In Oscar Wilde’s, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” the book’s protagonist, at one point, shouts at a friend, “A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
In the middle of a depressed emotional state, it is easy to feel subject to our emotions. I am sure that many of us are familiar with the 3:00 AM round of self-questioning: “Why do I feel this way? Why can’t I change the way I feel? Will I ever not feel this way?”
Like Dorian, many of us want to be the master of our emotions, only to find that, when hard times come, we seem to completely lose control of the way we feel and react. This week, we will look at what Scripture has to say about how Christians are to deal with difficult emotions and how Christ, the Lord of all, is ultimately Lord over our emotions.
In preparation for this Sunday, please take some time to watch the following video that was posted on the Desiring God blog. Shane Barnard wrote “Though You Slay Me” in response to his father’s sudden death. Interspersed with the music is portion’s of John Piper’s sermon, “Do Not Lose Heart.” Together, this video offers a resounding and hopeful reminder that our suffering is part of God’s producing in us, as Piper calls it, a peculiar and eternal glory.
Scripture: Colossians 3:1-10
Sermon: “Dealing With Difficult Emotions”
THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
Calvin held that though the bread and wine remained unchanged (he agreed with Zwingli that the is of “this is my body…my blood” means “represents,” not “constitutes”), Christ through the Spirit grants worshippers true fellowship with himself in heaven (Heb 12:22-24) in a way that is glorious and very real, though indescribable. Christ in this sign perceived through the senses sets forth the grace of God in Christ and the blessings of his covenant. They communicate, seal, and confirm possession of those blessings to believers, who by responsively receiving the sacraments give expression to their fatih and allegience. In them God “remembers” his covenant toward us in Christ and does not give us the just wrath we deserve. The Supper is rightly viewed as a means of grace. The efficacy of the sacraments …resides not in the faith or virture of the minister but in the faithfuness of God. As the preaching of the Word makes the gospel audible, so the sacraments make it visible, and the Holy Spirit stirs up faith by both means.