Jesus’ Payment For Your Emotional Peace

If you have been viewing the studies here for any length of time, you have probably heard me mention that Jesus has made complete redemption available, and that He has made complete provision for your spirit, your soul, your body and even your finances. And indeed we have studied about His provision for your spirit, His provision for your body, and His provision for your finances.

Yet it occurred to me that we had not really explored His provision for your soul (that is your mind and emotions), in quite some time. And this area of His provision is just as important, just as powerful, and just as freeing as the others; and so we will be looking at it today in this study.

How to Handle Emotions, Thoughts and Feelings

The title of this study today, is honestly a topic that people have struggled with from the very beginning of time. When a thought, emotion or feeling comes your way, especially a negative or even oppressive one, what do you do about it? How do you handle it?

For some, thoughts, emotions and feelings can be controlling and even rule their life. Some people are held captive by their emotions, and allow their feelings to rule their life. But what can be done about it?

Well, in-fact God has quite a bit to say on the subject, and we are going to answer these questions today, as always by looking at Jesus, and seeing the reality of His finished work for us.

World Information vs. Spiritual Information

In a few of our past studies, I’ve alluded to the fact that faith is information. And I have received some messages from people since those studies, with questions regarding exactly what this means and how to apply it.

In those messages which people sent to me, it became immediately clear that they were not understanding the difference between world information and spiritual information. Indeed, those two things are very different. Not all information is faith. Faith is a very specific type of information; information that deals specifically with Christ, what He has accomplished, and who we are in Him today.

So today in this study, I would like to share with you, the very important difference between world information (information that comes from worldly circumstances and what the world presents to us) versus Spiritual information (information about Jesus Christ, what He has accomplished on the cross, and our identity in Him today) – that is the information which is properly identified as faith.

This is what we will be looking at today.

Don’t Sleep With the Enemy

A phrase that is often heard (at least in the United States) is “Don’t sleep with the enemy” – it’s a phrase of advice, and it is basically advising against maintaining a friendly relationship with an adversary, or someone on an opposing side.

It’s good advice, not only for the physical world, but for the spiritual realm as well. In-fact there is a very interesting example of just such an occurrence happening in scripture, and through it, we can see an amazing truth and a wonderful picture of Jesus, and what we have today in Him. That is what I want to share for you today in this study.

Let Jesus Restore You

I’ve encountered a lot of resistance to the Gospel message over the years. I used to resist it myself before Jesus was really introduced to me. And in mostly every instance, it boils down to one single thing… the unwillingness of the person to let Jesus restore them. And I’m choosing my words very carefully here. You see, there usually is no argument that a restoration needs to happen… most people accept that, but where they have difficulty (and where I also had difficulty myself) was in recognizing who the active agent of that restoration actually is. Again, most people are not willing to simply let Jesus restore them, they usually want to be restored by some other means or method – usually themselves.

This is nothing new however, it has been going on since the beginning in the Garden of Eden; and a lot of people are stuck in the spiritual mud with this mentality that they must achieve restoration some other way before presenting themselves to God. The reasons for this are sometimes fear, and sometimes pride.

The prideful ones want to try and impress God: They want to have a Tada! Moment where they can say to God something along the lines of “Here I am, all nice and clean for you! Aren’t you proud of what I did?”

And the fearful ones are too afraid to approach God at all because they know that they are dirty and are afraid of His reaction.

Both of these are mentioned in scripture, and I have personally lived on both sides of the aisle myself as well. What I want to share with you today is how to truly handle both of these situations, and find real peace with God, not through your own efforts, but by letting Jesus truly restore you.

Don’t Fear the Shadows

When I was a young child, I used to be afraid of the dark. I would look at the walls, or outside my window and see shadows which I presumed to be monsters. I didn’t recognize the shapes, and the sizes of the things seemed to be very large. It was a troubling sight to my young mind.

Later in life, as I became more mature, I understood that those things were just shadows without substance, and they could not actually hurt me in any way. The perception of danger was a false perception, and that the fear of them was doing me more harm than anything else.

This simple realization carries with it a spiritual truth as well – more than one in-fact, as many believers today are held captive by the fear of things which also are just shadows. Spiritual shadows that cannot actually hurt them; yet just as when I was held in bondage to fear of the shadows as a young boy, these precious believers are likewise held in bondage by fear of things which are just as false and empty as the shadows on the wall.

Relax, God is Not Angry With You

I’ve encountered many people throughout my years, whom I have shared the truth with, that God is not angry with them. And many times, their response, was “I wish I could believe that.” They couldn’t receive the truth of God not being angry with them, because they were measuring His attitude towards them using a different standard. Instead of looking at the truth in scripture, they were looking at their current circumstances, their emotions and feelings of the moment, to gauge God’s mood, instead of what His eternal word says. When things were going well, God was obviously happy, and when things were not going well, God was obviously displeased. And so for these people, thy were constantly living a roller-coaster of ups and downs. Never on a solid foundation, but always on the shifting sand of the present moment.

However, God does not want us to live that way… that’s not the abundant life that He came to give us. He paid a high and precious price to reconcile us with Himself – and that is not a maybe, or a half-hearted reconciliation. Jesus has done a complete work, one that has a sure result; one that we can be confident in, and one that does not waiver back and forth like the wind, or get tossed around by the waters of daily life. What we will be studying today is why you can be absolutely sure of your status with God today. Why you can be bold and confident in your relationship with Him, and know beyond all doubt, why He is not angry with you today.

Being Secure in Christ

Many times in scripture God has said to not be afraid (it’s not actually 365 times, closer to 110), but really once should be enough for anyone who takes the word of God seriously. However, we still find it difficult to not be afraid in certain circumstances. Often we think that being afraid of certain things is normal. Just a part of being human. However we still have the very words of God that tell us to “fear not”, “do not be afraid”. Was He just saying it for the sake of saying it… or is there something for us to learn and see in His words?

It might be interesting to note that whenever God said to not be afraid, it always accompanied a revelation of Himself… who He is and His nature, character and power. This is key when considering His words. God never tells us to not be afraid, without telling the reason why we do not have to fear. It’s one thing to simply say “aww, don’t be afraid!” – but it’s quite another thing to say “Don’t be afraid, because I am here!” and when God is the one saying it, you now have a very solid foundation upon which to securely stand. What we will be studying today is the security that we have in Christ, and how His words of fear not, are not just empty suggestions, but a reality for us to live in – all because of Jesus.

The Real Meaning of Humble Yourself

You’ve probably heard it before that we are supposed to “humble ourselves”. This is a favorite saying of many preachers, especially those who like to use the Bible as a blunt-force object. Whenever they see someone doing something wrong, the go-to phrase for many of them is “You need to humble yourself before a holy God!” – I’ve had this phrase lobbed at me many times, in many different places, yet I was never told what it actually meant. I used to assume that it meant to berate yourself, because after all, the legalistic and condemning preachers just spent an entire sermon telling me all the things that I need to do to get right with God, and how displeasing I am to Him, so that must be a form of humbling, right?

That was my thought process all those years ago, and I have found that many believers today still think along the same lines. Many people are still very confused about the idea of humbling themselves. So that’s why today in this study, we will be examining what it really means to humble ourselves; and by seeing the truth presented in scripture, we will not be in confusion regarding this phrase any longer.

Taking Up Your Cross in the New Covenant

A phrase which makes a lot of people uneasy, is when Jesus said to “Take up your cross”. It makes people uneasy because the cross is an instrument of torturous suffering, terrible pain and an agonizing death. It is certainly not a pleasant image to have in our mind, and it generally doesn’t fill us with peace or confidence to have this image imprinted on us either. This situation is exasperated further when religious teachers use this phrase as a way to hammer legalistic, performance-driven ideas into our brain either; as is often the case in many churches today.

So today in this study, we will be examining this phrase from the perspective of the finished work of Jesus Christ, and what this statement means for us today. Jesus obviously said it for a reason, and it wasn’t to frighten or intimidate people – He knew what He was doing and He knew what He would do for us. As we see the truth of Christ in this area, it will free us from the irrational fear that this statement causes due to lack of understanding of what Jesus truly said.