Emotion vs FaithBy Pastor Boffey on Sunday, March 13, 2016.
Emotion v. Faith 1. emotion: Psychology. A mental ‘feeling’ or ‘affection’ (e.g. of pleasure or pain, desire or aversion, surprise, hope or fear, etc.), as distinguished from cognitive (of or pertaining to the action or process of knowing) or volitional (pertaining or relating to the action of willing) states of consciousness. 2. faith: Belief, trust, confidence. Confidence, reliance, trust (in the ability, goodness, etc. of a person; in the efficacy or worth of a thing; or in the truth of a statement or doctrine). A. We are to believe truth and not to believe error. 1JO 4:1-6. B. Therefore, Biblical faith requires the usage of one's reason and critical faculties to discern the truth that one is to believe. (1) Reason is compatible with faith. (2) Paul reasoned out of the Scriptures in an effort to persuade men to believe that Jesus is the Christ. ACT 17:2-4; 18:4. (3) Those who have no faith are unreasonable. 2TH 3:2. 3. Here are some human emotions mentioned in Scripture. A. joy: A vivid emotion of pleasure arising from a sense of well-being or satisfaction; the feeling or state of being highly pleased or delighted; exultation of spirit; gladness; delight. B. pleasure: The condition of consciousness or sensation induced by the enjoyment or anticipation of what is felt or viewed as good or desirable; enjoyment, delight, gratification. The opposite of pain. C. love: That disposition or state of feeling with regard to a person which (arising from recognition of attractive qualities, from instincts of natural relationship, or from sympathy) manifests itself in solicitude for the welfare of the object, and usually also in delight in his presence and desire for his approval; warm affection, attachment. D. anger: The active feeling provoked against the agent; passion, rage; wrath, ire, hot displeasure. E. hatred: The condition or state of relations in which one person hates another; the emotion or feeling of hate; active dislike, detestation; enmity, ill-will, malevolence. F. envy: Malignant or hostile feeling; ill-will, malice, enmity; The feeling of mortification and ill-will occasioned by the contemplation of superior advantages possessed by another. G. fear: The emotion of pain or uneasiness caused by the sense of impending danger, or by the prospect of some possible evil. 4. Emotions may be good or bad depending upon how they are directed. GAL 4:16-18. A. The Greek word translated “zealously affect(ed)” is zeloo (SRN # 2206) and means to have warmth of feeling for or against. B. There were false teachers in Galatia that were manipulating the emotions of the Galatians toward them and away from the truth. C. Love may be bad if it is fixed on the wrong object. 1JO 2:15; REV 22:15. D. There is joy that is evil. ACT 7:41; HEB 11:25. E. The fear of God is good but the fear of man is not. ISA 8:12-13. F. Hatred of one’s brother is evil but hatred of evil is good. 1JO 2:11; PSA 97:10. G. Envy is a form of hatred that is always evil because of the direction of the feeling of ill- will. 5. When emotions dominate, be they positive or negative, they obstruct the exercise of rational faith. A. When the resurrected Jesus appeared to His disciples, the emotions of fear and of joy interfered with their believing what they saw. LUK 24:36-41. (1) terrify: To make much afraid, to fill with terror (intense fear), to frighten or alarm Emotion v. Faith Page 1 of 3 greatly. (2) affright: To frighten, to terrify. (3) wonder: v. To feel or be affected with wonder (the emotion excited by the perception of something novel and unexpected, or inexplicable; astonishment mingled with perplexity or bewildered curiosity). B. The fool, who is NOT rational, is characterized by uncontrolled anger. PRO 12:16; 14:17; ECC 7:9. C. When the disciples were full of fear because of the storm, they had NO FAITH. MAR 4:35-40. D. You know from experience how difficult it is to focus the mind when under the pressure of emotion. E. Therefore, expect Satan to try to stir the emotions to interfere with faith, especially considering that Satan is resisted in the faith. 1PE 5:8-9; EPH 6:16. 6. Uncontrolled emotion leaves one vulnerable to attack. PRO 25:28. 7. Uncontrolled emotion is inordinate affection and should be mortified. COL 3:5-6. A. inordinate: Not 'ordered.' ; devoid of order or regularity; deviating from right or rule; irregular, disorderly; not regulated, controlled, or restrained. B. mortified: In religious use, or persons, their actions or occupations: Dead to sin or the world; having the appetites and passions in subjection; ascetic. 8. In A. Faith is the antidote to being overwhelmed with sorrow over death. 1TH 4:13-14. B. Trust in the Lord (faith) is contrasted with the fear of man. PRO 29:25. C. ISA 7:9 says, “...If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.” (1) Isaiah spoke these words to Ahaz, the king of Judah, when his heart was moved with fear. ISA 7:2. a. Ahaz was blown over by the bad news. b. The emotion of fear had the upper hand. (2) Isaiah exhorted Ahaz, “...Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted...” (ISA7:4). (3) Without faith, Ahaz would not be established. a. establish: To render stable or firm. To confirm, settle (what is weak or wavering); to give calmness or steadiness to (the mind). To calm (anger). b. Believing, Ahaz would be able to heed the counsel of v. 4. D. Trust in the Lord (faith) is commanded over against envy and anger in PSA 37:1-8. If these emotions are not checked, they will consume the person and drive him to do evil. 9. Consider Christian love. A. It is defined as keeping the commandments of God. 1JO 5:2-3. B. If we do not keep the commandments of Christ, we do not love Him no matter how much we may feel like we do. JOH 14:21, 24. C. Christian love is love with faith in the truth. EPH 6:23; 2JO 1:1-2. 10. Consider the emotion of joy or pleasure. A. The joy that is a fruit of the Spirit comes through believing the word of God. GAL 5:22; ACT 13:48, 52; ROM 15:13. (1) The word of God is the believer’s joy. PSA 119:111, 162; JER 15:16. (2) NOTE: This is not joy alone or joy for the sake of joy. It is joy inseparably connected with the word of God. (3) This joy of the Lord is the believer’s strength. NEH 8:10. (4) Therefore, Satan will try to substitute this joy with carnal pleasure so as to weaken Scripture faith is placed in contrast to emotions. Emotion v. Faith Page 2 of 3 and nullify our faith. B. The pleasures of this life can choke the word of God. LUK 8:14. C. Those who have pleasure in unrighteousness believe not the truth (2TH 2:12). They would rather feel good even if it is something wrong! D. Satan succeeded in getting Eve to focus on the pleasure that the forbidden fruit offered and thus drew her into transgressing the word of God. GEN 3:6. E. A characteristic of perilous times is men loving pleasures more than God. 2TI 3:1, 4-5. (1) Men will love what they feel more than they love God. (2) And these will be religious people! (3) They are not experiencing the power of godliness, they are denying it. a. The power of godliness is NOT emotion. b. The power of godliness is the word of God effectually working in the believer! 1TH 2:13; ACT 20:32. 11. Music powerfully influences emotions. A. Music can drown out the consideration of God’s works and leave the soul in ignorance. ISA 5:12-13. B. Many have made a religion out of music instead of truth. C. Satan’s church is very musical. REV 18:21-22. D. The music of God’s church is the handmaid of truth. COL 3:16; 1CO 14:15. 12. Here then is the challenge to the believer: A. Seek wisdom and understanding foremost rather than pursuing feelings. PRO 4:7. (1) It is in wisdom and spiritual understanding that we know the will of God, NOT in feelings. COL 1:9-10 c/w DEU 4:6 & PSA 119:104. (2) Value what you know above what you feel. PRO 8:10-11. (3) This is a guard against being led away by the powerful emotions of sex. PRO 7; 5:1-3. (4) This is a guard against being led away by evil men, who will lead you into positive, but perverse emotional experiences. PRO 2:10-15. B. Guide your heart, the seat of the emotions, rather than letting your heart guide you. PRO 23:19; 4:23. C. Do not trust in emotions. PRO 28:26. D. Do not get stuck in emotions, as they will distract you from the Lord. 1CO 7:29-32. E. Rather than letting emotions control your faith, let your faith control your emotions! F. Seek to do the will of God rather than your own pleasure and you will find pleasure in the Lord. ISA58:13-14. Emotion v. 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