There are good things about emotions. There are bad things about emotions. People go to therapy and Anger Management classes over emotions.  Many of us suppress emotions because of trauma we’ve been through.  We could have an all day seminar about emotions.  

There are over 3000 words in the English language to describe different emotions.  But, despite so many descriptions for all of our various emotions, for the most part, we live in a society that tells us that we need to suppress our emotions. If women want to compete in man’s world then you must “never let them see you sweat” and definitely don’t let them see you cry. Men are taught not show emotion - REAL men don’t cry.

The problem with suppressing emotion is that we weren’t created to live that way. 

King David obviously had no problem expressing his emotions and wrote extensive love songs to God that deeply express emotion.  He cried and wrote that God kept record of every tear he cried and stored then in a bottle. 

Paul and Silas obviously had no problem expressing emotion when they were in jail. If there's any place that you want to be a man's man and not show emotion it's to your fellow prisoners in a prison cell but they worshiped God with their whole hearts expressing their love.  

The greatest examples of Godly emotion were expressed by Jesus. He was angry and frustrated over the money-changers at the temple.  He was very upset when Lazarus died.  Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem. When was the last time you felt so deeply the heart of God over people in OKC that you just stood and wept?  

No longer look at emotion as one word, but as two. “E” is the scientific symbol for energy. Emotions compel you.  They energize you.  This energy creates motion in your life to take action.  So, now when you look at the word emotion, think of e+motion = energy in motion.

E+motion. Energy plus motion. 

What direction are you moving?  Are you letting your emotions move you in the direction God wants you to move in?  

Nehemiah 1:1-5 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 

[Nehemiah was moved with a heart of emotion about the people living in danger because the walls were down.  Emotions are always a reaction not an action.  Nehemiah heard the news and reacted with a heart of compassion.]

5 Then I said:  “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.....

[Nehemiah stopped to pray the very first thing. He began to fast and pray and he prayed day and night. If you want to see where your passion lies, look at what you pray about. Prayers are an expression of our priorities.]

I was cupbearer to the king. [Nehemiah was a Jew who was in exile in Persia - working in the palace as the King’s cupbearer. Good job if you like drinking wine every day!]

Chapter 2 [A few months later] when wine was brought for [the King] I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, 2 so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, [PRAY 1ST THEN ANSWER!] 5 and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” 6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time. 7 I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors…

[so I can have safe passage, and also a letter to get timber to make beams for the gates, and also army officers and calvary to go with me!  Yes, of course!  When God calls you He always provides!]

I encourage you to read the entire book this week - it’s not very long and it’s filled with great leadership lessons:

  1. Nehemiah prayed 1st before he did anything else; and 

  2. He put together a team - he didn’t do it alone!

  3. He had to deal with enemies and opposition - When you do something for God it’s easy - NO - enemies came to stop the progress.

But, what I want to focus on today is that Nehemiah’s heart was SO moved with compassion that he went on a mission to actually do something about the problem!

Now, Nehemiah was a cupbearer not a builder - Isn’t it just like God to use you where you don’t have skills!  In our weakness He is made strong.  I feel like God calls you outside of your skill set so when the work is done it is obviously Him! - but even though Nehemiah wasn’t a structural engineer, with God’s help, and a lot of passion and determination, and with the King’s resources and help from a lot of people, he got the job done in 52 days!  Fortunately Jerusalem is not as big as OKC, only 2.5 miles of wall but still, that’s a lot of wall to build in 52 days.  The Okla DOT can’t seem to repair 2.5 miles of Okla highways in 52 days, more like 52 weeks!

So Q for you: if each one of us today pray and ask God what He wants us to do and we worked hard to Do Something, we could change our city the next 52 days!  In the next 52 days, I want you to have a focus of pursing God’s passion. 

Passion is born from the heart.  What stirs your heart stirs your passion!  It is hard to be passionate about anything if it is not born from the heart. Your passion will cause you to rise up and do things that you never thought you would do or could do.  

Your passion reveals your purpose. 

Many of us have so suppressed our feelings and emotions that we feel nothing and therefore, we are going nowhere. But the Holy Spirit can transform our hearts.  As we deepen our relationship with God, the Holy Spirit teach us to have the emotions of Christ that drive us to motion and to action.

Let this be our prayer:

Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

The New Living Translation says: And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

When is it that we care enough that we actually DO SOMETHING? What is the point that we actually allow God to soften our hearts so we care about people like he cares about people and we have a passion to do something about the things that God cares about; the people that God cares about? 


Click here for a downloadable pdf file of this guide.


1. What is something you tend to have very strong feelings about in life?

When we get emotional we are putting energy into motion. This is a God-given gift that the enemy tries to use against us. There are certain things in all of our lives that we feel strongly emotional about. These emotions become energy set into motion.


2. Share a time when your emotions drove you to do something you regretted.

3. Share a time when your emotions drove you to do something good.

We process circumstances according to the information we are evaluating with our minds but the Bible says in Proverbs 23:7 we have a “thinking heart”. This means we process things more deeply than from the thoughts in our heads. Thoughts in our hearts tend to be much more rooted in emotion. What we feel can easily take precedent over what we think. This is why the Bible says we are to guard our heart!

Prov 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  (NIV)

Prov 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it {flow} the springs of life.  (NAS)

When the spies evaluated the Promised Land that God wanted them to possess there were conflicting reports. 10 of the spies came back with fear in their hearts saying the giants were huge. Two of the spies came back with faith in their hearts saying the promise was everything they thought it would be. A conflict erupted as these two perspectives collided.

Number 13:27-30 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large… 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land!…” NIV

Caleb didn’t offer sympathy to these negative people. Caleb offered correction to them because it was about to cost God’s people God’s promises.


4. What are some ways you have conquered a negative attitude in your own life?

Learning to consistently practice being thankful helps conquer negativity. Bring God’s Presence 2 Real Life this week by giving out two thank you cards our church is providing to encourage two people you want to thank.

We Bring GP2RL Action Point: 

Give out two thank you cards our church is providing to encourage two people you want to thank.