Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
— Philippians 1:27 (NIV)
I know people who have been sick for an extended period of time and have the most beautiful attitudes. They never complain, are not grouchy, don’t act as if the world owes them something, and they don’t blame God or even feel sorry for themselves. But I also know people with the same circumstances who talk only about their illnesses, medical appointments, and how hard it all is for them. They are easily offended, bitter, and resentful. Every situation in life requires making a decision about how we are going to respond, and if we respond the way God would, then our trials will be much easier to handle.
Perhaps you have never thought about how important it is to manage your emotions during the tougher times. Most of us think, I can’t help how I act right now; I am having a hard time, and that is all there is to it. That is a normal human reaction, but with God on our side helping us, we don’t have to behave the way a “normal” person would. Satan is our enemy, and his goal is to get us so emotionally rattled that we say things that will provide him with an opening into our lives. Or he hopes we will make unwise decisions during painful times and create messes that we will have to deal with for a long, long time afterward.
I have believed for years that if I can hold my tongue and remain emotionally stable during times of difficulty, then I am honoring God and letting the devil know he is not going to control me. I’m not always successful, but I’m certainly a lot better than I once was. As I often say, “I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.” I am still growing, but at least I’ve learned the importance of managing my emotions. There is no doubt it is more difficult to manage your emotions when you’re sick or going through a crisis, but hopefully you are learning it is possible.
Prayer Starter: Lord Jesus, I don’t want my circumstances to defeat me. Help me to manage my emotions. Help me trust You and know that your grace is sufficient to meet all of my needs, amen.