Living Above Moods

Written by M. Larson

Are you struggling with feelings of sadness, loneliness or despair?  Do you need to talk to someone?

“What’s happened to Jennifer?” exclaimed Helen.  “I haven’t seen her at church lately! She was so ‘on fire’ for the Lord last month.  She put the rest of us to shame.”

“Well, the last time I saw her, she seemed depressed about something. Maybe we should call and tell her that she’s missed.”

Depression, undependability, backsliding–are these problems in your life? In this hectic world we live in today, it’s understandable. Work loads, family challenges, emotional upheavals take their toll on our emotions. How can we deal with them in a practical way? What can we do to rise above our moods?

God gives us some answers. Love God With All Your Heart.

Jesus said this was the first and greatest commandment. But let’s face it: who is at the center of most of our thinking? Guessing game’s over – we are, and to be specific, “I am”. But for most of us, our thoughts and concerns center on our work, our families, our desires, our own aims and ourselves. So do we really love God with all our hearts?

The heart is the seat of our emotions. If our hearts are filled with anger, fear, and hatred then that will eventually control us. Yet if they are filled with the Lord, He will help us control those emotions.

We have a powerful enemy: Satan. Peter said that Satan prowls around like a hungry lion, looking for some victim to devour. (l Peter 5:8).

When you are being eaten up by emotions that pull you down, look to God’s word for help.

Ephesians 6:11-12 urges us to put on God’s armor: The belt of truth; the breastplate of moral rectitude; feet shod with the good news of peace with God; the shield of faith; the helmet of salvation; the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. Do you have all of these firmly in place? We are also urged to pray in the Spirit on all occasions.

Sound like a tough assignment? Well, do you want to be a slave to your emotions? Wouldn’t it be far better to have God in control of your life?

The same humble mind Christ Jesus had on earth (Philippians 2:5) is what He calls us to have. He who was God lowered Himself to become a man and suffered and died for our sins, to save us. (That’s the gospel of peace with God!)

The humble mind puts others before itself. This is a key to coming through life with flying colors. Much of the depression and distress we may feel springs from self-consciousness and self-interest. If we are thinking of God and others, we won’t have time to be overly concerned with ourselves.

Lord God, Help me to have victory over my changing moods as I put these truths into practice through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Questions: Are you a slave to your emotions?

About the Author Muriel Larson

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, The Priority of Prayer, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

12 Responses to “Living Above Moods”

  • Linda R says:

    WOW!!!! My computer has been broken and I am just catching up on the devotionals! Oh Denise, Hugs, hugs, hugs,!!! if you go to the main site and hit contact and ask, only if you want they will give you my email address and you can email me only if you want to. But Oh can I ever identily with you!!! I have bipolar depression, I lost my first husband when I was 20 yrs old, I lost my teenage daughter when she was 15 1/2yrs old, both my parents, I too have tried to commit suicide too many times although I am not proud of it and Praise The Lord For His Love & Mercy. Emotions Oh Yes We all have them but I truly think there are days when You Don’t Have a Choice In Your Emotional State, sometime Yes for sure but sometimes no way. I just want to leave you with a scripture that My daughter left me the day she was killed in the car accident and it is :
    Psalm 94:19 When Anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
    I have tried to cling to that scripture over the years many, many times because anxiety does get great within me just out of no where.
    Dear Heavenly Father I just Pray for Denise & Pat Lord You see them both, You see their needs, and Jesus I just pray that You would ever so tightly wrap Your Loving Arms around them. Help them to feel Your presence and Your love and peace flowing through them right now. Encourage them and minister to every single need that they have I just pray all these things In Your Name In Faith Believing Amen & Amen!
    I will put you both on my prayer list. Hugs, Linda!!!

  • kanj says:

    denise, we are each as individual as God intended and we each have our own strengths and weaknesses. the fact that you take meds, or let’s say decide that yoga or ty chi is your cup of stress-free living, whatever it is, the fact is that you are doing something and even better knowing that God knows. choose to be better, choose to be the best you can be. just know that the Lord is the answer.
    i do not take meds of any sort but that’s not to say that i am better than the next. God knows who and what i was. all i know is that He loves me for who and what i am today—-His. one day at a time works for me. God bless,
    kanj

  • Denise2 says:

    Hi Kanj,

    Your comment: “emotions are not ’caused’, they are chosen.” ugh, that is a hard one. I think you are right when you say the answer lies only in His Word.

    I just don’t get it…, why did God decide to give us such extreme emotions…, or a better question is…, why did God decide to put us in a place on this earth (family) that would cause us to develop such extremes in our emotions?

    I’d hate to think I “choose” to feel so bad. On the other hand, I have to take medication antidepressants, to feel better. So I guess I choose to feel better.

    Oh this is all so confusing :(

    Can you tell I “chose” to not take my antidepressant yesterday?

    Denise

  • kanj says:

    thank you Muriel for this devotional.
    denise, just a comment to your comment. as I thought i knew what the definition of ’emotions’ are, and then read your comment, I decided to look up the definition of ’emotions’. of course one link lead to another but what i did find, I found interesting. the word emotions is defined as: ”consciousness that involves feelings”; ”emotions are not ’caused’, they are chosen. so now i’m not sure. for me, the only source to any question will be found in His Word, maybe not right away, but it will be found within.
    i will admit that i still have a problem with writing the word ‘father’ when referring to my flesh father. i write the word dad. i know that this perhaps means that i have not forgiven my dad and God willing, I will one day.

  • Denise says:

    (((Patti))) thank you so much for sharing that poem, it is so true, God knows even the number of hairs on our head.

    Ok, lol, we are emotional creatures, what you shared made me cry…, but it was a good cry a healing cry because we know who we are in Christ.

    For the longest time I could not pray to the Father…, I could not use that word. Jesus was my friend, my savior, my one who would hold me when we were sad. But now after many years of being afraid of the Father, we can see Him for who He is, loving, kind, patient, understanding, a real papa. That’s what we needed in our life.

    I always hear it said that “emotions just are.” I’m not really sure what people mean when they say that. I hope to one day finally understand what that statement means, lol. Does it mean emotions are neither good or bad? I don’t think that is what it means. It makes me feel like when they say “emotions just are” that we have no control over them…, which most of us feel like we don’t have control over them.

    Again, thank you for sharing that poem, it really spoke to my heart.

    Denise

  • Patti says:

    Yes, dear Denise…..It is hard to overcome wounds from the past. So so hard. I didn’t even remember all of my wounds from the past…as I had pushed them to a dark corner of my mind and wasn’t able to face them until I was 45 years old. Vicious words from my alcoholic mother, telling me that she wished I had never been born, sadistic abuse from my older brother and sexual abuse from my father…wounded me so deeply and left me believing I was ugly, dirty and worthless.

    Who could love a child like this? Who would….and even more, who could know this kind of abandonment and pain. Who could possibly know this brokenness….

    Only Jesus….only He has known this aloneness, only He has known this kind of betrayal by those I thought loved me….only He has known a wounded and shattered heart like this….yes, only Jesus could love someone like me.

    Someone gave me this poem…and these words were a truth I could understand during a very deep storm in my life. I have shared them before and want to share them again.

    Dear Child of Mine

    I look back on the years of your growing up, and my eyes can see all the times and situations in which you were hurt, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I can hear the wounding words and see the harmful deeds, and I know the scars you carry in your personality because of them. Sometimes the very people you looked to for love and affection were the ones who wounded you most. Sometimes they were members of your own family!

    But hear me now, my child. Though they have wounded you, I will never wound you. Though they have let you down, I will never let you down. Though their words and deeds have harmed you, I speak to you words of hope and healing. I reach out to you with justice and kindness and love. I am constantly thinking of you, my child. You are always with me. I cannot forget you for one moment. See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Come now and let me heal the wounds of your childhood.

    Your loving Abba,

    God

  • Denise says:

    Patti said, “I know the things from my life that have wounded me, have purpose…even today.” I have to say, “Amen” to that. I don’t know if I would have ever come to know the Lord as a child had it not been for the dysfunctional (an easier word for me) family that I grew up in.

    But it is hard, when your struggles with the scars from the past and your inside is shattered into pieces, to hold on to the Lord’s words and not let those emotions run us over.

    This devotional and all who shared here their struggles and victories has empowered me to hold on. I pray that each of you have been helped by these posts.

    There are times when I am passed an emotional point and feel more steady on my feet and I just look to the Lord and jokingly say, “Lord, what the heck were you thinking giving us all these emotions?” lol I sure hope He has a sense of humor. He must have…, He made man and then women and thought it would be a good idea for them to come together as husband and wife. I find lots of humor in that one, lol. I tell my hubby that it’s a HUGE game He is playing with us. That if we are strong enough to live until the end, then we have won! Again…, “what was God thinking? lol”

    Never lose your sense of humor, always find something to laugh about.

    I also do what a lot of you are doing, thinking about what types of foods are going into my body and getting out there and going for walks. We desperately need as much sunshine as we can get and the exercise really helps.

    But there are those days…, we all know them…, the ones where we don’t think we can go on. The ones were we are afraid the next day will look like the horrible day we are living in today.

    I learned something when I was ready to give up…, and it was from the Bible and it spoke so much to me. I’ll share these verses with you so that maybe it will help you when you get this desperate.

    In John 10:18 Jesus is telling us about life and death and this is what He shared with me…, ‘I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father’ (John 10:18).

    It REALLY hit me that Jesus, our Messiah, has to receive authority from God to lay down His life.

    Ok, got to run, husband wants to head out to church. Sorry for the abrupt ending, lol.

  • Patti says:

    Denise and Pat, I have never faced cancer, but have faced severe depression, and a driving toward suicide. Just this past summer… a heart attack and stroke.

    I would say this ladies…you are stronger women than you realize or you would not be here. I encourage you…hang on to Jesus. He is the only answer.

    After years of depression…more like a lifetime and literally wanting to die in the sense, I didn’t think I could stand another day, I did finally move out of that pit. Lay yourself before Jesus…….fall upon you face and trust the unknown, knowing He is holding your hand. There were times that I now realize, He literally carried me through..moment by moment, hour by hour and day by day. There were times I bowed before Him….when no words would come forth…but only tears and silence. It was those times that He interceded to the Father, for me. I know He did that…because I am a living testimony today.

    Dear Ladies….He knows your pain….He knows everything about you. He feels everything you feel and wants us to have peace, He wants to calm our fears and still our souls. I cannot tell you how many times I have read Psalm 139. It brings a quiet peace to my heart even today.

    I know He kept me for a reason….and I know the things from my life that have wounded me, have purpose…even today. If for no other reason, but to tell someone that I understand….that I care and that I will pray.

    His grace is truly sufficient and He will carry us through the waters…..that will never take us under…so hold onto Him. I love Isaiah 43:2…..and remember also….it is satan who wants to destroy us…to make us utterly ineffective for the Lord……but He that is within us is Greater…..than anything the world, our past, our present or worry of our future…. can throw at us.

    Dear Jesus…

    I lift these women to You. Pour down Your loving grace and mercy right now. Envelope them in Your loving peace and lift that wicked spirit of depression from them. Lord, fill them with Your power to come against satan ….in this vicious battle. We know You do not give us a spirit of fear nor a spirit of defeat. Work in their lives as they seek Your face.

    In Jesus Name…..

  • sharon says:

    thank you

  • JudyD says:

    Thank you, Dr. Muriel for todays devotional.

    Denise and Pat, I am praying for you.
    I can relate to you. I am a stroke surivor and as a result, serotonin is not released in the brain anymore, so I take an anti-depressant which helps the serotonin to release. I also eat a banana each morning and I work out.

    Working out helps the body release serotonin. If you are not working out, you need to start a work out schedule.

    Also, do a search about foods and serotonin (actually tryptophan). There are certain foods which help with the serotonin. Banana is one of them.

    I am also post menopausal. The top 3 side effects for it are the same top three side effects for being a stroke survivor. I had a double whammy. Yeah, I guess you could say I know what I am talking about. It is part of my life.

    Advice I told myself is:
    Pray as though it depends upon God and work as though it depends upon you. Even doing all of this, some days are harder than others. However, through it all the one scripture verse which came to my mind is Proverbs 3: 5 & 6.
    (My memory was taken and so my memorized verses were gone, except for this one.)
    Also, find a friend—a prayer partner—who can pray for you, as well as, you being able to pray for her.
    Yes, and have a daily time with the Lord—reading scripture and praying.

    Blessings, Judy

  • Pat says:

    Denise, I am right there with you. I can’t seem to quit having these bad feelings, just when I think everything is ok , in creeps these bad thoughts , doubts and fears. I know that it is Satan, and I am trying hard to resist him , by keeping busy as I can, but I am worn out!!! My pastor told me that I need to rest in Jesus, just let him take over and rest my thoughts and mind in him.. God has not given us a spirit of fear and doubts but of love and self control, so I am trying to think of good things and not bad. I will be praying for you and I hope you will pray for me also and anyone else out there that has these same problems.

  • Denise says:

    I really, really, needed this devotional this morning, thank you.

    So much of this spoke to me and is exactly where I am in my life. I absolutely hate where I am in my life and want desperately to change it.

    I feel like I am a slave to my emotions and I feel like I have no control over this.

    There are things I want to do, get out of the house, doctor appts, church, and if I’m not emotionally together, I can’t do these things. I HATE that I have to practically stop and evaluate my emotions before I can do something. Who ever does this? Why should I have to do this?

    I go to church regularly and I do fine, but sometimes my emotions can spike down at any point without warning and I fight with holding in tears which usually leads to a panic attack.

    I absolutely feel like I am being held a prisoner by my emotions some days. I try to keep everything upbeat, positive, wear that mask as tight as I can, but sometimes that mask starts to crack.

    I know this, “We have a powerful enemy: Satan. Peter said that Satan prowls around like a hungry lion, looking for some victim to devour. (l Peter 5:8).” and I feel like he has me in the clutches of his jaw at times.

    I am 50, post menopausal, cancer survivor and have dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts probably my entire life. I DON’T WANT TO BE REMEMBERED BY THESE LABELS!

    And after shouting that in caps, I am struggling with tears, sigh.

    I try to drown myself in God’s Word, see a Christian therapist and live a Christian life and be as totally normal and functioning as I can be.

    The Bible says we need to die to ourself. HOW DO I DO THAT!!! How do I kill off this awful person that I am and become a new creation in Christ.

    I feel like I have been living in this vicious cycle so long that I can’t break out of it.

    If any here have been where I am and have been able to break out of this, please help me to know what to do.

    I hate this, “Much of the depression and distress we may feel springs from self-consciousness and self-interest” but it is true. I try to put everyone in my family before me. I want to serve them and bless them and let them know how special they are. I try to fill up my mind with “good” things, books, hobbies, movies, but hardly a day goes by that these emotions won’t grab a hold of me and make me break.

    Why did God make us women such emotional creatures. It feels like it’s something Satan grabs a hold of and tries to destroy us with. He tries to make us as ineffective for God’s Kingdom as he can. Every day feels like a battle field.

    Sorry to vent so much. This devotional came on the right day for me. I am on antidepressants, I saw my doctor yesterday and basically, that’s all they can do from their end. The rest is up to me. I feel defeated but all I kept thinking about yesterday and last night was God can fix this, how can I give this to Him to fix. This has been so much on my mind and then to have this devotional this morning…,

    It’s got to get better, I just don’t know how to take the next step.

    Denise

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