Yesterday's broadcast of Ravi Zacharias's "Just Thinking" was excellent. So excellent that I decided to put a link here for your enjoyment. It is about the need for us as Christians to inform our emotions. Why? Because emotions fluctuate daily, for some of us hourly. Sometimes we feel the Lord's presence and respond with joy, and other times--we don't feel anything. And while a religion that does not manifest itself in the emotions in any way is likely not genuine, a religion that is founded on emotions alone will quickly collapse, for it rests on sinking sands.
This is an area that I personally struggle with, as my personality is one that is apt to grow melancholy or gloomy surprisingly frequently. Ravi reminds us that while "feelings are a vital part of our being" we must always "condition them and bring to them information". So while we may be predisposed to feel a certain way by personality or even circumstance--we have no excuse. We must as Martyn Lloyd-Jones prescribes: "take ourselves in hand" and remind ourselves, preach to ourselves, gospel truth every day. Just as David does in Psalm 42 when he asks himself: "Why are you downcast, Oh my soul?" Why are you feeling depressed and downtrodden? Why are you anxious? Why are you so distracted? He then informs his wayward emotions with the truth: "Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."
The final application from Ravi in this part 2 of his message is something that may not be as popular: the recovery of the "early morning hours with God." He says, "The surge of emotion is going to storm you every day...the only way I know of to face it is to prepare this heart first thing in the morning to face the day." This I know is sound advice for every Christian, both weak and strong. If we can reprogram our hearts before the day starts, before the onslaughts of activity, before the chaos that follows--it only figures that we will be more prepared to deal with it. As Ravi concludes:
"Seek him early, because feelings will betray you; it is information that will carry you."