A Biblical View of Emotions
Emotions are mostly involuntary, organic bodily responses. How we think and how we act result in emotions. Conscious thoughts and behaviors, as well as unconscious habit patterns, result in emotions. The positive emotions of love, joy, peace, contentment can be a wonderful human experience, whereas the negative emotions of unrighteous anger, bitterness, jealousy and sadness can lead to great tribulation.
One of the first stories in the bible is of Cain’s offering not being accepted by God, so he became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?” (Genesis 4:5-7). God was showing that Cain had the choice of changing his thinking and his behavior. If he did well his emotions would follow and he would feel good.
David talked to himself in Psalm 42 to encourage himself, to change his focus from his despair to the goodness of God and to the help of His presence, the help of David’s countenance. David makes an effort to redirect his thoughts to hope in God. When his thoughts are redirected he is no longer in despair and his countenance is lifted up.
When a believer is obedient to God and His word, there is contentment and the believer will always feel good about themselves and where they are at. Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). But there will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil (Romans 2:9). If we practice sin there are multiple consequences, one of which is distress in the emotions.
We have the power of choice. We need to take responsibility for wrong emotions, admit them, and ask God for forgiveness. We need to submit to the power of the Holy Spirit and the word of God and be careful to apply what we have learned.