“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 New King James Version (NKJV)

In this life you’re guaranteed that you will have some trouble. Jesus said it. But you don’t have to experience the negative and destructive emotions that normally go with trouble. We live in a world in which people are dominated by their emotions. But God didn’t create you to live in subjection to your feelings! Your ability to feel emotions is a gift from God, but He doesn’t want you to get taken with and suffer under the negative ones. He wants you to be in control of your emotions – not have your emotions control you! Jesus said that even though you will have trouble in this world, you should “be of good cheer.” That means that it is possible. You can be full of joy and be “cheery” even though you’re going through a difficult time. You don’t have to be tossed around by emotions in proportion to your circumstances. That’s bondage, and it means that anything could happen and ruin your day. But if your emotions are based on God’s truth (which never changes) then it doesn’t matter what comes your way: no matter how bad things may seem, you will experience joy and peace! This won’t make sense to the world, or to the carnal Christian (someone dominated by their circumstances) but the Bible describes it as “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) or in other words: peace that doesn’t make sense!

“Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you.”
Deuteronomy 28:47-48New King James Version (NKJV)

This scripture shows us that God was keeping His people accountable for their emotions. He said, “Yes, you’ve done the right thing in serving me, but you did it with the wrong heart! You didn’t do it with joy and gladness… and because of that I’ve judged you and will punish you.” Thank God for Jesus! Under the New Covenant Jesus has taken our judgement and borne our punishment, so you will not be punished for your wrong emotions, but you are still accountable for them and need to lead them and look after them. Most people don’t realize that their emotions are their choice. You can decide to have joy and peace, or fear and anxiety. Your emotions are your choice – they don’t just happen to you.

“And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”
1 Corinthians 14:32 New King James Version (NKJV)

“Spirits” can also be defined as “the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides” (Thayers). So, what this verse is saying is that your emotions are subject to your control. If you feel like they are out of control, it’s only because you’ve allowed it. Whatever you’re feeling right now is the direct result of what you’ve focused on (Proverbs 23:7; Romans 8:6)

This is fantastic news: you can reign over your emotions! We live in a world where people are primarily dominated by what they feel, but as a believer with Jesus living in you (1 John 4:4; Romans 8:11) you don’t have to be subject to emotions like everybody else. You can live in victory and experience joy and peace no matter what.

Thought to focus on for the day:
I choose to focus on God and His Word and not on the cares of this world. As such I will experience the peace and joy of the Lord no matter what my circumstances.

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