“I feel like a failure.”
It was strange that I felt like this, because the day at work was actually going well, and I hadn’t made any big mistakes. Yet, the thought had come and that was the way I felt.
For me, what I feel at any given moment can seem somewhat—or completely—meaningless. Some days, I might feel like everything is great and nothing can stop me, even if there are small problems that come up along the way. On other days, it can be totally different. Things that I would normally think are nothing to worry about, make me confused and discouraged.
Why does this happen?
An active and restless soul
I’m sure there are many doctors who can say a lot about why this happens. But for myself, I’ve found great help from the word of God.
“God’s word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones. And it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts.” Hebrews 4:12 (NCV).
We all come into situations where our soul (mostly our feelings) becomes active or restless—when someone says something to me which I feel is hurtful, or I’m unsure how my plans will go, or others do something differently than I would do it, etcetera.
The truth is that all this unrest begins with a thought: “Why did she say that?” “Don’t they understand what I’m trying to do?” “That’s so stupid!” That’s where it starts, but if I’m not watchful and if I don’t immediately do something about these thoughts, it’s so easy for them to stay in my heart and grow into something that can really be bad for me.
Be armed with the word of God!
Therefore it’s so important to be “armed” with the word of God, as it’s written in Ephesians 6:11—that is, to have God’s word in my thoughts. By reading the Bible, I’m getting “weapons” before the “battle” begins. Then, when I come into situations and temptations in my everyday life, I can remember the verses I read or heard, and decide to believe in them. In other words, I take the “weapons” I got beforehand and use them against the things that I am tempted to now!
Here God’s word will always separate between my soul (which is my feelings and opinions and intentions), and my spirit, which wants to do the will of God. It may seem like a very difficult thing to do, but for me it has actually been quite simple, although there have certainly been battles.
When I read the Bible or listen to edifying messages, I can find what God’s perfect will is. For example, God’s will is that I shouldn’t “worry about anything” as it’s written in Philippians 4:6 (NLT). His will is also that I should “flee youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22), “be strong and immovable” (1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT), “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10, NIV) and much, much more!
In the days that follow, I will certainly come into situations where I will need to use those verses that I’ve read and heard: a situation at work where I’m tempted to be afraid of what my boss will think of me is a perfect time to think of the verse, “Don’t worry about anything!” And when I remember the verse, agree with it and decide to believe in it rather than in what my feelings tell me, then this “sword” cuts between my soul and my spirit, it separates my soul from my spirit!
An interesting and satisfying life
Thankfully, I don’t have to constantly think about every Bible verse the whole time! “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.” John 14:26 (GNT). If I really want to do the will of God in the situations I come into, I can trust that the Holy Spirit will remind me about the verses that I need, exactly when I need them! This is really an interesting and satisfying life to live!
As time goes by and I become more and more used to trusting in the word of God and not in my own feelings, I will see more clearly the difference between my feelings and God’s Word, and I can more easily do God’s will. More and more I will experience the promises of freedom and joy that the Bible speaks about so that my days are no longer controlled by how I feel.
I’m not sure that I will come to a point that I never have negative feelings anymore, but I do believe that I will come to a point where I’m no longer affected by them. And I’m so happy about that!
“Your sun will never set again, and your moon will never be dark, because the Lord will be your light forever, and your time of sadness will end.” Isaiah 60:20 (NCV).