I love the idea of choosing a focus word each year. So many of my friends testify to the ways God has used a specific word to help them grow in faith and change them in ways they never imagined.
Although I loved the idea, I always tended to take on topics that included multiple words and simply see where the Lord lead me.
Until 2018, when the Lord placed a word on my heart and mind. A word I knew would be my focus for the rest of my life.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need.Luke 12:31
You may wonder why this word, out of all of the words in the English language … hit me the way it did?
Because 15 years ago, life circumstances shattered me and I needed help. Help I knew the world couldn’t give me because I’d already read and tried every self-help book I could find.
I truly believe it’s the Holy Spirit who prompted me to cry out in prayer, to grab my Bible, and to begin SEEKing God with all my heart.
And slowly, page after page and verse after verse God proved to me the promise part of Jesus’ words, the “He will give you everything you need” part … was absolutely true!
God has and does give me everything I need.
You see, I think it’s become easy for us to celebrate and thank God for the secure and eternal future we have through faith in Jesus, while at the same time ignoring the fact that “everything” we need includes the things necessary to apply His will to our every day lives.
So, for the past two years, I’ve gone to God’s Word and asked Him to help me know His will each day. It’s why the tagline here at Counting My Blessings is “At the intersection of faith and life.”
I believe SEEKing, knowing, trusting, and following God’s will is the best way to live a rich and satisfying life.
Which invites us to ask the question…
What is God’s will for everyday life?
Jesus summed up God’s will this way…
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:38–40
God’s will for us is … love Him and love others!
Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?!
Yeah, not so much!
There are so many things vying for our love and attention. Things that can easily become idols and keep us from loving God completely, let alone as well as we’d like to love Him.
And we all know it would be much easier to love our neighbors if our neighbors were easier to love. Right?!
That is how I decided it might be a good idea to work on The Emotion Project.
Although we know…
Love is more than a feeling … love is the way we act on our feelings.
Most of us focus on love the emotion rather than love the action.
Truthfully, I’m all about feelings and emotions! I sometimes think my feelings have feelings!
And … I believe our emotions are given to us by God.
He wants us to experience joy, peace, gratitude, kindness, compassion, and love. But sadly because of sin, we also experience grief, sadness, fear, loneliness, and anger.
So every day we live with positive and negative highs and lows … things the dictionary calls “states of mind” or “attitudes.” Things most of us call feelings or emotions.
The Emotion Project
In an effort to SEEK God’s will … I want to take a closer look at what the Bible says about living with emotions.
To take a closer look at verses like:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.I Corinthians 13:4–5
You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.James 1:19
“Don’t sin by letting anger control you.”Ephesians 4:26
“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9
But there’s more … I don’t want to simply know God’s will for living with my emotions, I want to know how to manage my emotions in ways that will give God glory. I want to take my feelings, pause, and ask myself #WWGGG – What Would Give God Glory?
Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians:
Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.Colossians 3:12–17
Based on these verses, God wants us to do the following when it comes to our emotions…
- Be merciful, kind, humble, gentle, and patient.
- Remember that we are sinners dependent on God’s forgiveness.
- Fill our hearts and minds with the truth of His Word.
- Prayerfully and humbly surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Make it our heart’s desire to love like Jesus.
- Let the peace we have in Christ rule over negative emotions.
- Live each day with gratitude for all God!
Because He promises that…
Even when it comes to our emotions, when you and I seek Him first, when we want to glorify Him with attitudes, words, and actions, and when we make loving Him and others our highest priority—He will give us everything we need.
Maybe not everything we want.
But definitely, everything we need.
It’s a promise we can count on!
His Word says…
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28
Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.Romans 8:38
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”2 Corinthians 12:9
“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”Deuteronomy 13:6
Whether our need is physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional … I believe God is true to His eternal promises.
When you and I seek Him first, He will give us what we need each day to draw us closer to Himself, to make us more like Jesus, and to help us live for His glory!
I hope you’ll join me each Monday and Thursday as I take a closer look at The Emotion Project. We’ll take a look at what the world has to say and compare it to what God’s Word says … and we’ll pray and ask God to help us know His will that might manage our emotions for His glory.
In the comments, let me know about the emotions you’d like to talk about this year because the truth is…
We all have to deal with emotions! Our own and those demonstrated by the people around us.
But by God’s grace and with His help, I believe we can learn to act and react in ways that will give Him glory. Maybe not perfectly … but better.
So, don’t forget to subscribe to Counting My Blessings so you never miss an update of The Emotion Project – Seeking God’s Will and Living for God’s Glory with our Emotions.
You don’t want to miss next week when we ask the question … Does God Want Me to Be Happy?
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