Easier said than done, this telling our feelings to submit to Truth. It’s not a one-time thing, like learning our ABC’s in the first grade. It is a battle, an intense battle, a lifelong battle where victories are often outnumbered by defeats and progress is sometimes hard to measure.
But we’re not the first to fight. Stretching back to the beginning of time is an unbroken line of saints who struggled against the onslaught of their emotions.
The Prophet Micah knew what it was like to “sit in darkness” (Micah 7:8-9)
Job, in the midst of his suffering lamented his very being: “Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night that said, ‘A man is conceived.’ Let that day be darkness!” Job 3:3-4
The Psalmist berated his despairing soul: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Psalm 42:5-6
The Apostle Paul pleaded with the Lord to take away his thorn his “messenger of Satan to harass me.”
David Brainerd “suffered from the blackest dejection, off and on, throughout his short life.”
The missionary Henry Martyn “suffered from an obvious tendency to morbidity and introspection.”
Charles Spurgeon lamented: “My spirits were sunken so low that I could weep by the hour like a child, and yet I knew not what I wept for.” (We all know what that is like!)
Martyn Lloyd Jones writes of being” overworked and badly overtired, and therefore subject in an unusual manner to the onslaughts of the devil.”
Need I go on? Because I could! And these were all men who didn’t have to deal with PMS or menopause!
The battle isn’t the only thing these men have in common, though. Even more encouraging, they all received grace from our Heavenly Father to endure and eventually to triumph! They all were led to discover the “way of escape.”
As John Piper writes, “God has woven his Word with strands of truth directly opposed to [our despondency]. The law of God does revive (Psalm 19:7). God does lead to springs of water (Psalm 23:3). God does show us the path of life (Psalm 16:11). Joy does come with the morning (Psalm 30:5).”
May this “great cloud of witnesses” spur us on to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1