“To give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” Samuel Ullman, American poet
What would it be like to live in a world void of vibrant colors? Imagine for a moment that everything was black, white, and matte grey. The sky. The trees. The animals. Not just everyone around you, but even you. Without color, we’d miss out on the royal blues and purples that paint the sky as the sun melts into the horizon. We’d never experience the fluorescent shades of tropical birds or fish. The beauty of spring blossoms would be muted. Life would lose its vibrancy, the delight that comes with its diverse and beautiful expressions. Such a scene makes us grateful for all the hues that God has given us.
Now imagine for a moment a world void of emotion. Like a world without color, one without emotion would lack the delight and wonder that God intends. Without emotion, we couldn’t experience the delicate joy of holding a newborn baby in our arms. Apart from emotion, we wouldn’t savor the comfort of a tender embrace. Without emotions, we couldn’t respond in awe to a surprise given to us by those who love and know us best.
Indeed, one of the greatest gifts God has given us is our emotions. It’s no accident that God gives us the ability to feel a wide range of feelings from anticipation to joy. Just as color gives our world brightness and beauty, emotions give our lives feelings and unforgettable experiences.
While you may be tempted to list a few emotions you wish you didn’t have such as anger or sadness, even those feelings are divine gifts meant to be celebrated. Why? Because God feels them too! Those emotions provide a glimpse into God’s heart, and it isn’t a mistake that you experience them.
Throughout this study, we’ll look at a handful of the emotions you’ve probably felt. These are emotions people have been experiencing since the beginning of time. We’ll examine the idea that not only did God create us and give us emotions, but He feels them Himself too. And we’ll look at emotions that are truly a gift—whether it’s fear or anger or joy—and unpack their holy dimensions.
My hope and prayer is that throughout this study, you’ll find yourself delighting in the emotions that God has given you. And along the way you’ll find yourself coming alive in the fullness of all God has called and created you to be.
Part of the 2012 Women of Faith Study Guide series, Making Peace with Your Emotions features twelve weeks of Bible study, questions for discussion, and a Leader’s Guide included for leading a group Bible study for women.
Emotions Are God’s Gift
- Rejoice! And Again I Say Rejoice!
- Spiritual Awakenings
- The Wonder of Divine Emotions
Emotions You Can’t Live Without
- Fear Not! Well, Maybe a Little!
- A Healthy and Holy Dose of Anger
- The Unexpected Gift of Sadness
Emotions That Make Life Fuller
- A Holy Surprise
- Contagious Joy
- The Wonders of the Calm
Adorning Emotions with Love
- Growing in Trust
- Hopeful and Hope-Filled
- Abounding in Love