Today, we took the whole family to see the movie, “Inside Out.” Let me just say, if you haven’t gone to see that movie, get your cute buns to your closest theater and watch it. And if you watch carefully, you’ll find a very powerful message of how we should all be living from the inside, out.
I won’t spoil the movie for you, but basically it was about how our emotions and memories play such hold roles in our thought processes. We need our emotions–all of them. You may think that you would be better off without fear or sadness. But God created our emotions for a reason. Let me explain.
If there was no sadness, we would never develop the ability to create joy. If there were no fear, we would ever develop the ability to live by faith. The fruit of the Spirit are called fruit for a reason. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are all grown inside of us. And when we learn to take the fruit within and let it become manifested in our lives, we are living Inside-Out!
When Jesus said, “Fear not,” He wasn’t saying to never feel fear. He was telling us to not let fear make our decisions for us. Faith isn’t faith unless fear is present. They cannot exist together because faith drives fear away. But faith would never appear if faith didn’t at first try to take command. Daniel would not have demonstrated faith if there were no lions in the den. Moses would not have shown faith if there were no Red Sea in front of him. Esther would not have had faith if her nation was not on the brink of destruction.
Joy is the same way. Joy isn’t a fleeting emotion that you “hope” you feel during the day. Joy is that perpetual spring that quenches you and keeps you going. It’s there when times are good; and when times are not so good. Joy doesn’t need things to go its way. It’s better than that. It’s stronger than that.
Jesus never told us we would never feel sad. He even said that, “in this world you will have trouble.” But then He quickly follows it with, “take heart, for I have overcome the world.” I love how the amplified Bible puts it:
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” John 16:33
Fear and sadness are not things to avoid. God has given us these emotions to wake us up to the power and potential that resides within us because of who we are and Whose we are. Jesus explains that even in sad times, we can be of good cheer (that means joyful), because He has conquered everything that could pose a threat to us. Financial ruin? He conquered it. Sickness? He conquered it. Loss? He conquered it. Death? He conquered it.
Negative emotions are just shadows that remind us to turn on the light that is already within us. We’re not supposed to pretend they don’t exist. We need to acknowledge them and then go to God’s Word to claim victory over them. Would you ever eat if you never got hungry? Would you ever sleep if you never got tired? Negative emotions serve a purpose, so don’t feel defeated when they spring up. Acknowledge them. Breathe through them. And use them as fertile soil to grow the fruit of the Spirit within you. How do you do this? You pick up your shield of faith. You stir up the joy of your salvation. You put on the love of God.
Did you notice these are all actions? Your emotions are not just isolated things that come upon you. You have power over them; but you need to take that power by force. God’s Word has everything you need to be victorious over your emotions today. You need to grow that fruit INSIDE and bring it OUT!
Now I want to hear from you. How are you doing with your emotions? Are you taking authority over them, or allowing them to take authority over you? Leave a comment and let me know so I can come beside you and help you wage war!