Sometimes I wonder: If I have faith in God, why do I still feel afraid or angry or overwhelmed… or all three? Shouldn’t faith mitigate all these negative emotions?
My impulse is to think of such emotions as bad, as though my faith must be weak if I am scared or sad. But when I look to the Bible, I see that many of the most faithful also exhibited the most heart-rending range of emotions. Faith is clearly not exclusive of emotions. In fact, such gut-wrenching emotions may actually be a sign of trust.
Yes, trust. If this sounds backwards to you, consider this: How much do you have to trust someone to share with them how you really feel? How much do you have to trust someone to – heaven forbid – cry in front of them? For me at least, the answer is: a whole lot.
The Bible says God knows our inmost being (Psalm 139), but it is still human nature to “put up a good front.” Sometimes emotions are God’s way of getting us to be honest with Him. When we trust Him enough to admit what we really feel, He never casts us away. He pulls up a chair and listens. God is the friend we can trust with our darkest emotions. And when we turn to him with what we feel – even when we think we shouldn’t be feeling it – the result is not a weaker faith, but a stronger one.
Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord (Lamentations 2:19).