It’s Okay to Tell God How You Feelby Cynthia Jennings on May 18, 2022
Have you ever been in a season where you’ve walkthrough one challenge after another?
I’ve had seasons like that.
Have you ever struggled to talk with God about how you’re feeling in that season?
Felt like that too.
One reason we may struggle with talking with our Heavenly Father is we’ve believed the lie that strong faith leaves little room for doubts and questions. The problem with that reasoning is that it discounts story after story of people in the Bible crying out to God, asking hard questions, grappling with how to trust in challenging seasons.
Let me give you a few examples. John the Baptist, who was in prison and sent a message to Jesus to ask if He was really the Messiah (Matthew 11:2-4 ESV). But there was no rebuke of John the Baptist from Jesus. Jesus knew John, loved John, and understood the trial John was enduring. Jesus’ response to John the Baptist’s doubt was one of comfort, “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory”(Matthew 12:20 ESV).Then there’s Elijah the prophet, a great many of Elijah’s faithful colleagues had already been executed at Jezebel’s request and now, it seemed, he was to be next. What effect did Jezebel’s threat have on Elijah? The Bible tells us: “He became afraid. “And he ran for his life (1Kings 18:4 ESV; 19:3 ESV).But God knew the feelings of discouragement that overcame the Prophet Elijah was too much, in spite of the big feelings Elijah was dealing with, God had a plan for the prophet(1 Kings 19:5-21 ESV). There was also a father who asked Jesus to heal his son who had been sick since childhood (Mark 9:22 ESV). Jesus offered words of comfort to the father, “And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23 ESV). The father cried out, “I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24 ESV).
In my own life, I’ve wrestled with sadness, hurt, grief and disappointments. I’ve had a lot of big feelings and hard questions. As did Martha and Mary.
These two sisters wrestled with sadness, hurt, grief and disappointment as they wrestled with the loss of their brother.
As two sisters weep over the loss of a brother, Martha meets her friend Jesus with these words:
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you” (John 11:21-22 ESV).
What I love about this passage is that Martha doesn’t hide her grief from Jesus. She is brave enough to ask Him the burning question on her heart. You can hear her trust in Jesus, even as she expresses her pain (John 11:17-27 ESV).
When we bring our big feelings and hard questions to Jesus, intimidation is replaced with intimacy. Intimacy with God is a safe space where we can be honest about our fears, sadness, hurt, grief and disappointment. Where we can be honest about how we grapple with the heavy and hard stuff. In that intimacy space is where our faith rises---for who is better to bring questions to than to God Himself.
When we push down emotions, they don’t go away. They simply fester and at some point, they will erupt. The time of eruption could be days, weeks, or years later. Taking your emotions to the One who loves you and who knows you is wise.
Have you been shouldering big feelings? Consider this, God not only created you to feel, but He cares about how you feel. Feelings can be overwhelming and overpowering. However, God wants to help you navigate those feelings to equip you to view those feelings from a Godly perspective so He gets the glory.
Many of us were told to shut down emotions when we were younger. We learned to push down those feelings or to put on a “good face.” The truth is when we take the time to explore emotions with the help of the Holy Spirit, we’re asking God to join us right where we are.
As you share those big feelings with God, who loves you more than you can imagine, you are inviting Him to walk through those emotions with you.
That’s intimate faith!
Prayer: Heavenly Father in the Name of Jesus, there will be sorrow, sadness and hard places, but there’s joy even there as You walk through those places with me. I’m bringing how I feel to You today. I’m opening my mouth and my heart to share my faith, my doubts, my trust, and my questions. I’m grateful to have a safe space to unload those big feelings and hard questions. Thank You for listening! Thank you for guiding me in and through those big feelings.
PEARLStoPONDER: Never believe your feelings are too much for God to handle.
Hebrews 4:16—Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Jeremiah 17:9-- The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Proverbs 3:5-6-- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.