Faith Enough to Thrive
by Sheri Rose Shepherd
“Jesus realized that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my robe?’. . . Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.’” Mark 5:30, 33-34
Have you ever been told you’re too emotional? Or have you heard Christians say, “Emotions are ungodly; you need to ignore your feelings and live by faith”? Do you wonder why, then, did God give you emotions in the first place, if you are supposed to ignore them? Perhaps you have even asked yourself, “If God loves me, why am I feeling such pain?”
Let me assure you that there is nothing wrong with your emotions. Emotions were designed by God for a reason. God does love you. He designed you to feel because you are created in His image—and the almighty God feels!
It seems obvious why a loving God would create positive emotions like joyfulness, peacefulness, excitement, and confidence, but why would unpleasant and negative emotions like loneliness, grief, rejection, despair, anger, and frustration be a part of His creative plan for us? Can we assume that they are just part of the curse of sin?
We women are notorious for beating ourselves up with guilt for being “too emotional.” We can’t understand why we feel the way we do, we’re told we shouldn’t feel the way we do, and then we convince ourselves that the powerful emotions we’re experiencing must stem from some flaw in our character! We then condemn ourselves to carry the burden alone. How difficult it is to carry that kind of guilt heaped unmercifully on top of our already heavy emotions. If you’ve been in bondage to this kind of guilt, you can take great comfort in this wonderful truth: It is impossible to be too emotional! Did you know there are more than two thousand instances in the Bible that refer to the emotions of God?
Emotions, both positive and negative, were created by God to reveal the condition of the human spirit—a “warning sign” that something is wrong. Just as physical pain reveals that there is something wrong with our bodies, our God has lovingly placed emotional warning signs in us so we can turn to Him for healing and He can help us thrive.
In the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, there’s an example of a woman who knew exactly whom to turn to in her suffering. These steps that brought her healing apply to the emotional pain you may be experiencing today.
1. She knew she needed healing.
The bleeding this poor woman experienced could not be hidden. She was way past the stage of “this suffering I feel is no big deal.” She had reached a point of desperation. If you’re going to move out of denial and get real with God, face your need head-on and move beyond surviving to thrive.
2. She tried everything else.
The Bible says that not only was this woman victimized by this ailment for twelve years, but she literally spent all that she had on professional remedies—only to discover that she was getting worse! Sometimes we exhaust all of our resources and squeeze all the effort we can humanly give out of ourselves before we allow the Holy Spirit and a healing God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. It took the women twelve years to “take hold” of Jesus. How long will it take you?
3. She didn’t care what people thought anymore.
When you want to get healed badly enough, you’ll “fight the crowds” to pursue it. If, for example, you had a physical ailment like severe chest pains, you would tell someone right away. Sadly, most of us are too embarrassed or ashamed to seek help for emotional suffering. In the Gospel of Mark, the suffering woman wasn’t just in physical pain. She must have felt deep emotional pain because she was literally a social outcast not only from her friends and family but also from worshiping in the temple. The emotional pain she felt from rejection must have been unbearable. Yet one frail, wounded woman let nothing stop her. She knew she needed Jesus: “If I could just touch the hem of His garment, I would be healed.” What faith she had! She had no more money. She had no more friends. She had no more strength. She had no more answers. She had no more self-confidence. But with faith, she had no more obstacles!
God can be trusted no matter what emotions, pain, or feelings we are experiencing. When we take them to God—especially when they are overwhelming—and invite Him to minister to our spirits, He will guide us and heal us. Ask God to be your strength, and you will truly thrive!
Sheri Rose Shepherd is an award-winning author, Bible life coach and humorist with over one million books sold. Her life experiences help her identify with almost any woman’s battle. She grew up in a broken home and was severely overweight as a teen; she also experienced depression, dyslexia and an eating disorder. Through God’s strength, Sheri Rose has become a bestselling author and popular speaker at events nationwide, including Women of Joy and Extraordinary Women. Her weekly video devotions are featured on Bible Gateway. Visit her online at hisprincess.com.
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