"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way."
Though we may try, we cannot simply shut off our sinful emotions. God does, however, gives us the power to overcome them - but how? He has shown me redirecting my focus is absolutely key. If I am afraid someone is going to hate me because of something I say, where is my focus? It’s on myself, and wanting to be loved and accepted. Wanting to be loved and accepted isn’t a bad thing - but why I am seeking it from man first? This is placing my fear in man.
But “who am I that I am afraid of man who dies and of the son of man who is made like grass, that I have forgotten the Lord my Maker[?]” (Isaiah 51:12b-13a - I changed all the you's to I's.) Rather, I should “fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28) Namely, God. (You can see more on this in Weekly Impressions - Fear.) By redirecting my focus - and in this case, at least, my emotion, fear - upon the One who sustains me, I can align myself with His will through His Divine Power.
Emotions can be Warning Signals of a strayed focus. They can also be indicators we are on the right path. The key is to examine the motive behind it - and be honest with yourself. “‘The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind...’” (Jeremiah 17:9-10a). Ask God to reveal your heart to you. He will... and it isn’t always easy to face.
I am thankful for emotions, that God gave them to us for a reason. I am glad God does not wish us to stuff them, nor to boast in them, but to use them for His glory. May we fix our eyes upon Jesus.
What takes your focus off of God? What brings your focus back to Him?