As I prepare for another year, I reflect on the many different events and emotions that I’ve experienced this past year. I recently purchased a t-shirt that displays the different emotions of a character in a movie that I know many of us have experienced. The t-shirt includes Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf and the different faces he expresses so well in the movie “Elf”. As funny as he is, I can’t help but notice the similarities of his many emotions that are real in our lives each day.

Did the past year have a variety of experiences and emotions that come to mind for you? What events stand out in your mind that made an effect on your life? How did you react when things started to get intense or out of control? Did your emotions take over or did you hand over the control to Christ? We are reminded of this in Matthew 8 when the disciples feared the storm while Jesus was sleeping. His reaction was priceless when they woke him up because of their fear in the storm.

And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” – Matthew 8:24-26 NKJV.

Would you have been the one to wake up Jesus? The Holy Spirit lives in our hearts every day as Christians, but do we follow Him? Don’t allow the wrong emotions to control your reactions. The Bible gives us instruction for this in Philippians 4, yet sometimes we don’t surrender the emotion to Jesus.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

This past year I personally have learned to be led more by the Spirit. It’s the number one reflection I’ve had. It’s amazing when I look back on the past years and see how different things turned out when I was being led correctly and when I wasn’t. I praise God that even when I wasn’t, Jesus always would give me a hand to grab and lift me up.

Even then your hand shall lead me, And Your right
hand shall hold me – Psalms 139:10 NKJV

Will you give all emotions to the Holy Spirit and make it a habit of the heart this coming year? Those past times that you reflect on can have a much greater outcome if Christ is leading you. What will do you next time you are faced with an emotional situation or decision? I remember when Pastor Gary asked the congregation about this months ago. He asked, do you respond quickly to a situation without going to your knees in prayer then ask God to bless your decision? Or do you pray first, then follow the Holy Spirit and thank God for the outcome even if it’s not what we wanted it to be. When we are led by the Holy Spirit, we clearly see the direction, react accordingly and understand His reason. I don’t want to make any decision again without the Holy Spirit leading me. It puts an entirely new perspective on making decisions when you surrender and know that God is in control of the outcome. It’s decision making made easy.

So, this upcoming year when you feel happy, worried, excited, surprised, relaxed, fearful, or joyful, make a conscious effort to pause, pray, and wait to be led by the Holy Spirit. Don’t let your emotions overtake your reactions. Buddy the Elf was led by the love for people because it was what he was taught as a child. We should be led by the Holy Spirit because it’s what we are taught from the Word of God. As you reflect, train yourself to be led correctly.

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live – Romans 8:13 NKJV

-Bill S