How to Overcome Negative Emotions and Feelings

All of us struggle with negative emotions and feelings from time to time. We’re going to look at what God has to say about our negative emotions and feelings.

All of us struggle with negative emotions and feelings from time to time.

Sometimes these emotions arise as a result of our circumstances. Other emotions are rooted in things we experienced as children. Still other times, the negative feelings are the result of something wrong with our bodies.

Simply put, we live in a world with a lot of emotional pressures. Everything from dwindling finances to health problems to broken relationships can cause our emotions to get out of control. When our emotions and feelings are out of control, it’s difficult to cope with life.

The good news is that the Bible speaks directly to our struggles. God understands the challenges and difficulties we face and He provides us with solid help in His word.

In this post, we’re going to look at what God has to say about our negative emotions and feelings.

If you struggle with any of these things, keep reading. God wants you to be free from overwhelming negative feelings that crash against like you ocean waves. He wants you to experience peace, joy, and freedom.

(Note: If you are considering harming yourself in any way, please call the *National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, counselors are available to talk now)

*Not Affiliated with Adrian Rogers and Love Worth Finding Ministries

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Overcoming Negative Emotions and Feelings

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Depression

Depression is a terrible thing to experience. When you’re depressed, you often feel sad, listless, hopeless, helpless, rejected, like no one cares, or even a desire to not exist.

Depression can be caused by all manner of things, including chemical imbalances, difficult circumstances, illnesses, and mental disorders.

Many people think that the heroes of the Bible never struggled with anything, especially something like depression.

But that’s not true. A quick look at Moses, Elijah, David, and Jonah shows that all of them were sunk low at various times.

In Numbers 11:14-15, Moses says to the Lord:

I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!

The emotional burden of leading the Israelites was too much for Moses and so he asked God to take his life.

In Psalm 13:1-2, David writes:

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?

Those are the words of someone struggling with depression.

So what are we to do if we’re struggling with depression?

Obviously, there are some practical things we must attend to. We must get enough rest, eat properly, and seek to avoid common triggers, like being overworked.

But more than that, we must press into God Himself. Only He can bring stillness to our souls. In his book Mastering Your Emotions, Pastor Adrian Rogers says:

"All kinds of winds blow upon our lives. Fires burn out of control: pressure, anxiety, and fear of what may happen. Tune in to God. Get alone with Him in quietness and confidence. Possess your sanity and equilibrium through Him...If you are given to depression, remember that God wants to deliver you from your grief...Remember, even God’s choicest servants suffered attacks of depression, but God was always there."

God hasn’t left you in your depression. He loves you and wants you to have life and joy. Run to Him even in the darkness.

Helpful Resources about Mastering Your Emotions

11 Powerful Bible Verses for Depression

There are many Bible verses for depression. God wants you to know that He hasn’t left you and He deeply loves you. Use these Bible verses for depression to encourage you when you feel heavily burdened.

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Fear, Anxiety, Stress, and Worry

Fear, anxiety, stress, and worry are all closely related to negative emotions.

They all involve anticipating something bad happening. And the truth is, there are a lot of bad things in this world! There are sickness and natural disasters and financial collapse and bad people.

What we don’t realize is that many of our fears are rooted in forgetfulness. Fear often arises when we forget two specific things:

  • God is with us
  • God loves us

Psalm 27:1 says:

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

The God who created the world and everything in it is with us. He’s on our side. He fights for us and is committed to working all things for good in our lives. If God Himself is with us, then nothing - not sickness or disaster or anything else - can stand against us.

1 John 4:18 says,

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Because God deeply loves us and cares for us, we can be free from fear. As Pastor Adrian Rogers puts it in Mastering Your Emotions:

When we see on the one hand God’s mighty power and on the other hand God’s mighty love, then fears seem to melt away. I still remember that chorus we sang as children: “Roll away, roll away, roll away; Every burden of my heart roll away.”

If you want the negative feelings of worry, anxiety, fear, and stress to melt away, remember God’s amazing power and mighty love.

Helpful Resources about Mastering your Emotions

7 Effective Bible Verses For Worry

These Bible verses for worry are ammunition for your fight. When worry starts to creep upon us, we can turn to the promises of God for comfort and assurance.

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Encouraging Bible Verses About Fear

God has given us many encouraging Bible verses about fear. Use these Bible verses about fear to strengthen and encourage you as you go through life.

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Loneliness

Loneliness is such a common struggle, affecting millions of people. We all desperately want someone to know us, love us, and understand how we feel. When we don’t have these things, we can experience deep, profound loneliness.

Loneliness can lead to all sorts of other problems, like depression, insomnia, alcoholism, and even heart disease.

The amazing thing is that Jesus Himself experienced loneliness.

Isaiah 53:3 prophesied the deep loneliness Jesus would feel:

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Because Jesus experienced profound loneliness, He is perfectly suited to help us when we walk through the valley of loneliness. Jesus knows you intimately, He loves you deeply, and He perfectly understands the pain you feel.

Bring all your loneliness to Jesus. Tell Him how you feel and tell Him all your struggles. Jesus has promised to never leave or forsake you. With Him as your friend, you’re never alone.

Helpful Resources about Mastering Your Emotions

Heartwarming Bible Verses For Loneliness

Loneliness is one of the most difficult things to go through. You feel like no one understands what you’re going through. If you’re currently feeling the pain of loneliness, here is a collection of Bible verses for loneliness to help offer you some relief.

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Doubt

Doubting your salvation is a very stressful thing. It’s difficult to focus on anything other than the big question, “Do I really know God.” Because you’re focused so much on this, you can’t devote much energy to serving others.

If you want to effectively serve God and others, you need to deal with the doubts that plague you.

Pastor Adrian Rogers puts it this way in Mastering Your Emotions:

Only when you settle the future can you concentrate on the present. The chronic doubters seldom make an impact for Christ because they consume time and energy worrying about their spiritual condition.

You need to be settled in your mind and heart. But how do you do that?

A mistake many people make when struggling with doubt is to look inward. To see if they love God enough or are doing enough good things. This is a serious mistake. The only way to be free from doubt and experience assurance of salvation is to look to Jesus.

Romans 10:12-13 says:

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

This passage drives away doubt and provides great assurance. Jesus has promised that everyone who calls on Him for salvation will be saved. Your hope and assurance rest on what Jesus has promised to do for you, not on what you are doing or will do for Him.

Do you want to be free from the deep negative feeling of doubt? Then stop looking at yourself. Look to Jesus and believe in His promises. Whenever you look at yourself, try 10x as hard to think of Christ. There is unlimited grace in Jesus, you will never reach the limits that He has for you.

The more you look to Christ, the less doubt and anxiety and worry you’ll experience. Find freedom in Christ Himself.

Helpful Resources about Mastering Your Emotions

Reassuring Bible Verses About Doubt

We can be tempted to doubt God. We can doubt His promises, doubt His character, and doubt His faithfulness. When we doubt God, we can be tempted to take things into our own hands instead of relying upon God. Use the Bible verses about doubt to help you fully trust in the Lord no matter what you may be experiencing.

Get Started >

Guilt

Few things are more crippling than guilt. It haunts you, refusing to leave you alone. It weighs you down and takes away your joy. It’s a crushing burden that will suck the life out of you if it’s not dealt with.

In order to deal with guilt, you need to know where it’s coming from.

Conviction vs. Guilt

There is a clear difference between conviction and guilt. One is productive and leads towards a path of repentance and freedom. The other is counterproductive and oppressive and therefore not of God.

Conviction

Conviction is the prompting of the holy spirit to direct our thoughts and actions. When we sin, conviction presents us with a clear path to repentance for our sins with unconditional forgiveness from God at the end of the path if choose to ask for it. There is healing and life at the end of this path.

Conviction comes from God, because God loves you and doesn’t want you to keep walking in sin, He convicts you of sin.

1 John 1:9 provides the solution for dealing with God-given conviction:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

When you ask God to forgive you for your sins and turn away from those sins, God forgives you and cleanses you. Your sin is washed away and you can walk in freedom. If you are feeling conviction over your sins, turn to God and ask Him to forgive you. You can be absolutely sure that He will and you will be free.

Guilt

Guilt does the exact opposite, there is no clear path to repentance that is presented. In fact, it is oppressive and leads to feelings of separation and distance from God. Maybe you've thought these things when feeling guilt:

  • "I am being punished for what I've done"
  • "I've done some really bad things, there is no way God will forgive me for this"
  • " I'm not worthy to receive forgiveness"
  • "I deserve this"

These thoughts and feelings are not of God, who is a loving father. As you can see there is no clear solution presented in these kinds of thoughts, just condemnation.

Guilt comes from Satan. The enemy wants to make you unhappy and separate you from God, and one of the ways he does that is by accusing you and telling you that you’re deserving of guilt, not worthy of God's forgiveness...etc. even if you’ve confessed your sins to God.

As Pastor Adrian Rogers says in Mastering Your Emotions:

He [Satan] never accuses you specifically. He does it generally, so you will have a vague, uneasy feeling about your general spiritual condition. Satan wants you to feel absolutely miserable about nothing in particular. If he can sidetrack you, he will have achieved his purpose.

How do I change how I feel?

So what should you do if you’re feeling guilty about a sin you already confessed to God and are experiencing a sense of guilt? You fight back with the promises of God. If you are in Christ, then all your sins are completely and totally forgiven. You are 100% not guilty before God.

Ephesians 1:7 puts it this way,

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

When it feels like guilt is weighing heavily upon you, remind yourself of this profound truth. You may feel conviction, but you’re not guilty, because Jesus’ blood has washed you clean. Guilt can’t stand in the face of the cleansing that Jesus provides.

Helpful Tools about Mastering Your Emotions

Freeing Bible Verses about Guilt

If you struggle with guilt, you’re not alone. Millions of Christians constantly feel weighed down by guilt. God wants you to be 100% free from guilt. These Bible verses about guilt are your weapon as you battle against the devil.

Find Out More >

Insecurity

If you have a negative self-image, then you almost certainly struggle with insecurity. When you have a negative self-image, you end up thinking things like:

  • I’m a loser
  • Nobody likes me
  • I can’t do anything right
  • I’m just a big screw-up

These insecure thoughts are both unbiblical and very destructive to you. They isolate you from people and can lead to self-loathing.

So what is the biblical solution to insecurity? Knowing your identity in Christ. Ephesians 1:4-6 says:

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

This passage says some amazing things about your identity. God has…

  • Loved you
  • Chosen you
  • Adopted you
  • Accepted you

You’re not a loser, you’re beloved. You’re not a screw-up, you’re adopted. You may feel like no one likes you, but God wants you to know that He loves you. He welcomes and accepts you with open arms.

As Pastor Adrian Rogers says in Mastering Your Emotions,

“You are a prince or a princess. Why? Because you are a child of the King. Since you are a part of God’s family, Jesus is not only your Lord and Savior, but He is your Friend and Brother.”

When you embrace who you truly are in Christ, insecurity must flee!

Helpful Resources on Mastering Your Emotions

7 Helpful Bible Verses For Insecurity

God has given you powerful Bible verses for insecurity. These verses provide an accurate self-image, embrace that self-image to be set free from insecurity.

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Frustration and Bewilderment

You experience frustration when a desire is thwarted. When you want something but can’t get it. Sometimes, frustrations are minor, like when you’re stuck in traffic or your order at a restaurant is messed up. Other times, you deal with major frustrations, like when you’re passed over for a promotion.

Frustration often leads to a sense of bewilderment.

As more and more major frustrations pile up, you can start to feel bitter and angry. You can wonder why God keeps letting these things happen. You can even start to question God and doubt His goodness. Suddenly, you can’t tell up from down.

So what should you do when you find yourself bewildered and confronting mounting frustrations? It’s absolutely critical to look beyond them and see what God is doing in the background. Romans 8:28 provides a glimpse into how God works in the midst of frustration:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

If one of your desires is frustrated, it’s because God has something better in store for you. He is actively working for your good. You may feel like you’re wandering in a desert, not knowing where you’re going, but God knows exactly where you’re headed. He’s leading you somewhere good! God is always doing thousands of great things in your life, and you may be aware of two of them.

Do you feel frustrated and bewildered? Look past what your immediate circumstances and see God at work in the background. He hasn’t deserted you. He’s still with you, and He’s leading you to green pastures and still waters. You may be in the desert now, but there is an oasis ahead.

Helpful Resources on Mastering Your Emotions

How to Keep Your Spiritual Fire Burning

There's a hunger burning deep in the hearts of people. Now, how do we experience the glorious power of the Living God? How do we re-ignite a fire that may have grown cold in our hearts from the frustrations and failures we experience day-to-day? We must return to the day of Pentecost when the fire came down and changed the face of Christianity for all eternity.

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Inferiority

When you feel inferior, you feel like you’re not good for much. Like you don’t have much to offer when compared to others. Maybe you feel hampered by a limited education. Maybe you have a physical ailment that restricts you. Or maybe when you were growing up, people told you that you wouldn’t amount to much.

Whatever the cause of your feelings of inferiority, you need to know something really important:

You are NOT inferior in God’s eyes.

What types of people did Jesus call to be His disciples? He didn’t call scholars, celebrities, or those who were wealthy. He called lowly fishermen and tax collectors. Nobody was impressed with the men Jesus chose, and yet God used them to absolutely revolutionize the world.

See, here’s the thing. God almost always does His greatest work through those who aren’t impressive in the world’s eyes. Through those whom the world would see as “inferior”.

In 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, the Apostle Paul wrote:

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.

If you feel inferior, you are in the perfect position to be used mightily by God! The reality is that God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. Simply say to God, “Lord, use me for Your glory!” and He will do it.

Helpful Resources on Mastering Your Emotions

Getting a Handle on Your Emotions: Inferiority

God can use you with what you have--even if what you have is an inferiority complex! Many people feel they're not good enough for God to use. But in this message, Adrian Rogers helps you see that God chooses ordinary" people to show His extraordinary power!

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Getting Control Of Your Negative Emotions

You don’t have to let negative emotions and negative feelings control you. With God’s help, you can have mastery over your emotions. You can experience the peace and joy that God desires you to have.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, turn to God today. He’s ready and eager to help you!

Helpful Tools and Resources on Mastering Your Emotions

Freeing Bible Verses about Guilt

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Effective Bible Verses about Worry

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Heartwarming Bible Verses for Loneliness

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Related Sermons on Negative Emotions and Feelings

Getting a Handle on Your Emotions

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Dealing with Loneliness (1151)

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How to Handle Your Fear (1225)

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