The Battle for Your Emotions: Healing Your Damaged Emotions


In the previous section we tackled the sensitive but popular discussion of anxiety and depression. There is a very good chance that either you or someone you know is engaged in this battle, seemingly without hope.

If so, you surely have asked this question often: What can be done about it?

I sure wish I could wave a magic wand and take it all away, but I can’t. Neither can anyone else. However, there is something that can be done. The future is not quite as bleak as it may seem at times.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take another look at the verse we discussed in the previous section.

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25 NKJV)

Anxiety drags down your heart and causes depression. However, the opposite can also happen. The heart can be made glad. Yes, there is hope!

OK, I know what you are thinking. This sounds good, but how do you offer a “good word” to make your heart glad?

This is where the battle for your mind comes in. You have to tell your mind some things that it doesn’t necessarily want to believe. You have to make some changes in your thought process.

Let’s look at some of these changes.

#1 – Change the way you evaluate circumstances

Your mind probably gets weighted down with the problems of life. The problems, however, are not the issue. Everyone has problems. How you deal with them is what is important.

Have you ever watched television after a tornado swept through a town and completely destroyed four or five blocks of houses? When possible, the reporters interview people who have lost everything they own. You would think that they would all be uncontrollably distraught. While many are, some gratefully proclaim, “Thank God that my family is still alive” and move ahead with plans to rebuild.

Same issue, different response. It all depends on how you look at the situation.

Maybe your anxiety has nothing to do with losing your house to a tornado. Maybe you fear what someone may do to you or say about you. Or it might be that you are concerned about what other people think.

Does it really matter what people think?

David found a way to put those fears to rest. He announced that “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me” (Psalms 56:11 KJV).

Are you afraid of a difficult circumstance in which you currently find yourself? Or do you fear that you may have to experience one in the future? God has that one covered too.

[A good man] shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. (Psalms 112:7 KJV)

If you are trusting in the Lord, your heart is “fixed” or “established.” It does not waver with the circumstances of the day.  Hear bad news? That doesn’t change the fact that God is in control. What it really comes down to is faith.

Dr. Roger Lehman once said that “anxiety is when the believer sees life as the non-believer.” When you choose to life in fear instead of faith, you are choosing to live as one who is not under the overarching care of an almighty Father.

We become anxious and worry because we don’t know how God will work situations out. However, faith does not need all the answers. It is willing to wait and trust.

#2 – Change what makes you feel valuable

What is the focus of your life? What makes you feel worthwhile?

Many people begin to experience anxiety and depression when they begin to feel invaluable. It doesn’t help that we live in a society that judges people based on what they have.

I guess you won’t be surprised to find out that the Bible has an answer for that, too.

Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23:5 KJV)

Pretty descriptive, eh? All of our possessions are worthless and fleeting. So why do we get wrapped up in them?

A man approached Jesus one day and asked Him to get involved in a domestic dispute. Apparently his father had died and he wanted his share of the inheritance.

What did Jesus say?

And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (Luke 12:15 KJV)

If you find your value in things that you can lose, you will eventually lose your value.

In case you missed it, let me say it again.

If you find your value in things that you can lose, you will eventually lose your value.

That was brilliant.

Maybe we should all aspire to be a little more like Job, who in the midst of his inconceivable loss, said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21 KJV).

If you are a child of God, you have something that no one can take away from you.

You may think of yourself as unworthy and incapable. How does God see you, though?

Remember this:

God knows every detail about you and still loves you.

We try to hide things from others so they will think well of us. We put on clean clothes, take showers, put on makeup (well, the girls do anyway), and whatever else we can do to hide our flaws. We also tend to discuss what we can do well and try to ignore our failures. We imagine that if we hide our faults, people won’t see them and therefore they will like us.

However, God knows every sordid detail about us. And what is His opinion?

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
(1 John 4:10 KJV)

He loves us anyway.

I like how Bill Thrasher says it: “It is hard to grasp the truth that the One who knows everything we have ever thought, said, or done would delight to have fellowship with us . . . He delights in us as an artist does in his masterpiece.”[i]

Maybe you were the kid who always got picked last when teams were being chosen. Maybe you are mocked by other people. Maybe no one sits by you in the lunch room.

There is something about you that others don’t like so they don’t want to associate with you.

But then there is God, who knows everything about you, even your thoughts and motives. Yet He still loves you!

What worth would you put on yourself? Maybe I should ask that question a different way. What does God, who knows every detail about you, think you are worth?

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
(1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV)

He is willing to pay a price for you.

My family loves to go to garage sales. Occasionally, amidst all of the junk, we will find something that we want. To the seller, it’s worthless. However, for whatever reason, we see its value and purchase it.

To other people, you may look like junk. However, you are exactly what God is looking for. He is willing to buy you for a ridiculously high price, take you home, clean you up, and make something miraculously beautiful out of you.

#3 – Set worthwhile priorities

While anxiety and depression may be the result of being too busy, it may also come from living without a feeling of worth. Sometimes we waste time building sand castles that will soon be destroyed by the tide.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6 KJV)

To be “carnally minded” means to be focused on material things. These things are worthless and at best only make us happy for a while. To be “spiritually minded” is to focus on things that matter for eternity. The result is peace. It doesn’t seem to me that peace and anxiety mix very well. So why not try to invest your time in worthwhile activities and see if it lessens your anxiety levels?

If you suffer from anxiety and depression, let me encourage you to give these a try. Change how you evaluate your circumstances, modify what makes you feel valuable, and set worthwhile priorities. Your feelings will not change overnight, so give it some time. See if the peace of God will begin to rule in your heart.

This is the thirteenth article in the “Battle for Your Mind” series. Click here to view the previous article.

Click here to view the next section, The Battle for Your Choices: How to Know the Will of God.

[i] Thrasher, Bill. How to be a Soul Physician: Learning How Christ Meets the Deepest Longings of a Soul Through the Grace of Prayer. (Charo, Mexico: Berea Publishing Co., 2010), 45.

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