Friday, December 29, 2023
Thursday, December 28, 2023
The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ do well to be wary and watchful to not be overmuch influenced by our feelings, whether emotional or physical. It remains true, however, that the Christian life does not involve an unfeeling stoicism.
"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love" (Romans 12:10).
We all have different dispositions in terms of emotion, all of which have a place in the body of Christ. We need those who feel deeply, and those who do not as readily experience strong depth of emotion. Mostly, we all require our feelings to function as servants, rather than as dictators of thought, belief, attitude, words, and actions. This requires a powerful work of the Holy Spirit in each of our hearts, minds, and indeed, our emotions. Interestingly, Scripture reveals His work in us has to do with God's feeling, as well as His glory, will, and eternal purpose in Christ…
"It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13; emphasis added).
Our Creator and Redeemer is no stoic. He experiences "good pleasure," along with all the emotions known by humanity that He created within us. Indeed, the Bible so chronicles God in terms of emotion that we may rightly surmise Him to be the most emotional being who exists. He experiences the full gamut of feeling in infinite, eternal terms, as opposed to our finite, human sensation. Consider the Lord Jesus, so emotionally and physically stressed in the garden of Gethsemane that He "sweat as it were great drops of blood" (Luke 22:44). This condition - hematotridosis - occurs rarely and only in those experiencing profound levels of stress in soul and body. Our Savior knew such suffering to the degree Isaiah foretold, "He is… a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3). Moreover, as the God who became man, and the man who remains God, we can know the Lord Jesus' profound emotional experience perfectly reflected the nature of both the divine and the human. "We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Hebrews 4:15)
This being said, unlike ourselves, God's emotions never fail to align with His character and nature. They do not tempt Him to be guided by feeling rather than fidelity to Himself, His glory, and His will. His pleasures, displeasures, griefs, anger, satisfaction, and joy all flow with the current of His love, righteousness, grace, truth, and moral perfection. One day, the redeemed will know such perfect consistency and correlation between our spiritual, intellectual, and emotional constitution. But not yet. Presently, we "fight the good fight of faith" when it comes to the feelings of our flesh that often conflict with the purposes of our hearts (I Timothy 6:12). Our Father would have us feel life, but not in any manner that tempts us to not live life in accordance with His will.
We do well to consistently pray that our emotions will serve as effective components and servants of God's working in our lives. We must feel with Him in order to fully serve His purposes. "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep" (Romans 12:15). Certainly, it pleases Him to align our emotions with His own, and also to enable our overcoming of those that can lead us astray. Yes, the God who feels with eternal and infinite measures of emotion, as perfectly aligned with His character and nature, works in us to redeem the fullness of our humanity into conformity to the Christ who felt, and who feels.
"I will be glad and rejoice in Thee."
"The joy of the Lord is your strength."
"My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.
Weekly Memory Verse
Thy mercy, o Lord, is in the heavens, Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.