
5. Emotionally strong people DO NOT ALLOW OTHERS TO BRING THEM DOWN
Being completely aware of who they are in Christ and of the immense value they have in the eyes of God, they do not let their worth depend on what others think of them. Their self-worth does not fluctuate, be it upwards or downwards. To put it differently, they are resilient to what people think or say about them, and this resilience helps them to continue to love others when they are the subject of criticisms, gossips and personal attacks.
Luke 6:32 NIV
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.”
6. Emotionally strong people DO NOT FEAR THE FUTURE OR LIVE IN THE PAST
The emotionally strong know that God is their sole provider and that they will never be in want. They are also full of hope, and envision only a future dominated by victories rather than defeats. They do not dread anything, but look forward to the future with positive expectations.
They do not know all that the future holds for them, but they know without the shadow of a doubt:
Romans 8:28 NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
They can only be in peace, having no reason whatsoever to look at the future with fear. Even death is not an issue for them, for they know that it is not the end of life, but the beginning of a new and better one, where there will be no more pain, nor crying, nor tears, nor sickness, any more.
Revelations 21:4 NKJV
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
As to the past, the emotionally strong can look at it without being impacted by it. Whether their past was glorious or filled with afflictions, defeats and pain, they know that when they gave their lives to Jesus, they became new creatures. They also understand that they have to live as a new creature, and thus in the present, in order to claim all the abundance that they are entitled to following the death and resurrection of their Lord, Jesus.
For them, the past is… all gone and must be left behind. They move, not backwards, but forward, and with high expectancy. They do not waste time analyzing the past or regretting some of their past decisions. Rather, they seek to acquire godly wisdom and to renew their thoughts for they know that it is the key to their continual transformation into the likeness of Christ.
7. Emotionally strong people DO NOT DO THINGS THEY DON’T WANT TO DO
They find out what they are good at and focus on their strengths. They are mentally strong and emotionally strong to say “No” when needed. This helps them reach their full potential.
Yes, we all have to do things we don’t like to do, but the emotionally strong never do things they do not really want to do. They are so filled with God’s love, Spirit and wisdom that they actually want to do the things that God commands them to do in the Bible.
They may not love every second of it, but they nevertheless enjoy being stretched and challenged because they know that it will bring them one step closer to being more like Christ.
Furthermore, they do not do things to win the approval of others, but simply to fulfill their passion, which is to express in practical ways God’s love to others. They may therefore volunteer to buy food for an elderly person, or to tutor a child, or to offer to babysit in order to give some parents a welcome break.
What’s more, with them, a “yes” means yes, and a “no” means no. This avoids them from making promises that they will not be able to keep. Furthermore, the emotionally strong do not gossip nor lie. They have no need to feel superior or to put others down, are not envious of the success, popularity, or talents of others, and do not need to be the center of attention. Having been saved, they want others to be saved or to sanctify themselves more. When in need, they turn to God. Period.
If you are currently emotionally weak, I urge you not to turn this characteristic into a crutch that you will keep holding onto for the rest of your life. And please quit making excuses for yourself or others. It only makes you more emotionally weak.
It does not matter where you come from, what you went through and the habits you had till your new birth, you can overcome your negative emotions and take captive your thoughts. Yes, you can. As a born-again believer, you are equipped with supernatural powers and abilities. If you stop nourishing your negative emotions (the ones that live in the old you) and start feeding the positive emotions that reside in the new you, soon you will develop an emotional strength that you did not imagine you had.
Believe in yourself and in the power that lives in you. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior and Lord, then you believe that He has been raised from the dead. Do you have that faith? Now, guess what? The same power that raised Jesus from the dead can help you win the fight against your emotional weakness. You have to believe that as well. If you do, and are ready to admit your emotional weaknesses and exercise your faith muscles, then you can embark on the road that leads to emotional transformation.
God is bigger than our emotions. You do not have to live the rest of your life emotionally weak. You can be the person that God created you to be. As you develop emotional strength, you will enjoy more abundance in your life and become a more powerful source of blessings for others.
All you need for your emotional transformation is already in the new you. Do you believe it? Will you then act upon this truth and belief? I hope so because you deserve a better life than the one you currently enjoy. Do not quit on yourself. Stand up spiritually and claim your emotional strength.
Your Sister in Christ,
Pastor Kris Belfils
Sources: Pastor Kris Belfils and Serge Roux-Levrat