March 16, 2018
"Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:8 (NIV)
I was doing fine ... until the moment I wasn't.
While I felt comfortable and confident sitting in my seat, I was overwhelmed by doubt and anxiety as I walked forward to complete my assignment. Insecurity and fear assaulted me, and suddenly I was a trembling mess.
I stumbled through what I'd come to do, but afterward I agonized over my flop. What in the world happened? I wondered. How had my assurance so quickly crumbled?
When I quieted my heart and mind to listen for God's response to these questions, I knew the answer in an instant.
Instead of surrendering my anxieties, I had stuffed them.
There were many obstacles I faced before my meltdown. Instead of handing them over to God one by one, I refused to think about them, creating a false and temporary sense of calm. As the punchline goes, "Denial isn't just a river in Egypt!"
When a difficult person needled me, I pushed down my frustration.
When my insecurities told me I wasn't good enough, I filed it away at the back of my mind.
When others around me were discouraged, I gave lip service to encouragement without applying my own words.
When a loved one accused me, I acted like all was well - even though I felt attacked.
I stuffed my emotions with each setback until it all blew up ... right as I was about to complete a God-given assignment.
Only in retrospect did I realize that evading my feelings was a poor strategy. I thought I had them all under control, but the reality was I didn't have them managed at all. They were still there pressed just under the surface so in the end, my emotions erupted and managed to undo me.
In God's faithfulness, He reminded me of a Scripture I memorized years before, "Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge" (Psalm 62:8). God has used the psalmist David's exhortation over and over again. These words encourage my hiding heart to face emotional realities with Him instead of on my own. When we look at the verses leading to our key passage, we find truths that allow us to surrender our emotions to God with confidence.
God offers rest when we're stressed.
Psalm 62:5 says, "Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him" (NIV). David wrote this song in a time of suffering when others were attacking him, but instead of battling on alone, he reminded his tired soul to rest. When hard circumstances are coming at us, we don't have to fight exhaustion by ourselves. God offers us rest and hope if we'll turn to Him.
God offers stability when we're shaky.
"Truly he is my rock and my salvation," (Psalm 62:6a, NIV) the first part of verse 6 reminds us. Though our emotions are like a rolling, ever-changing sea, God is our never-failing rock. Stuffing our feelings never steadies us, but standing on the Rock always does.
God offers refuge when we feel left out in the cold.
Having others come against us can leave us feeling exposed and lonely, but the last part of verse 6 reminds us, "he is my fortress, I will not be shaken" (Psalm 62:6b, NIV). We have a place to run when our emotions are assaulted by rejection. We can run to Christ, our fortress and refuge.
Stuffing our emotions never solves our problems. Instead, stuffing creates a new dynamic where latent emotions explode at the most inopportune times. Let's choose to surrender our emotions instead, pouring out our hearts to the One who's our Rest, our Rock and our Refuge.
Lord, I find it hard to come to You with my emotions. I think I need to deal with them by myself, but You remind me to surrender them to You. Today, I pour out my heart to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 John 3:19-20, "This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." (NIV)
Maybe you're like Amy Carroll and have struggled to be honest with God. In her book, Breaking Up with Perfect, she shares the lessons she's learned that help us bring our true feelings to Him.
How will you celebrate the greatest sacrifice ever made? Proverbs 31 Ministries is committed to bringing biblical truth into the homes of people all over the world. This Easter, we're offering tools to help you teach your loved ones about the true meaning behind the season. Find ways to engage your family and friends during this Holy Week filled with holy expectation. You can view our Easter collection here.
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you bring your emotions easily to God, or do you resist Him when you're facing negative feelings?
Reflect on the times you've surrendered your feelings to God and when you've stuffed them. What were the outcomes? What steps can you take toward surrender today?
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© 2018 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.