I often feel bad about myself. How can God help me to feel better?
You can choose to dump your upsetting feelings, if you decide to relinquish control of yourself to God and not allow emotions to ever bully you again. Would you change the way you live if you knew every word and thought you ever had would be examined by God? They really are you know, and even though this is a very simplistic method of evaluation, the change in perspective makes all the difference Ė analysis becomes much more manageable. Feelings can be about many things, both good and bad, but actions are feelings given permission to progress into real behaviors and decisions. (Psalm 19:14)
Itís in the acting out of our feelings that we often get into trouble. David feared his darker nature and asked God to cleanse him and to keep him from deliberate sin. (Psalm 19:12-13)
It really is a matter of indulgence. If we stay as close to Jesus as a branch to a vine, (John 15:5), and remain in His love, (John 15:9), we just naturally wish to obey Him, (John 15:10), instead of indulging in our own smallness.
When we think of the law, we might tend to think of something that keeps us from having fun, but the opposite is true Ė Godís laws revive us, make us wise, bring joy to the heart, give insight, warn us, and reward us. (Psalm 19:7-11). Godís laws guide and light our path, rather than hinder or withhold anything and when we follow directions from His Word, we need never fear our own actions.
There are desires, like lust and greed, that tempt us with immediate gratification, but there is no true peace or joy in them. Jesus advised his disciples to keep alert and pray so that they could overcome temptations. (Matthew 26:40-41)
What do you desire in your "heart of hearts" Ė manís ways or Godís ways? (Romans 8:15-17) Christian living is not always easy, (Romans 8:22-23), but we also know that we can trust the outcome when our lives are in Godís love and will. (Romans 8:28-30)
God works in everything, not just isolated incidents. Your feelings belong to Him just as you do. Give all of yourself, including disturbing feelings, over to your loving Father and donít do anything independent of His perfect will. He wants to help you, but He definitely wants you to ask Him to and then trust Him. He may not always make you "happy", but His love is sufficient for you. (I Corinthians 13:4, 7-8)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. Trust Him to do what He promises in His Word. Leave self-will at His feet and arise a vessel of His love. Your feelings will become more about others rather than yourself as you proceed to fulfill His Will for your life. (By the way - You'll get much more out of these answers if you actually look up the Bible references for yourself.)
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