Emotions Expose Whatever We Believe
Our feelings always expose what we really believe.
It is God’s desire that we know the truth and walk in it. However, before giving truth, He exposes falsehood. Taking ownership for what we believe is the first step in coming into His truth—bringing into the light that which we have hidden.
One of the ways God exposes our lie-based beliefs is by creating us in such a way that we feel whatever we believe. Our emotions will accurately reflect what we believe with our hearts. When we believe the truth, we will feel such things as peace, joy, exultation, confidence, security, certainty and tranquility. If we believe lies, we may feel alone, fearful, anxious, full of dread, worried, overwhelmed or abandoned. God uses life itself, in the form of difficulties, trials, tribulations and crises, to expose our falsehood. When such things as these come upon us, we will feel whatever we believe. Our emotions will correspond to the way we interpret a difficult experience.
As long as life goes well, we tend to be oblivious to what is going on inside us. It’s when we encounter a perceived difficulty that our beliefs are exposed through our emotions. We feel whatever we believe. If we feel anxious, worried, fearful, overwhelmed, stressed, etc., it is not because of what is happening, but only because of how we are interpreting what is happening. Our belief is the “lens” through which we ascribe meaning to the situation. These difficulties are tools in the hand of God, exposing what we believe. This does not mean that God causes the “bad” things to happen, but He does cause all bad things to “…work together for the good…” (Rom. 8:28).. God desires that we become aware of our lie-based belief so that we might look to Him for the truth.
“Count it all joy…” and “exult in our tribulations,…”
This frame of reference of God using our adversity to expose our belief, sheds much light on the importance of the trials and tribulations we encounter throughout life. They are the means through which God refines our faith and purifies our belief, so that we can “count it all joy whenever we encounter various trials” (Jas. 1:2) and “exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope…” (Rom. 5:3-4).
To the degree that we understand this refining and mind renewing process and cooperate with God in it, we can benefit from the fruit it will produce. As the writer of Hebrews declared, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11). God is training us through suffering, but it requires our cooperation. Those untrained by it will not benefit from the “fire” nor will they experience the fruit. At best, their suffering will be something to cope with until they get through it.
We are in training, let us choose to cooperate and reap the benefit!