In my last post, I wrote about many of our feelings being based on our mental focus. That thinking is based on truth or lies about Who God is, who we are, others, and circumstances. We would do well to ask God often to bring our thinking in alignment with God’s truth.
Yet, there are some other reasons for our feelings that I wanted to bring to our attention that is just as important to understand. Let me share them with you.
Illnesses – Sometimes, an illness affects our feelings. For example, many people who had Covid-19 have been surprised at how they were emotionally affected. Other illnesses can also play havoc with our feelings, not because of what we are thinking but because our body is being affected. For example, when my daughter, Bekah, developed autoimmune encephalitis, it damaged her brain such that she felt and expressed extreme anger over and over. She had no control over this. However, through two years of medical treatments, she eventually returned to the fun-loving, affectionate girl we had always known.
Brain Illnesses – Some people, including Christians, experience depression, anxiety, or both. This may not be due to the lack of believing God’s truth and trusting Him. Instead, the brain needs help. Many Christians are opposed to taking anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications. This is because they assume they wouldn’t need medication if they only relied on God. Sometimes, that is true, which we joyfully observe in our counseling. However, other times it is an organic problem that needs medical help. Rather than feeling guilty for taking medication, we can thank God that these are available for us today. (Paul wrote to Timothy to “drink a little wine” for his stomach problems.) This was medicine in that day.
Hormone Issues – Ask any woman who has gone through peri-menopause or menopause if the hormonal changes affected her feelings, and she will heartily agree. Men may go through what I jokingly call “man-opause” because their testosterone levels drop too low.
S.A.D. – Have you heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder? I’m not a doctor, but I know two friends who have this. As I understand this, it is depression caused by a lack of sunlight, especially during winter months. They tell me that getting a light equal to sunlight in their home helps tremendously.
Unhealed Trauma – Some people experience terrible trauma that remains unhealed. This can cause extremely negative feelings, as anyone in this group can attest to.
This is not an exhaustive list, but I would like to encourage you with this. These issues do not define your identity nor diminish God’s love for you. Your identity in Christ and His love is unshakeable. In Romans 8, we read about the suffering of many types. Toward the end of this, here is what the Holy Spirit wrote to encourage us all.
37 No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 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. (I added the bold for emphasis.)
© Mark Maulding (But feel free to share this.)