Processing Emotional Pain

Burying our emotional pain only adds another layer of wall to our emotional stronghold. What is God’s way? First we have to remember that His ways are higher than our ways. Anything that we concoct in our own strength will fall short. Psalm 62:8 says, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”


Hannah poured out her heart before the Lord. She was depressed, she wasn’t eating, and her heart was grieved. 1 Samuel 1:10 says, “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.” Verse 13 says that she, “…spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard…”


I call this ‘the dark night of the soul’ because I have been through this. There is so much anguish that it cannot be expressed in words. It is a heart language of emotional pain. Eli confronted Hannah, thinking she was drunk. She answered him in verse 16, “…I am a woman of sorrowful spirit, I have…poured out my soul before the Lord.”


Let’s go to the interchange between Nehemiah and the king. Nehemiah 2:2 which is the question the king asked. It says, “…Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart…” Proverbs 15:13 says, “…by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 17:22 says, “…a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression…”


Emotional pain was caused by something in our past. Remember, a few minutes ago is our past. Since this is the case, we have to process our past pain in our present. 2 Corinthians 5:17 helps us. It says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”


Our past is passed. We cannot go back and change anything that happened. It is essential that we truly believe that our past is in our mind. Therefore to process emotional pain from the past we have to deal with our thoughts. I like to think of buried emotional pain as something relegated to a dungeon in my heart. The emotional pain continues to cry out for release. It filters through every thought process, even when we choose to ignore it.


Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” We are a composite of our thoughts. That is scary when we refuse to not dwell in the negative. It makes us a very negative person that does not see good when it comes. Our soul is jaded, cynical, and critical. We live in denial of our root cause. It sets us up for disease.


The walls of Jericho were wide. I’ve heard that a chariot could ride on it. Our emotional stronghold is built with multiple layers of emotional walls. As formidable as the walls of Jericho to man, it was nothing to the Lord. He caused them to fall down flat. He will do the same with ours when we confess them as sin, renew our mind with Scripture, and build new strongholds of truth.

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