Emotions, Gift or Curse?


We are no more capable of glorifying Him on our hills, than we are in our valleys.

No one is exempt from experiencing, battling and engaging tempestuous emotions.

Emotions. They are a powerful thing. We praise God for emotions when they are running high, and we are excited and anticipating the brightness of our future and plans. But, what about when our emotions descend to the pit of despair? Do we praise God for our emotions then?

It is certainly a greater battle. In fact, I confess, I have even wished that we were not influenced by emotional highs and lows at all. That is, we could be incapable of emotions. Can you guess what sort of emotion I was experiencing to even contemplate such a condition, and even wish for it?

You got it! Depression.

Do I really wish we were incapable of emotions? No, I don’t. In fact, emotions are a gift. They are a reminder that we are made in the image of God. They enhance experiences and make us capable to enjoy life- or at least many aspects of it. They create diversity and personality. They bring energy to logic.  They make us capable of compassion. They inspire creativity.

They can also, however, create pain, and sometimes a great deal of suffering. Emotions in general are complex things to understand, and in specific (or, personally)- they become even more complex.

When reading the book of psalms, one cannot but notice the influence emotion has over the tone of each psalm. Take Psalm 103 for instance (this is one of my favourites!). I love reading this psalm. My heart feels like bursting as I read the psalmists passionate praise to our God. He rejoices over a variety of the benefits of God.

Now, jump over to psalm 42 (another favourite), which conveys a completely contrary tone.

The differences between these 2 psalms may be very distinct… but I think we would do the word of God an injustice if we also did not notice a theme, or similarity between the 2 psalms. Both psalms manifest a dependance upon God, and a passion and longing for God.

Take, for instance, psalm 42:11, which says,

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou  in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

The psalmist acknowledges his emotions. He even seems a bit frustrated with them. They defy logic. Why in the world am I so downcast! My hope is in God. This doesn’t make sense. 

The psalmist has the right answers, he has the right logic. Sometimes though, our emotions defy logic. It is often an area we have little control over.

We do, however, have control over our response to our emotions.

So, in the midst of our emotional highs and lows, are you bringing glory to God?

I am convinced that God oftentimes allows the lows to remind us of our utter dependence on Him. We are desperately dependant on our God.

And, let us remember, we are no more capable of glorifying Him in our highs, than we are in our lows.

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