Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series, where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand how faith and trust stabilize the emotions.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Faith and Trust
"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him: and he shall bring it to pass." Psalms, Chapter 37, Verse 5
Brothers and sisters, we know that spiritual faith and trust are related and that they function together. Indeed, faith is not able to function without trust, and vice versa. Being material creatures and subject to the ups and downs of mortal living, we often become severely stressed in our material and moral affairs. And always does this create a negative emotional reaction. While sometimes these emotional reactions may not knock us off our perch of faith and trust in the Father, they does obscure it. What are the steps that we can take to remove the damage to our faith and trust in the presence of strong negative emotional reactions?
We know that emotional reactions reflect how we are feeling about something. We also know that our emotional reactions are constantly changing along with the ups and downs of life--one day happy, the next day sad. And when events are prolonged that create negative emotions, our faith and trust are sorely tested. This is in light of our knowledge of the Father and in light of our desire to become perfect even as he is perfect. We sometimes have difficulty believing that emotional reactions are not accurate barometers of our desire to do the Father’’s will.
Emotions are a part of being human. They give a tint of reality to what we are experiencing. Without emotions, life would be dull or gray. It is true that there would be no reactions of sorrow but equally true that there would be no reactions of joy either. Our ““transient and ever-changing emotions of joy and sorrow are in the main purely human and material reactions to our internal psychic climate and to our external material environment.”” Thus emotions of joy or sorrow can be triggered by what’’s inside of us as well as what’’s going on in our environments.
Like all Fathers, the heavenly Father knows that our emotional reactions are transient. He recognizes that they exist, but no undue concern is placed on them. We will continue to have many positive and negative emotional reactions to our experiences.
How do we manage our emotions so that they do not derail us? It is also helpful to remember that experiences and emotions are not the same thing. One is cause and the other is effect. Just as all experiences have a beginning and an end, and do the emotional reactions to those experiences have a beginning and an end. Therefore we must not allow emotional reactions to influence the decisions we make, especially moral and spiritual decisions. Our decisions should always be based on the highest level of understanding and wisdom that we possess. This is always to choose the Father’’s will.
As much as possible, we should shift our focus from what is provoking us emotionally to some other area. This will allow the emotions to subside and for reason to emerge. At a given time in our lives and at a given level of maturity, we cannot help the way we feel, but our experiences have taught us that as we have gotten more mature and more experienced some emotional reactions of former days do not incite the same emotional reactions to similar experiences that we experience now. And even though some emotional experiences will always be with us because we’’re human, we can look forward to ever mastering those emotions so that they play less and less of a role in our decision making.
Our emotions cannot derail our desire to do the Father’’s will unless we allow them to cause us to make decisions we know are not right. We must always submit our will to the Father’’s will at such times. And though we can’’t help but hope to be delivered from our difficulties, we should not allow the desire for deliverance to shake our faith and trust in the Father’’s goodness. The Father has a plan for our lives that include our experiences. These experiences conceal essential meanings and values that are necessary for our growth and achievement of divine spiritual perfection.
By exerting our desire to trust and have faith in the Father when these negative emotions emerge, we submit them to the Father’’s will; although they are still present, they are subordinated to reason, understanding, and wisdom. And even though the experiences may be protracted, we must continue to seek the Father’’s will, even though the material mind may remain skeptical as to the effectiveness of such a practice. But remember: our seeking the Father’’s will is not to eliminate the emotional reaction but to insure that it remains subordinated to our highest level of understanding and wisdom.
Protracted, negative experiences are hard to deal with. Still, we must have faith in the power of our desire to trust the Father. We must continue to seek the Father’’s will, especially during those times when the emotions seems overwhelming and we feel an urge to force solutions, to do something to relieve the emotional pain. We must continue to seek the Father’’s will during those sleepless nights. And we must seek to know the Father’’s will when patience is the only thing that understanding and wisdom instructs us to exercise.
And our trust in the Father is the guarantee that we will master the experience, and the negative emotions will subside. We will grasp the divine values and meanings concealed in the experience. We will move one step closer to knowing the Father, and thus one step closer to becoming like him. We must continue to exercise faith and trust in the Father’’s plan for our lives. Without faith and trust, the whole plan becomes derailed. We must remember that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Despite what the material environment or the internal environment might portray, our souls continue to experience the goodness of the Father’’s love. Our faith and trust overcome the doubting of the material mind, which is skeptical of spiritual reality. We exert our spiritual consciousness as supreme over the material consciousness.
We must watch and pray for sometimes out of the blue, like a tornado, we can be caught up in an overwhelming experience with such devastating emotional reactions that we could lose our spiritual footing temporarily. And while we can’’t go around all day consciously seeking the Father’’s will, we can display the attitude of seeking his will. We can stop momentarily and seek the best way to handle the sudden experience that has come upon us with such devastating emotional consequence. We can pray for strength and grace to sustain us as we make our way through the experience. We can pray for the power to trust and exercise faith in the Father. We can maintain an attitude of eventual conquest of the experience and the emotional reactions to it. With faith and trust, we can claim the victory. We must remember that with the Father all things are possible according to his will. And this is "the victory which overcomes the world, even your faith."
This concludes today's message on understanding how faith and trust stabilizes the emotions. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.