When it comes to handling our feelings, we must first recognize that physical symptoms (whether hormonal or otherwise) can result in greater temptation to sin. That’s why it is so important, as we’ve been saying over and over again, to prepare for these seasons of our lives
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak,” instructed Jesus in Mark 14:38. And Matthew Henry commiserates: “What heavy clogs these bodies of ours are to our souls! But when we see trouble at the door, we should get ready for it.”
Although temptation is greater, it doesn’t mean we have to sin! By faith, we have the power to resist temptation. There is a way of escape, “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14).
Elisabeth Elliot elaborates on this truth: “Choices will continually be necessary and—let us not forget—possible. Obedience to God is always possible. It is a deadly error to fall into the notion that when feelings are extremely strong we can do nothing but act on them.”
We must not fall into the trap of believing that we are helpless to confront our feelings. Instead, we must choose to obey God.
“Try it,” challenges Elisabeth Elliot. “When, in the face of powerful temptation to do wrong, there is the swift, hard renunciation—I will not—it will be followed by the sudden loosing of the bonds of self, the yes to God that lets in sunlight, sets us singing and all freedom’s bells clanging for joy.”
What glorious words for women who feel (and not “are”) trapped by depression, anxiety and despair! When we choose to say “I will not” to sin, we will experience (maybe not right away, but eventually!) freedom, joy, and the sunlight of God’s face.
So when that hormonal trouble comes knocking, we need to prepare to renounce our feelings and choose to obey. We’ll continue to discuss how in the days to come.