Our emotions are a gift from God, and they carry a lot of influence in our lives. Sometimes we express them toward others with joy, happiness, peace, kindness, and goodness. Other times, our emotional expressions are brutal, caustic, harsh, and hurtful. As our emotions ebb and flow through the ups and downs of life, we must always remember that the Father gave us emotions so that we could enjoy life and express our inner being to others. The problem, however, arises when our emotions control us instead of us controlling them by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Throughout Scripture, we see many people expressing their emotions. Saul was jealous of David (1 Sam.18:6-9). Hannah expressed great sadness and cried out to God (1 Sam. 1:10). Elijah, supposedly a powerful man of great faith and courage, confessed numerous times in Scripture that he was afraid (1 Kings 19:2-4). And when you look at the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shares three different times with those gathered to listen, “Don’t be anxious … don’t be anxious … don’t be anxious" (Matt. 6:25-34).
By far, anxiety was number one. People were anxious about their jobs, health, financial situations, families, schooling, relationships, and national direction and leadership, just to name a few. There’s no doubt we live in an anxious and uncertain time. And “uncertainty” is the key word when it comes to anxiety. When we’re struggling with anxiety, we’re uncertain about what’s going on in the present moment, uncertain about how life will play out in the future, or uncertain about the impact of the past in each of our lives.
Anxiety in itself is not a sin. It’s a normal response to the uncertainty we face in the situations that play out before us in everyday life. The issue is what we do with those anxieties and how long we allow them to live within us. Gaining control of this destructive emotion is key to living the life God intended for us to live.
““Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life? And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25-34 AMP