What does the Bible say about the purpose of emotions?

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We can understand the purpose of emotions from the Bible very clearly. Humans have emotions because God has emotions for we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27). The Bible says, “Jesus wept” when He saw the people mourning and grieving over the death of Lazarus (John 11:35). And again, he wept as His prophetic eye saw Jerusalem’s fate at the hands of the Romans less than 40 later (Luke 19:41).

The Holy Spirit uses emotions as He impresses the soul with God’s love which softens the heart and causes it to respond to Him in gratitude and love (Luke 7:38). And the Spirit moves our emotions with conviction to yield to God in repentance. The apostle Peter, after he denied Jesus, “wept bitterly” under the conviction of the Spirit (Matthew 26:75).

When people pour their hearts expressing their emotions before the Lord in prayer, a sense of relief and comfort comes upon their souls. For the Holy Spirit is called the comforter (John 14:16) who comforts the broken in heart. No one can fully understand what we are going through like the One who loved us enough to give up His life to save us (John 3:16).

Although God uses our emotions that we may grow in grace, it should not be the basis of our relationship with God. For “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is a settled assurance, based on confidence that God will fulfill His promises, whereas emotions are like the waves of the sea that rise and fall without notice. Therefore, we should not dismiss our faith because of how we feel. We should instead stand firm on the Word of God regardless of how we feel (1 Corinthians 16:13).

God wants the faithful to rejoice (Philippians 4:4), to hope (1 Peter 3:15), and to love (1 Corinthians 13). A person who has been touched by God will certainly express his emotions to glorify God. For a happy heart is the greatest evidence for the power of God in transforming a sinner. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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