Emotions (Howard Books, 2013)

Emotions: Confront the Lies. Conquer with Truth is the latest book by Charles Stanley, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Atlanta since 1971.  Dr. Stanley establishes the basis for this book by observing that because emotions exert as powerful influence in our lives, we must manage them with the guidance of the Holy Spirit as well as the principles of God’s Word.  For it is not our circumstances that devastate us, but the emotions our circumstances stir up.  Yet it is these very difficult emotions that enable us to realize our need for God- and through that process become His instrument of healing to others.

Prayer absolutely is essential to our healing.  As Dr. Stanley often says, “We stand tallest and strongest on our knees.”  It is exceedingly important that we spend time in God’s Word and powerful presence, because Satan’s most effective tool is fear- the root of all painful emotions.  No one is immune from fear.  To deepen our relationship with God through the power of the Holy Spirit, Dr. Stanley emphasizes that we must be completely open, honest, and personal with God.  Courage, then, is not a lack of fear, but rather confidence that God is greater than anything that could come against us.

Bitterness is destructive to our souls, a refusal to give others what God freely gives us.  The antidote is gratefulness.  Gratefulness refocuses our attention on God’s ability to help us.  As we express our thankfulness, we begin to embrace how God sees us and become attentive to His perfect plan for our lives.  Adversity can then be viewed as an opportunity to demonstrate Jesus’ love, character, and faithfulness.

Dr. Stanley concludes: “Disappointments are inevitable, but discouragement is a choice.”  We must look beyond our painful circumstances to the presence of the living God.  As we keep our eyes on Jesus, hope will characterize our lives and Satan will flee.

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Dave Henning

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