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Devotional: June 18, 2020

Dear friends,

Today’s devotional is a Guest Devotional. This was written by Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life. It is so timely and important that I wanted to share it with you today. Only the prayer at the end of the devotional is mine.


Faithfully yours,

Pastor Jim


“Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2 (NIV)


During the coronavirus crisis, your emotional health needs to be an important priority. Feelings are neither good nor bad—they’re just emotions but they need to be expressed appropriately to God and to a trusted friend. The Bible says, “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NIV).


You don't have to share your feelings with everybody, but you do need to have one person you can confide in. Someone you can go to and say, "Hey, can I just tell you how I'm really feeling right now?" This is someone who will listen, share in your pain and frustration, and then help you move forward.

Paul gives a great example of sharing feelings instead of stuffing them in: “My friends, I want you to know what a hard time we had in Asia. Our sufferings were so horrible and so unbearable that death seemed certain” (2 Corinthians 1:8 CEV).


If Paul, the greatest Christian who ever lived next to Jesus Christ himself, could be gut-level honest about what he was going through, then we can do it, too.


Sharing your problems includes sharing your frustrations, fears, and feelings. We are living in unprecedented times, and everyone is feeling the stress of the pandemic. We’ve also all experienced losses and missed opportunities due to the upheaval in the world. You may have missed a graduation, the funeral of a loved one, a wedding, or the birth of a grandchild.

You need to grieve those losses—and not just in private. Grief is a good, healthy thing. It’s how we transition. Sharing your grief with others keeps you from isolation and loneliness and will remind you of God’s provision.

God created us to need each other! He designed us to share our feelings with others. But he also wants us to share our feelings with him: “The LORD is there to rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope. The LORD's people may suffer a lot, but he will always bring them safely through” (Psalm 34:18-19 CEV).

Sharing your feelings with others may not come naturally to you. But it is the only way to be emotionally healthy. Find that person you trust to help you process what you’re experiencing, and then be that friend to someone else.


Prayer


Holy and loving God,

You encouraged us to love you with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. You care deeply about every part of our lives- including our emotions. Help us to find people with whom we can share our feelings. Give us the courage to lay bare our souls to them, so that they might help us carry our burdens. We pray this prayer in the name of the one who encouraged us to cast our burdens upon Himself, Jesus Christ.

Amen.


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