INSIGHTS FROM JOHN 12:27-28A AND JOHN 14:1-4 AND JOHN 14:25-27
List of Human Emotions: "Did you know that Christ was troubled and in emotional turmoil?" He was. Notice what He said on one occasion:
Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I came to this hour… Father, glorify Thy name. (John 12:27-28a, NASB95)
What does it mean to be troubled? In our list of human emotions we find that the Greek word trouble means to "stir up, disturb, unsettle, throw into confusion, or
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How to Cure Emotions in Turmoil
agitate.” Have the difficulties and circumstances of life replaced your peace with agitated, disturbed, and confused emotions? Jesus also had to face such difficulties. It is therefore most important to see how Jesus dealt with His list of human emotions, since in Him you have the perfect model for handling all your problems.
Jesus was about to go to the cross. He was sent by the Father to that end. His hour had come. He stared death in the face, and His soul was troubled. He asked Himself this question: "Shall I quit?" His exact words were, "...what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour…” (John 12:27, NASB95). Do you ask similar questions in the midst of your problems? Do you want to quit, perhaps get a divorce, or maybe -- commit suicide? Is your soul heavy with grief or discouragement or fear? Do you have a sense of worthlessness about yourself? Have you suffered a medical tragedy or had trouble with your job? Are important relationships in your life failing? As you can see, there are many temptations to quit; Christ faced them, too.
Obviously, if Jesus was troubled, it is not a sin to experience emotional turmoil and to have a list of human emotions. But you will sin if you do not do something about it. If you constantly experience emotional turmoil and that becomes the pattern of
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your life, and you don’t find God’s solution, that is a sin. It tells others that God and His Bible have nothing that can help or bring peace at critical times. But that idea is contrary to the whole of Scripture. It simply is not true.
What was Christ’s solution to His own list of human emotions?
The first, He said "No" to quitting (John 12:27). God's directions and solution are never found in quitting or going your own way. Such action exacerbates and intensifies the problem. He did not quit, and you must not either.
The second, He restated His mission: "... for this purpose I came to this hour (John 12:27, NASB95).” Christ was born with a mission. It was to die on a cross for the sins of His children. What is your mission? You have one, of course. We all have one basic mission: "to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” Are you glorifying God in this problem? Are you enjoying the intimacy of your relationship with Him at this difficult time in your life? You must do both. Your very mission from God, your purpose for existing, is defined in that phrase, “to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” You will have other obligations of course. They may be that of mother, or wife, or employee, or neighbor. You will have several, but none can be properly fulfilled if you are not first glorifying God and enjoying Him.
Third, notice how perceived reality produced emotional turmoil in Christ’s life. What reality was that? It was the reality of His coming death. Since Christ was not only fully God, but also fully man, what desires do you think He had at this time? If you were in such a predicament, would it be the desire to live? Yes, of course it would. So here we have reality and desires in conflict. The reality was His coming death, the desire was to live and not die. In any list of human emotions, reality and desire in conflict produce turmoil.
How did He resolve this conflict, and experience the peace that God had for Him? He said: "...it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name” (John 12: 27-28, NASB95). He restated His mission from God. And then He did this: He embraced a new reality, and a new desire formed. His new reality was, "for this very reason I came to this hour” (John 12:27, NASB95). The new desire was to glorify God’s name (John 12:28, NASB95). These were the thoughts He now embraced; these thoughts became central to His mind. He sustained these new thoughts with intensity, and therefore, His troubled soul was comforted. His emotions were brought under control; the turmoil subsided.
He could have focused continuously on the reality of His death and His desire to live. He could have thought about the sin that was about to be laid on Him. He could have thought about the coming separation from the Father caused by this sin. But those thoughts would not have solved the problem. Perhaps that is what you are doing, continually focusing on the problem. Instead, Christ chose to think another way, to accept another reality. He reminded Himself that He had come to die. In accepting that as God’s will, a new and greater desire swelled up in His breast. He no longer desired to simply satisfy His physical wishes for life. The desire to glorify the Father overcame all this. When that happened, the old thoughts that produced the trouble of soul dissipated. In their place settled the peace of God.
But let us take a step back for a minute and define some of our terms. Let’s build our understanding of emotions from scratch, and see if you can apply Christ’s example to your problems.
List of Human Emotions - I need Definitions!
What are feelings? The word ‘feel’ is rather ill-defined and can have opposite meanings. For instance, it can mean think as in, “I feel we should go see grandmother this week.” Or it can mean emote, the verb form of the noun emotion. "I feel angry at the way that man talked to us.” So which way are we using it here? To feel hurt refers to emotions. That is the way we use it here, as a synonym for emotion.
This brings us to the question: “What are emotions?” To properly answer that, we must note the area of our lives in which emotions are experienced. Words, which represent emotions, as one definition says, "for the most part employ terms for body parts in the viscera (the gut). This is, of course, the result of reactions of the so-called sympathetic nervous system.” In other words, when you experience fear your “sympathetic nervous system” responds in such a way that your body reacts. You get a knot in your stomach, your heart beats faster, your eyes widen, etc. This is a critical point that you should not miss. Emotions are bodily reactions to those things that you deem to be good or bad. Bad reactions produce bad emotions; good reactions produce good emotions.
Next you might ask, "Reactions to what?” In confronting that question we come to the point of a full definition of emotions. Consider this definition, emotion "is the momentary (acute) and ongoing (chronic, continuous) disturbance within the mind (soul, spirit) caused by the discrepancy between perceived reality and one’s desires.” As indicated, this produces reactions in the body. So emotions originate in the mind, but are evidenced in the body. This is a critical point; in other words, you feel the way you feel because you think the way you think.
List of Human Emotions - Reality
Now let us consider "perceived reality.” "Perceived reality indicates reality as the individual sees it. 'True’ reality may be different, but a person reacts according to his interpretation of reality until someone or something corrects his distortion.” Of course, perceived reality may be true reality as well.
List of Human Emotions - Desires
Next, we must consider "desire.” "Desires encompass all those things in life that we hope for, a vast array ranging from the trivial to the profound.” Our desires need to be either changed or managed to resolve the conflict between reality, true or perceived, and our desires.
As we study the list of human emotions we see that we all share in the problems they create.