Discover what anger says about your desire for control. Feeling anger reveals that something is happening in your life that you wish you could control, but can’t. Recognize that only God is truly in control of what happens to you, and that the only thing you can control is how you will respond to God. Although God rarely explains why He allows specific circumstances to enter your life, He will always sustain you through any situation when you choose to trust Him. Rather than grasping at control, welcome God’s grace into your life by humbling yourself before Him and obeying His command to forgive the people who have hurt you.

Discover what guilt says about your sense of moral uprightness. If you’re feeling guilty, that indicates your conscience speaking to you about sin that God wants you to deal with so it won’t harm you any longer. Acknowledge your sin, confess it to God (and to any people whose lives it has affected), turn away from the sin and toward God, and accept the forgiveness that God offers you. If you feel guilty about a sin that you have already confessed and repented of, choose to believe God’s promise of forgiveness over your emotions, since feelings can change but God’s promises are always reliable.

Discover what discontentment says about your desire for peace and happiness. Feeling discontent reveals that you’re troubled by the fact that God has allowed certain circumstances to enter your life. When you trust God, He will accomplish good purposes through every difficult circumstance that He let enter your life. God will make sure that everything you go through strengthens your faith, which is the most important quality you can develop because it has the most eternal value. Although your circumstances constantly change, God always remains the same. So let God Himself be your source of contentment. Choose to rejoice that you have a relationship with God, nurture that relationship through frequent prayer, and discipline your mind to think correctly about your circumstances (in ways that reflect biblical truth).

Discover what depression says about your sense of hope. If you feel depressed, that indicates a threat to your God-given sense of hope. Pay attention to the alarm that depression is setting off in your life by checking three key parts of your health: your physical condition (how much rest, sleep, water, and healthy food you’re getting – and whether your depression may be caused by a chemical imbalance that a doctor can treat with medication), your spiritual condition (how focused you on God rather than on your circumstances), and your mental condition (what kind of thoughts you’re allowing to fill your mind). Fight depression by taking good care of your body, spirit, and mind, as God leads you.

Adapted from Runaway Emotions: Why You Feel the Way You Do and What God Wants You to Do About It, copyright 2013 by Jeff Schreve. Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com.

Jeff Schreve passionately communicates God’s Word to connect people with Jesus Christ and experience His love and plan for their lives. He is pastor of First Baptist Texarkana and founder of From His Heart Ministries, a national and international radio and television ministry.  Jeff holds a BA in Business Administration (UT-Austin) and a M. Div. from Baptist Theological Seminary. Jeff and his wife, Debbie, have three daughters, one son-in-law, and one granddaughter. Visit his website at: http://www.fromhisheart.org.

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years, is author of the new novel Dream Factory, which is available in both paperback and ebook formats. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.

Publication date: June 6, 2013