Emotional Victory by Faith in Christ
Many Christians have been told that the Christian life is a joyous and content life where God gives us the strength to live and takes care of all of our needs. While this is true, the reality is that we live in a fallen, sin-filled world, and we were also told that we would have to endure trials, experiencing pain, suffering, and disappointments. Many times, when Christians experience trials and distress, there can be a tendency to despair, for some, even fall into depressions and anxieties. King David, Abraham, Moses, and almost every other biblical character suffered some level of disappointment or even deep despair. However, for the Christian, there is a way to gain victory over mental anguish and emotional despair. We must obtain a whole picture of what Scripture promises, both good promises as well as the recognition of disappointments. If we are to experience emotional victory amid trials, we need a firm understanding of the expectations we should have.
While we could give something like five easy steps, or seven contemplations to a healthy emotional state, let it instead be said that there is only a single step that needs to be taken that step is trusting in Christ. Of course, one may now ask, how do I do that. It’s a good question, and the answer starts with knowing what the Bible teaches. It was through the word of God and prayer in those dark times that Charles Spurgeon saw his Lord break through the dark clouds of his depression. He knew the Bible, he had a life of prayer, and he trusted in the Lord.
One thing that might help give some perspective as well as to ease the frustration of mental anguish is to know and truly believe that God is sovereign. He is truly in control, and because of that, we can have the assurance that for those who belong to Him, He will work all things for their good and His glory. To illustrate this truth, let’s take a quick look at Job.
Job experienced some fairly extreme conditions. In Chapter one and verses thirteen through twenty-two, it gets pretty intense. We are first told about Job’s righteousness, how there was none like him in all of the land. He was a man of character and who feared God. Eventually, Satan is allowed to test Job, and here enters a hardship like many of us will never experience. First, a messenger comes to tell Job that the Sabeans attacked and stole all of his livestock and then killed his servants with them. Next, before that servant can finish, another comes and tells him that fire fell from heaven and burned up all of his sheep and killed the servants with them. Then another comes to say to him that raiders have stolen his camels and killed those servants, and then the last straw, a great wind, comes and causes the house to fall on all of his children and they are killed.
Hit the pause button here. This man, who was considered righteous and God-fearing, by God Himself, has just, in the last few minutes, had his entire world turned upside down. Just imagine for a moment if you lost your Job, your Children, your life savings, and from an earthly perspective lost any hope for a future. At that moment, there would be an understandable temptation to enter into a great depression, and many have. What does all of this have to do with an emotional victory? Look next at Job’s response, “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” This is the answer to victory. Job recognized that God in His infinite goodness has everything under control, that somehow this is what was best. He acknowledges that God gives and sometimes takes away and chooses to worship God with a grateful heart. It was Job’s assurance that “God’s got this” that got him through the trials. It got much worse for Job for a season as he even lost his own health, but in all of this horrific loss, Job never sinned, and never blamed God and here is the ending result of His faith in God, “The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning…” (Job 42:12a) Everything was restored to Job, more abundantly than what he had before, he had remained faithful and could do so because he knew that God was in full control and would work things out for his good and God’s glory. That is our big “step” to take. That’s the key for us too. If you want to have victory of emotional trials we must focus on the fact that God is in control and have faith in that He will work things out for our good and His glory and when everything is said and done, we too, like Job, can look back and see how God did a good work in our lives.