The fourth thing you’re going to have to do to obtain victory in trying times is you’re going to have to get control of your emotions.  Emotions are feelings caused by either pleasure or pain that are designed to move you in a direction.  As believers, we are not to be governed by our emotions or to make decisions based on our emotions.  We are not to allow our emotions to move us in a direction that opposes the Word of God.  Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry, and sin not.”  In others words, you might experience the emotion of anger, but don’t allow that emotion to move you in a direction that opposes God’s Word.  God gave us emotions and they are not necessarily bad things, but they become bad when we allow them to govern our lives.  It was never in God’s design that men would govern their lives based on how they feel.  It was God’s design that men would govern their lives based on the Word of God.  2 Corinthians 5:7 says,“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  The word sight in that verse means what we perceive with the senses.  We are not to conduct our lives based on what we see or how we feel, but rather based on our faith in God and in His Word.  The walk of sight or a life conducted based on how a person feels will be a defeated one.  Only the walk of faith will get a person into victory.  The moment you start governing your life based on how you feel, you begin taking steps that take you closer and closer to defeat.  Therefore, we must not be governed by how we feel.

This issue of controlling your emotions is paramount in talking about obtaining victory in troubled times.  The reason is when you are in a dark place or when you are facing trying circumstances, you are going to experience all kinds of emotions, and you cannot allow them to move you.  You might feel like quitting, you might feel like the Word’s not working, you might feel like saying the wrong thing, you might feel depressed, or you might feel afraid.  If you allow yourself to be governed by your emotions, defeat and destruction are inevitable for you.

Emotions are the voice of your flesh, and they are speaking all of the time.  From the moment you wake up in the morning until the moment you lay your head down at night, your emotions are talking.  They are a voice that you will constantly hear, and you’re going to have to learn to talk back to them instead of being governed by them.  Your feelings are a part of your soul, and you are to rule the soul not be ruled by it.  In Psalm 103:1-2 the psalmist says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”  We see that the psalmist (David) is talking to his soul.  Why would he have to tell his soul to bless the Lord?  Apparently, his soul doesn’t feel like blessing the Lord at this time.  When you feel like doing something, you don’t have to tell yourself to do it.  Rather than being governed by his emotions, David is ruling over them.  If you allow yourself to be ruled by your emotions in troubled times, they will take you deeper and deeper into trouble.  However, if you will rule over your emotions and make faith decisions based on the Word of God and backed by the Holy Spirit, you will experience victory!

Our words are one of the main ways we govern our emotions.  Proverbs 21:23 says, “Whoso keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul (mind, will, emotions) from troubles.”  This tells me that I can control my mouth and rule over my emotions.  Smith Wigglesworth was a preacher in the early 1900’s, and he pioneered a lot of the principles of faith that we live by today.  One day somebody asked him, “Smith how are you feeling today?”  He barked back, “Smith Wigglesworth doesn’t ask himself how he feels, he tells himself how to feel.”  He had a revelation that he was to rule over his emotions and not be ruled by them and he had to do it with his words.  Psalm 42:11 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance.”  Here, we see the psalmist exercising some powerful principles in regards to ruling over emotions.  First of all, we see him talking to his soul (emotions) when he says, “Hope in God.”  Secondly, he reveals to us that his soul is disquieted and with a disquieted soul he says, “For I will yet praise him.” Obviously he doesn’t feel like praising God, but he’s not allowing his life to be governed by his emotions.  Next, he calls God the health of his countenance.  He is simply recognizing God as the source of healing for his emotions and releasing faith that God will cause him to feel better.  The powerful thing here is he doesn’t wait for God to make him feel better before he starts acting in faith.  He just starts acting in faith, talking to his soul, praising God, and says God will take care of my emotions.  These are three powerful principles that must be practiced when you’re in a dark place.  Number one; talk to your soul, rule over it, and tell yourself how to feel.  Number two; do not be governed by your emotions.  You may not feel like praising or speaking the Word, but just get up and do it anyway.  Number three; get started acting in faith and trust God to take care of you emotionally and be the health of your countenance.

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”  According to this verse your words have an affect on the condition of your soul (emotions).  You can be in a dark place, facing trying circumstances with feelings of discouragement and fear all over you, but if you’ll begin to speak pleasant words, words that agree with God’s words, they will be sweet to your emotions (soul) and cause you to feel better. In trying times, you are going to have to become your own best cheerleader.  Earlier, we read how David and his men returned home to find their homes destroyed and their families taken captive by their enemies (1 Samuel 30).  David and his men wept until they had no more power to weep.  Shortly after that, David’s men wanted to kill him because they blamed him for what happened.  At that moment David could not have been feeling too good.  In the natural his emotions were probably going haywire.  He had to be experiencing emotions of sadness, fear, and anger on the highest of levels.  However, rather than being governed by his emotions, he became his own best cheerleader and ruled over his emotions.  The scripture tells us that David encouraged himself in the Lord.  David began to speak words of faith, and when he did they were sweet to his soul.  Certainly David began to feel better, he was strengthened and encouraged and ended up obtaining a great victory in a very troubled time.  As believers, we can do the same thing when we find ourselves in pressured situations.  Rather than being governed by how we feel we can speak words of life and gain control over our emotions.

Our emotions are one of the prime areas of target for Satan.  Know this about the enemy: He loves to play on the emotions of God’s people.  As God’s people we need to take a stand and settle it in our hearts that we will not be governed by how we feel.  We have to come to the place where we believe the Word, obey the Word, and act like it’s true regardless of how we feel.  If the Word says we’re healed, then we’re healed.  If the Word says we’re rich, then we are rich.  If the Word says we’re free, then we’re free.  If the Word says we have peace, then we have it.  Our feelings have nothing to do with the validity of those statements, and we act like those statements are true regardless of how we feel.  The Apostle Paul said in Acts 20:24, “But none of these things move me.”  We have to develop that same mindset.  The mindset that says, “I’m not moved by how I feel or by what my circumstances are saying.  Those things don’t move me.  I believe the Word of God.”  Psalm 15:4 uses a phrase that is very fitting here.  It says, “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.”  In other words, no matter how I feel, I refuse to be moved by how I feel.  I may feel worried, afraid, and depressed, but I’m not coming off of the Word of God.  I may have tears coming down my eyes and it may look like I’m never going to get victory in this situation, but I’m not coming off of the Word.  We must learn to esteem the Word of God more than we do our emotions.  It’s the attitude that says, “How I feel means nothing to me in light of what the Word says.”  To come out of the dark place, you’re going to have to take a stand on God’s Word and refuse to be governed by how you feel.