When your emotions are up, down, and all around

When your emotions are zooming up and then crashing down, when you feel like you’re just trying to surf the peaks and ride out the troughs, trying to just stay on your feet, when waves of emotion are crashing over you, what do you do? Generally, this intensity of emotion comes when weighty circumstances are outside your control and you feel powerless. When you feel like you’re at the mercy of what’s happening around you, you need an anchor, something that’s not changing to cling on to while you ride out the storm. 

When your emotions go crazy, pray Psalm 86:11, “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” When you feel your heart is fragmented, going a thousand directions, and constantly reversing on you, ask God to unite your heart. Tell him that, even when you don’t feel solidly anchored to him, you desire him to unify all the fragmented pieces of your heart and connect it to his. Acknowledge that this is a work only he can do through his Spirit. You’re incapable of uniting your own heart, but you can renew your mind through Scripture and continually give your heart and desires to God through prayer. 

I like to look up at the sky to remind myself of God’s constant, unchanging love for me. When everything else seems like it’s changing so fast around me, the sky’s vast and beautiful expanse looks the same day after day. Psalm 36:5 says “Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” It’s comforting to remember that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change,” (James 1:17). Even when we feel out of control, God is still totally in control and tells us, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand,” (Isaiah 41:10). 

Finally, take your time. Don’t rush hastily rush into decisions when you’re in an unstable state of mind. You’ll probably make better decisions if you wait for your feelings to settle out. Be patient and wait for God to lead, guide, and direct you. Talk to godly friends because “in abundance of counselors there is victory,” (Proverbs 11:14). And finally, fix your hope on the promises of God like Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” 

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