Emotions aren’t always logical. We think we “should” feel certain ways, but how many of us get frustrated because we can’t seem to control what our heart is doing?
“Nooooo! Something must be wrong because I keep feeling this way.”
“Where is my faith? Why am I afraid all the time?”
“Why do I feel this way? How come I can’t just trust God?”
Do you get upset with your heart for feeling the “wrong” things?
When we meet Jesus and are saved, there is a process of getting to know God better. Many times we have trouble connecting heart-to-heart with the Father because of childhood father wounds. If our natural father was distant, self-focused, or abusive, we will automatically see Father God the same way. Our mind knows He’s there, and we have a mental understanding of Him, but our heart has made assumptions about Him that aren’t true.
Many of our negative emotions come from that place of projecting our understanding of “This is what a father is like” onto God. Our mind understands He is good and loves us, but our heart might be saying, “He doesn’t really love me. I’m not good enough for Him. He is going to punish me if I make mistakes. He won’t be there for me when I need Him to be.”
Emotions are like the check engine light coming on in a car. Negative emotions are the indicator of a heart problem—not the cause. Sticking a piece of duct tape over the check engine light cannot deal with the problem!
When our mind and heart don’t agree, that’s where we often feel strong emotions. The heart needs to come into agreement with the truth. Knowledge is important, but knowledge just frustrates us if it doesn’t get to the heart. The key is to have a heart understanding.
How Emotional Messages Work
The heart is one area where we can easily react in fear and try to punish ourselves. We know what the Bible says, and we might even be pursuing healing, but the temptation to dismiss or rebuke our heart is still there.
“How dare you feel this way! You better behave, or I will shut you down!”
But in those moments when we are tempted to react and cut ourselves off from our heart, we need to remember there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Rom. 8:1). That includes our heart and everything it might be feeling in the aftermath of childhood wounds. We don’t need to punish our heart for feeling things we don’t approve of or want to feel, like anger, fear, worry, jealousy, lust, etc.
Emotions are messengers that often let us know, “Hey, you have pain here.” When we allow ourselves to feel, we find out where we are hurting. Our very “adult” emotions can tell us where we were wounded as children.
Lies Produce Pain
Here’s an example of how this works. Let’s say your dad didn’t have time for you when you were a child. Consequently, your young heart started to believe, “This is what dads are like, so God must not have time for me either.”
That kind of lie can produce some heavy, painful emotions that hobble you as an adult. You could struggle with fear, anger, resentment, loneliness, lack of trust, apathy, etc. Your mind might know the truth about God the Father—that He loves you and will always have time for you—but your heart is going, “Dads don’t have time for me.”
Your heart needs to understand, “God the Father is different than my natural dad. He loves me, and He will always have time for me.”
As another example, maybe your parents never listened to your ideas when you were a child. They dismissed your creativity and the joyful games your heart was playing, and so you started to believe, “My ideas must be bad. I don’t have any good ideas to offer people.”
The Lord could be saying, “I have put abundant creativity inside you,” but your heart is saying, “I have nothing to offer. My ideas are bad.” That is an obviously painful disagreement between the truth—that God made you wonderfully creative—and your heart, which doesn’t believe it. The result of this disagreement could be feelings of self-rejection, lack of purpose, lack of identity, anger, etc.
Going to God for Help
Our culture elevates logic and reason, but this doesn’t work with the heart. Frustration happens because we can’t get our heart to follow the logical path our mind has laid out for it.
The heart is so profound, but it can be wounded, and out of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt. 12:34).
“God won’t be there when I need Him.”
“I can’t trust the Lord to help me.”
“I have to protect myself because God isn’t going to do it.”
“God won’t listen to me.”
All these things come from heart wounds. The vows we make to self-protect and the lies we believe about God or how He made us are proof of wounds in the heart. The mind might know the truth, but the heart does not.
You don’t ever need to be ashamed of your heart or what you are feeling, because Jesus knows. You can be 100 percent truthful with Him about your emotions, and He will not judge you or reject you for them. He will only help. As our High Priest, Jesus can sympathize perfectly with our emotions (Heb. 4:15–16).
What all of us need is for the wounded places in our heart to be healed. Instead of only glorifying head knowledge, we need to let our heart realize the truth for itself and connect with God the Father, who is truly good and loves our heart more than we can possibly understand.
You don’t need to stay stuck in negative emotions or any kind of holding pattern that isn’t bringing you life. It really is possible to overcome the pain that is trying to keep you trapped. If you want to take a deep dive into heart healing, check out our online schools and give your heart a great opportunity to discover the truth about God.
Click here to check out the Elijah House School of Heart Healing.