Photo of a woman sitting on a rocky shore looking out over the ocean.

How Thoughts Fuel Your Emotions

- by Joyce Meyer

Our thoughts are so very important. If you’re familiar with my teachings, you know this is something I talk about a lot. Our thoughts are the forerunners for the rest of our lives. What we think affects our words, moods, attitudes and, ultimately, our actions.

For instance, there have been times when I was having a really great day, but then I began to think again about a hurtful thing someone said to me. And the more I thought about it, the angrier I got! Because I allowed myself to dwell on that hurt, I stirred up all of the old feelings I had—it was like being hurt all over again. 

So much of our behavior—how we act and react—begins with our thoughts. I believe if we truly want to learn how to manage our emotions, then we should set our mind in the right direction.

First Peter 1:13 says, …gird up the loins of your mind… (NKJV). You don’t hear many people teach on this verse, but it simply means to prepare yourself mentally and get ready for what is coming.

I believe it helps tremendously to mentally prepare for the day. We would all like things to go perfectly all of the time, but it’s unrealistic to think we won’t ever encounter any challenges—challenging people or circumstances that will try our patience and tempt us to “act out.”   

Colossians 3:2 (AMPC) is another important scripture. It says, …set your minds and keep them set…. How can we set our minds? I believe just taking a couple of minutes in the morning to adjust our mindset and attitude can set the rudder for the entire day. 

There are times when I tell myself: 

“I can be kind and loving today, regardless of what happens. I can be patient because I have the fruit of the Spirit inside of me. God will strengthen me to walk in love with others and do what’s right.”

If you know you’re going to encounter a certain person or situation that might be challenging, get ahead of things and make a firm decision about how you will act and respond. As you begin your day, take a minute to pray and ask for God’s help. 

You can pray things like:

“Lord, you know everything about me, and you know everything I will encounter today. I give this day to you and ask for your strength and help to love others in everything I say and do. Please help me to respond the right way, despite how I feel. Holy Spirit, I thank you for giving me the ability to control myself, and I ask for Your guidance and help in this situation. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

We will always have emotions—they will never simply just go away. But with God’s help, we can learn to manage them. We can learn to truly love other people and be emotionally stable, even when everything around us seems out of control. 

God is amazing, and I’ve witnessed Him do many great things throughout my life. But I think one of the greatest things He’s done is help me to grow and mature in Him—to remain steady and stable when someone or something is “pressing my buttons”  and my emotions are rising up. And if He did it for me, He can also do it for you.

Remember, Jesus is “The Rock,” and when the storms of life come and your emotions threaten to control you, you can run to Him for strength and help, even at a moment’s notice. As you do, He will help you to manage your emotions…and remain stable and steady in every circumstance.

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