Emotional Wellness: How To Thrive With Jesus 

5 min read

We are all affected by our emotional wellness. Just like our physical wellness and mental health, our emotional well-being plays a huge part in our lives. 

God made us to be body, soul and spirit. We see in Jesus that when the three are balanced and each in harmony with God and our God-given purpose, then we thrive. 

The catch? It’s so easy to lose our balance. An illness can throw our physical wellness overnight. A traumatic life event can sabotage our mental health and a relationship change can disrupt our emotional wellness. 

Your emotional wellness matters

An important thing to remember is how much our emotional well-being matters. Our emotions, though not tangible, have a tangible effect on our bodies and our lives. Being emotionally well, by thriving with Jesus, is a huge blessing. With Jesus as our guide and example, and the Holy Spirit in us, we can learn to navigate the intensity of our emotions. 

What does the Bible way about emotional wellness?

Psalm 103 is a key scripture when considering our emotional well being. 

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103: 1-5

Our emotions are rooted in our soul. They then relate to our body and our spirit through a beautiful and complex series of systems in our bodies. Understanding this helps unlock the key message David is sharing here in Psalm 103. By commanding his soul to ‘Praise the Lord’, he is instructing his emotions to worship God. 

Mark 12:30 says:Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Here, we find another instruction to influence our own hearts. In the Message translation this verse is written as: “Love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.”

Scripture is clear: we are supposed to be the masters of our soul. From David’s encouragement to praise God, to Mark’s exhortation to love Him with all of our strength. Or, as the Message puts it: with all of our ‘passion and energy’. That means we can and should utilise our emotions to worship and love God. 

How do we praise God when we don’t feel emotionally well?

Praising God when we feel anxious, afraid or upset is easier said than done. On our really dark and difficult days, having a time of worship can be the last thing we feel like doing. 

In his song, ‘Kiss the Son’, songwriter Kevin Prosch addresses those moments:

“When you’ve been broken, broken to pieces.

And your heart begins to faint

’cause you don’t understand.

And when there is nothing to rake from the ashes.

And you can’t even walk

onto the fields of praise.

But I bow down and kiss the Son.

Oh, and I bow down and kiss the Son.

 

Let the praise of the Lord be in my mouth.

Let the praise of the Lord be in my mouth.

Well, though You slay me, I will trust You, Lord.

Well, though You slay me, I will trust You, Lord.

Though You slay me, I will trust You, Lord.

Though You slay me, I will trust You, Lord.

 

When the rock falls, falls upon you.

And you get ground to dust

no music for your pain.

You open the windows, the windows of heaven.

And then You opened me

and You crushed me like a rose.

 

Praising God through thick and thin

This song is rooted in the encouragements from David, found throughout the Psalms, to praise God even when we don’t feel like it. ‘When there is nothing..and you can’t even walk onto the fields of praise. But I bow down and kiss the Son’, one of the lines from the song sums up the discipline it takes to master our souls to worship even in our weakest moments. 

Why does David tell his soul to raise God? Why does Mark teach us to love God with all of our passion and energy? With all of our soul? And why in worship songs do we find encouragement to worship God no matter how hard it is? 

Because praising God is the key to emotional wellness. 

How to stay emotionally well

In Jesus we see a man who experienced the full range of human emotions and yet ultimately He always submitted Himself, and how He was feeling, to God. Though He knew He would suffer on the cross, He endured the fear and pain anyway. Jesus experienced betrayal, grief, anger and sadness and yet made it clear that what He did and what He said was dictated by God. 

There’s a powerful example, modelled in Jesus, of feeling something and yet not letting that feeling win out over heeding God’s voice.

This laying down of our lives and emotions to God is the key to emotional wellness. Though it sounds contradictory, submitting our emotions to God is actually the most liberating thing we can do. 

Praising God when we don’t feel like it plays a huge part in enabling the daily offering of our lives, emotions and all, to God. Worshipping Him helps us to embrace His perspective. It forces us to focus on Him and His heart for us, rather than what our heart is saying. We get to exchange our fears, worries and upsets for His perfect peace and unfailing love. 

Our emotional wellness and God

Psalm 62:1-2 says: “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

Our souls find their rest in God. He is our safe place. This is the foundation on which we can build our emotional well-being. 

Just as a good diet and healthy movement is the key to physical wellness, intimacy with God is the key to emotional wellness. 

Through good days and bad, joy and sorrow, we need to ‘walk onto the fields of praise’. It is this discipline of choosing to encounter God, no matter how we feel, that will make us well. 

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