God never promised that storms wouldn’t come. The storms of life are inevitable. He did, however, show us that He would be with us in the midst of them. How do we remain emotionally healthy and mentally strong when storms and hard times surface in our lives?
Let’s consider the wise man who built his house upon the Rock in Matthew 7:24-27. The winds blew and the floods came tumbling down but that man’s house stood firm, because his house was built on a strong foundation. On the other hand, the foolish man built his house upon the sand and that man’s house crumbled in the storm.
The storms of life expose our foundation. When our lives are built on sand, in the storm our lives quickly unravel because we are on faulty ground. However, our foundation in Jesus allows us to trust fully that Jesus still calms the storms even today.
Today, I want to look at why our emotional health is vital to our walk with Jesus. There is so much more we can discuss regarding emotional health, but recently these 3 reasons have been most helpful for me in my walk with the Lord and in me journeying through loving my neighbor as myself & loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
Here are 3 signs that you’re emotionally unhealthy:
STUFFING NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
Have you ever been in a confrontation with a loved one and brought up 10 different issues because you finally snapped? This is emotional stuffing. For a relationship to be healthy we need to be able to express our hurts as they happen.
Proverbs 27:17 says that, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”.
When we do not share the hurt that someone has done to us, especially in the body of Christ, we do not allow that other person to grow & see their error. It also does not allow us to see if there is something within us that needs healing. We need each other and stuffing the negative emotions does not help anyone.
2. RESISTANT TO FEEDBACK
Do you read the Lord’s Word and apply His instruction into your life? Do you read His word and allow it to actually pierce your heart? Do you have relationships that speak the Lord’s truth into your life? I am not referring to over the internet or celebrity pastors that you follow. I mean brothers and sisters who know you personally and love you.
If you do, do you allow them to speak into your life? Emotional unhealth takes offensively any criticism or critique. Actually, we want those who love us to show us where we can grow. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” Proverbs 27:6
3. NOT ENJOYING GOD OR GODLY COMMUNTIY
Do you struggle to find joy to be in the presence of the Lord AND others?
A definition of joy that I have found to be helpful is from a book Joy Starts Here by James Wilder. Joy is defined as, “to be delighted to be in the presence of another individual.”
When you are going through whatever life circumstance you are going through, are you aware of the Lord’s presence and do you find delight that He is there? When you are with the Lord’s people do you find it delightful or is your time spent critiquing, criticizing and comparing? The joy of the Lord is our strength. When we do not find joy in the Lord and being with His people, we lose our strength.
I believe emotional health is just like physical health—we need to continue to flex our muscles. We need the Lord’s transforming power to form in us deeply and to not be like this world in any aspect of our lives.
I strongly encourage you to be vulnerable, open and transparent in your godly friendships. Do not hide and lie, but speak the truth when you are hurt or triggered. Accept feedback from the Lord and from safe brothers and sisters. If you are lacking joy of the Lord and His people, ask Him to show you what is blocking your heart from that joy.
Jesus says all through the chapter of John 15 that the Father’s joy would be made complete and whole in us. This is not just a bonus to our faith. This is a requirement for our faith.
Two resources that have been helpful for me are the following:
Joy Starts Here by James Wilder: https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Starts-Here-transformation-Model/dp/1935629107
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: https://www.amazon.com/Emotionally-Healthy-Spirituality-Impossible-Spiritually/dp/0310348455/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1591339189&sr=1-1-795edd5f-cc24-47c7-9173-701523fd4bcf
Keep the hope throughout the storms of life. Rather than allowing hard to emotionally crush you, turn it into an opportunity to develop joy and peace in the Lord. You have the authority and power to choose health, strength and freedom in the Lord. Happy healing!