It’s February, month of the heart. When I reflect on the state of my heart during past Februaries, I see high highs, low lows, and everything in between. Whether due to a romantic relationship (or lack thereof) or simply life’s circumstances, my feelings generally fit into one of five categories: fabulous, fine, fickle, fragile, and fed up. This motley crew has made for an emotional roller coaster that has sent me running to solid ground for facts, truth to steady my reeling feelings. God’s Word has much to say about the heart, and its principles have been a lifeline for me. You may even see yourself here and find comfort in facts that are greater than feelings.
Fact: “You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent.” (Psalm 30:11-12a)
God loves us so much! His ultimate gift of love to us is salvation through Jesus, but frequently He goes the extra mile to display His affection through good things that happen in our lives. If you’re in this spot, remember that He’s the source of the joy you’re feeling, thank Him, and enjoy the moment! Do something to memorialize it too--take pictures, write in a journal, etc.--so you can remember God's goodness to you the next time you're not feeling so fabulous. Tell someone else about it too! Your story is powerful and could have a huge impact on a discouraged friend.
Fact: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
“Fine” is often the answer we give to people who ask how we’re doing when we don't want to discuss how we're really doing. We might be feeling pretty good, or we might be feeling pretty bad, but sometimes we prefer to live in a state of numbness rather than address our true situation. God is not the Authenticity Police, but He does care deeply about your heart because He knows it affects everything you do. Give your heart some self-care by reading the Word thoughtfully, prayerfully, and introspectively; it will meet you right where you are.
Fact: “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.” (Proverbs 21:1)
God knows that we can be fickle, and He’s not phased by how frequently we change our minds. Take comfort in the fact that He is sovereign—over your heart, the heart of the guy you'd like to call you, the heart of your boss from whom you'd like a promotion, and the heart of the estranged relative with whom you'd like to be reconciled. It’s not always clear why God does what He does, but He can certainly be trusted because He is good. So commit your heart and all the others about which you're concerned into His capable hands and rest.
Fact: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
Sometimes pain leaves us in a place of vulnerability; we don’t want to put ourselves out there, and we don’t dare hope because we can’t bear to get hurt again. Fortunately, we don’t have to muster the strength to go on because we can lean on God’s strength. He is our portion, meaning He is exactly enough for us. Tell Him how you're feeling, and ask Him to help you to draw on His strength.
Feeling: Fed Up
Fact: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
Feeling frustrated because nothing is going like you thought it would? Instead of focusing on making things happen and getting what you want, cultivate your relationship with God. As you do so, He may not drop everything you want right into your lap like a genie in a bottle, but He will change your desires to match His desires for you, and then He’ll fulfill them. By the way, many of the desires that we have--for husbands, fulfilling careers, children, financial stability--were given to us by God. He wants to refine us so our hearts will be ready to receive His gifts and give Him glory for them.
The Word contains many more truths about the heart and facts that speak to every variety of feeling. No matter where you are on the wide continuum, I hope this February finds you in possession of all the truth you need.
How are you feeling this February? What fact is giving you comfort, whether one of these or something else?