This past year of my life has been a roller coaster of emotions. There have been highs and there have been oh so many lows. I have been rebuilding my life this year and it has been the hardest, most emotional roller coaster I have ever ridden. There are days when I wake up and don’t want to get out of bed. There are days I spring up singing “Oh What A Beautiful Morning”, and there are days when I just want to run, hide, and disappear.
Have you ever had one of those seasons? A season where the lows outweigh the highs of life; where there is no sparkle to be found and you’re just lucky to get out of bed and put a clean shirt on? I am in one of those seasons. I am surely in the valley and not on the mountaintop. And although Psalm 23:4 says that God is with me in the valley of the shadow of death, I feel far from God during these seasons.
I’ve always known that God is with me. I know that He never leaves me or forsakes me. BUT, does God feel what I feel? Does He sympathize with my emotions?
Sometimes, I picture God as this great and powerful King on a throne with a scepter in one hand and lightning bolt in another just waiting to toss out judgment on His creation. How wrong am I? He is my Father. He is our Father and more than anything He desires a relationship with us. Why wouldn’t my Father care about my emotions? The Bible says He created us in His image (Gen.1:27) so if we are created in His image, then He must have emotions and He absolutely must care about mine.
Let’s look at five emotions of God. There are so much more but for this post, let’s look at five.
1. God Loves.
Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an Everlasting Love.”
Beautiful Girl, He Loves You! And the love He loves with is EVERLASTING. It isn’t a fleeting kind of love. It isn’t based on who you are or what you can do for Him. It isn’t even a human love. We cannot fathom the Love of God because God IS love. (I John 4:7-8)
He showed His love for us by giving us His most precious gift, His Son, Jesus. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son . . . “ (John 3:16). He not only loved, He SO loved, that He gave His son to us so that we may have everlasting life. What a gift!
2. God Gets Angry.
It isn’t that God is waiting to pop off at any moment. It is our sin that makes God angry. When Jesus went to the temple during Passover, He saw a place of worship turned into a market. Instead of the house of The Lord, He found money changers buying and selling merchandise. John 2:14-15 tells us that Jesus made a whip and drove the money-changers out of the temple. saying “Do not make My Father’s House a house of merchandise.”. He was MAD.
But we cannot equate our angry emotions with being the same as God’s anger. God clearly tells us to not let the sun go down on our wrath. (Ephesians 4:26). God gets angry when there is a violation of His character. When our unrighteousness and our sin are so far from who He is.
Has anyone ever spread a rumor about you that isn’t true? We get so angry, don’t we? We are angry because it is a violation of our character and a violation of who we are. For me, I get angrier at that then at the person spreading the rumor! It’s the same with God. His anger is because who He is has been violated. As parents, we get angry at anything that would hurt our children - at anyone who would hurt our children. The same is true for God. If it hurts His children, God’s anger, or wrath, comes against “the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness.” (Romans 1:18)
3. God Grieves.
Grief stinks plain and simple. I just recently lost my brother-in-law to bladder cancer and the grief that has been in my family is at times unbearable. If you’ve ever lost someone you love dearly, you know exactly what I mean. You can almost feel your heart breaking inside your chest. God feels that grief as well. During the time of Noah, the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (Genesis 6:6)
Perhaps, the most powerful Scripture associated with God’s grief can be found in Isaiah 53:3, “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Our God understands our grief, because He is very much acquainted with it.
4. God has Compassion.
Have you ever seen a person and your heart is just moved toward them? I always feel this way when I see someone dining alone at a restaurant. My heart is moved. I just want to go over and invite them to sit with me. My heart is moved with compassion. When my son does something wrong and then apologizes with that cute little voice - anger instantly turns to compassion.
Compassion is the sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others according to Webster. For the sake of this post, let’s rewrite the definition, God has concern for my sufferings and misfortunes. When The Lord spoke to Moses at Sinai He said, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” God’s compassion is endless and He cares about our suffering. He cares about our emotions. He cares about what we are going through.
Perhaps the most beautiful example of The Lord’s compassion can be found in Romans 8:34 where we read that Jesus sits at the right hand of God and makes intercession for us. JESUS PRAYS FOR US! His compassion and His love are never ending.
5. God feels Joy.
Joy is different from happiness. I believe that happiness is experiential. You get happy when you go to a favorite place, eat your favorite food, your child gets a good grade, etc. Happiness is based on experiences, but Joy is different. Joy is a feeling of happiness and peace in the middle of sorrow. Joy is a state of happiness. Webster says, “A state of felicity.” I love that. It is a constant that isn't based on outside experiences or emotions.
God feels joy and He feels it towards us. His very joy is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10). I love how The Lord puts it in Zephaniah 3:14...
Beautiful Girl, The Lord your God in with you and He is Mighty to Save. He will rejoice over you with gladness . . . He will rejoice over you with singing.” The God of the whole universe is over us singing . . . rejoicing! That blows my mind! He is our Joy. He is our Song.
Does He care about my emotions?
God does care about your emotions. He is an emotional God but the difference between us and God is that God isn't governed or ruled by His emotions. God does not change (Malachi 3:6); He doesn’t have mood swings. God’s feelings and actions toward us, His judgment and forgiveness, His love and grace, are all consistent with who He is (James 1:17). He doesn’t experience the ups and downs of emotions like we do, but He absolutely does care for us.
I encourage you to read Luke 12:22-28. The Lord tell us that He gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen. He cares for the raven, He considers the lilies of the field, so don’t you think He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you? (Luke 12:28, MSG)
God cares for our emotions. He desires us to be full of joy, peace and love because He is joy, peace, and love. He desires that we be still and stand in Him instead of running around allowing our emotions to overtake us.
Sometimes we ask, “God are you there? Do you care?” Dear friend, trust that He is working behind the scenes in your favor. We may not always get the answer when we want it or how we want it but God will always answer us. Can you look back in your life at hard times, emotional times, and see how God moved on your behalf? I can guarantee that most of the time the solution to our problem wasn’t the solution we thought of, but our God knows best. He can see the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) and He knows what we need.
My Friend, the emotions you are feeling and going through are not far from God. He knows. He sees. He feels. And He desires to take our sadness and transform it into joy, our anger into peace and our hate into love.
I pray that we will center ourselves in Him where we are not run by our emotions, but we are settled in Him. Where we balance our thoughts and feelings with the emotions of God.