WEEK 1 | Emotions: Cry of the Soul

 
 

EMOTIONS ARE GIVEN TO US BY GOD, GOD IS A GOD OF EMOTION

THE PSALMS INVITE US TO BRING OUR EMOTIONS & QUESTIONS TO GOD. GOD INVITES US TO BRING BEFORE HIM OUR RAGE, DOUBT AND TERROR -- BUT HE INTENDS US TO DO IT AS PART OF WORSHIP.

THE PSALMS HELPS US UNDERSTAND THAT EVERY EMOTION IS ALSO A THEOLOGICAL BELIEF STATEMENT

THE PSALMS GIVE US PERMISSION TO LISTEN TO OUR EMOTIONS

AS WE LET OUR QUESTIONS EXPOSE THE DEPTHS OF OUR EMOTION, THEY WILL LEAD US TO THE GOD WHO REVEALS HIMSELF IN THE MIDST OF OUR STRUGGLE

Our guide for this PROCESS is the Psalms

Psalm 73:1-17

1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?”
12 This is what the wicked are like—always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.

Every emotion, though horizontally provoked, nevertheless reflects something about the vertical dimension: our relationship with god

15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

The reason for looking inside is not to FIX HOW WE FEEL

Instead we are to listen and ponder what we feel in order to be moved to the far deeper issue of what our hearts are doing with god and others

IN WORSHIP
WE LEAN INTO THE EMOTION
WE DIG INTO THE BELIEF SYSTEM

21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.

THE HEART IS A GAUGE NOT A DIRECTION TO FOLLOW

Jeremiah 17:9

9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN THE MIDST OF OUR STRUGGLE & PROCESSING

23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Emotions are the language of the soul. they are the cry that gives the heart a voice.

Listening to our emotions is the pathway to discern what is happening in our hearts.

Discovering what is happening in our hearts leads us to becoming self aware of our relationship with god and others.

BOTTOM LINE:

EMOTIONS ARE MEANT TO GUIDE YOU, NOT DIRECT YOU

WE LISTEN TO OUR EMOTIONS, BUT WE DON’T ALWAYS LET THEM LEAD