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Understanding Our Emotions -22

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2020 11:00 am

Understanding Our Emotions -22

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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February 9, 2020 11:00 am

Understanding and controlling our emotions to the glory of God.

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Today were going to talk about emotions.

Emotions which are huge part of who we are and how God made us. I think there are at least two mistakes that are often made in regard to our emotions one and probably the most common one is to be controlled by emotions instead of by truth. But there are some who take the opposite extreme, and deny the legitimacy of emotions altogether and try to suppress them in their lives, and neither one of these is the God honoring response with the proper approach is to understand our emotions in the light of God's word and to control them in a God honoring manner and I think our passage for today though that is not the main point that is certainly a very prominent part and I think will give us help and direction in our desire to understand and control our emotions for the glory of God. The apostle Paul was an emotional person. We found that out in our study and in the Corinthian epistles, and we shall certainly see that in our passage for today. Today's passage opens a wide window into the heart of the apostle Paul and something of his emotional life. But beyond that it opens a window into our own heart and into our own emotions and we shall find some guidance in how to respond to our emotions in a God honoring way and so today.

Second Corinthians 7539.

Understanding our emotions.

We shall see number one Paul's fears verse five. To Paul's comfort. Verses six and seven. Third, Paul's regret. Verse eight, number four, Paul's joy verse nine Paul's fears would cause Paul to fear. For indeed, he writes in verse five when we came to Macedonia. Our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts inside were spheres, the occasion that Paul is referring to here is described as when we came into Macedonia ball is actually picking up the narrative, which she began clear back in chapter 2 verses 12 and 13 and then laid aside for all of the material we have been looking out over the last several weeks and months which you may recall that he was talking about this in chapter 2, when he said in verse 12. Furthermore, when I came to trial as to preach Christ's gospel in this door was opened to me by the Lord.

I had no rest in my spirit because I did not find Titus my brother but taking my leave of him.

I departed for Macedonia.

Now he takes that up for. Indeed, when we came to Macedonia and so forth and so this is a time of anxiety in Paul's life. He came to trial last and things weren't settled they are and being unsettled in his own spirit.

He traveled on to Macedonia. In fact, Paul indicates that so troubled was his spirit that he had difficulty focusing upon his work. He came to Troyes to preach the gospel, but he couldn't focus on that again. Verse 12 in chapter 2 we came to Troyes to preach Christ. Christ's gospel, the door was opened to me by the Lord. I had no rest in my spirit I couldn't settle down and do my work. Why, because I did not find Titus, my brother taking my leave of them intro as I departed for Macedonia. The area will you find the churches of Philippi and Thessalonica and Berea. So what are the circumstances that brought about this condition in Paul's life we see at least three things that he's describing a number one is physical exhaustion number two external persecutions and then thirdly internal fears takes us back to verse five. For indeed we came to Macedonia. Our bodies had no rest. We were worn out physically when Paul says we hear.

He's obviously talking about himself and the missionary team. This is not the magisterial. We or he wouldn't of said our bodies plural. He would set our bodies singular, but is talking in the plural is talking about the missionary team. Those who are traveling with him, and when we came to Macedonia. Our bodies had no rest and he's describing the condition of physical exhaustion and the reason for that is found primarily in the next line where he tells us that we were troubled on every side.

Outside were conflicts troubled Doris one version translates it afflicted on every side, outside himself outside of the spirit of Paul and these others.

There were conflicts. There were trials. No doubt these are persecutions not specifically recorded in Scripture, but when we remember what happened when Paul was in Philippi the first time and how he was jailed and beaten and jailed and then they let them out and said quietly sneak away please. And he said no.

They got lettuce out openly and he went to Thessalonica next and there he preached in the synagogue on three Sabbath days and the opposing Jews were so stirred up that they drove them out literal persecution and you want to Berea and preach there with better effect.

The people there listen to him more carefully and examine the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. But the opposers the enemies from Thessalonica followed him to Berea and continued the opposition. There so it's not likely that Paul could come back after some period of months, and nobody would notice that he was there and everybody would leave him alone, though he doesn't tell us exactly what the form was that these persecutions and afflictions took undoubtedly he was experiencing some of the same that he had on his first visit to that location and so an external persecutions were no doubt the reason why their bodies had no rest effect they could hardly close their eyes at night and go to sleep without the fear of somebody coming in and accosting them in their beds. It was a very difficult time. They were worn out physically, but even worse inside.

He tells us were feared. Fear is a universal condition fair is a human reality we all experience it. We don't always, always experience fear for the same reason, but all of us have fears in our lives things that trouble us things that make us afraid things that make us anxious when we think about them. Paul is describing something like that in his own life at this time. Fear is such a universal condition that it even affects an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ like Paul, we can hardly think of a stronger Christian than Paul and yet here he is describing this inner conflict that he calls fears so I don't need to ask you today. Do you have fears because we all do of one kind or another to some extent or another. Some greater than others. To be sure. So the question is not, do you have any fears but the question is why. What is it that causes you to fear and how do you deal with your fear because they are real. When you can answer that question what it is that causes your fears and how you deal with them. That will give you great insight into your soul into your own spiritual condition before the Lord, and I hope as we continue while you'll find some scope for that today.

Paul goes on. Therefore in verse five to give us the reason behind verse five to give us the reason for these fears again. Verse five. Indeed we came to Macedonia bodies had no rest. We were troubled on every side, outside were conflicts inside were fears, but the next verse.

Nevertheless, God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus that refers back to what we read in chapter 2. So what was the reason why Paul was fearful. The very word he uses in verse five. Well, it was not because he was concerned about his safety or his comfort or his financial security or his health. The things that generally prompt fears within us.

The fear was occasioned because Titus did not arrive in the city of Truax as as had previously been arranged. When Paul got there to preach. Titus was supposed to show up.

They were going to rendezvous in Truax S. And Paul was looking for some information from Titus and Titus wasn't there and what Titus was going to do was to bring a report of what was going on in the church at Corinth, Paul and sent Titus to the Corinth to minister they are and to assess the situation and particularly what he was interested in was how they responded to his first Corinthian epistle and even more specifically how they responded to chapter 5, as we call it.

There were new chapters in that day, but how they responded to Paul's confrontation correction and call for the discipline of the member of the church who was living in an incestuous relationship with his stepmother. Paul knew that that was a hard letter and had no idea how they had responded to it and Titus had that information and Paul was waiting for that information and waiting and waiting and waiting and the information did not arrive in Truax as as arranged in Paul just couldn't settle down. He was he was all torn up inside just couldn't rest. He was in turmoil.

His mind was going round and round and round and round as he was wondering about this and he couldn't get anything done in Truax, ask, and so he knew which route Titus would take. He was going to be traveling up the Greek peninsula from Corinth up into Macedonia and from there by ship across the sea to Truax as an Paul couldn't wait in Truax. As for him to arrive. He aborted ship and crossed over into Macedonia so he could intercept the travels of Titus and get the report more quickly of what was going on in current Paul was concerned about the Corinthian's response to his first epistle, and what was Paul afraid of her. Still haven't nailed down.

What was the meeting fear he feared for the spiritual condition of the believers in Corinth. That's what caused his fears. He was all torn up with the thought that they had rejected. He is letter is reproof's call to repentance the things which they needed in order to be in good spiritual health that they may have rejected all of that and that would be a sign that things were far from good in their spiritual condition and that caused Paul fear turmoil tore them up to think that that response could be this response of the Corinthians.

That's not too far from our own condition either because that's a serious concern for every child of God that is for the spiritual welfare of your loved one. How many of you have children that are outside of Christ and what is your greatest concern. What is like and put it this way, your greatest fear greatest fear is that they will die before they come to Christ that causes fear and well it should. Well, it should and as you think about your loved ones and you there condition. There's their lost condition and you are concerned for their eternal welfare. This causes anxiety. This causes turmoil. This causes fear within your soul. And that's exactly what Paul was dealing with in this passage of Scripture. So Paul's fears verse five number two Paul's comfort. Verses six and seven. What brought Paul comfort in his fears. Nevertheless, verse six God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you writing to the Corinthian church in you.

When he told us of your earnest desire, your morning, your zeal for me so that I rejoiced even more. Paul's comfort the source of discomfort.

The messenger of his comfort of the means of his comfort.

What is the source of his comfort God right nevertheless verse six God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us ultimately any real comfort comes from God. God, who comforts the downcast store as the new American Standard Bible translates that were downcast God, who comforts the depressed that's the word that is used in that translation. We talk about depression. That's an emotional state. That's up on emotional state of fear and despondency that continues on that a person has difficulty lifting themselves out of. And that's the word that is used to describe what's going on with the apostle Paul here God, who comforts the depressed Paul was discouraged more than that. Paul was depressed but who brought them out of that God, who comforts the downcast, remember that verse in the first chapter of this epistle, the God of all comfort to comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God its rather significant theme of Paul God, the God of comfort. Here it is again God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us. Paul is telling us that comfort is one of the many characteristic works of God. We don't think of that one. Perhaps as often as we should. But here it is again what does God do we does a lot of things, but one of the things he does for his children is brings comfort, brings health, brings healing, brings emotional strength to his children when they are discouraged and when they are depressed. There a lot of things that people turn to when they're feeling discouraged and depressed and there a lot of things that are offered his help and remedies in the day in which we live, and I'm certain that there are many things that can provide some measure of relief some temporary relief but I want to tell you what I'm absolutely convinced of. There is nothing or no one in all the world that can provide lasting relief except God Almighty God may work through means and were going to see some of the ways that he worked here and in a moment he does work through people but ultimately if God doesn't bring the emotional feeling it won't be done and if he does all is well.

It is well with my soul. When God comes to comfort the depressed other people or other remedies may distract us for a while. From our problems and give some temporary relief medications may do the same thing may distract us a little bit take take the turmoil and the focus of the fear out of mind for a while so that doesn't bother us as much, but if it doesn't deal with the soul. If it doesn't deal with the with the root problem. If it doesn't bring spiritual healing, then it brings no lasting relief.

But the God of all comfort to comforts us in all our tribulation is the one who can bring relief.

That's the one that Paul is looking to the situation. Only God can heal and restore only God can minister to the soul that is discouraged and depressed, but God is the source of comfort. God uses others and notice the messenger of comfort in this particular situation again.

Verse six. Nevertheless, God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us while how by the coming of Titus, God used Titus as a messenger of God to minister God's comfort to Paul's soul. Titus, a fellow believer. Titus a trusted ministry companion Titus one who was very much a partner with Paul in Paul's concern for the church at Corinth. The root cause of his fears. Titus shared the same burden. Titus went to Corinth in order to minister to their needs. Titus was coming back with a happy report Titus was the messenger of the God use to minister comfort and so what are the means of comfort which were brought to Paul at this time.

Verse seven he mentions Titus in verse six and goes on to say and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you. When he told us of your earnest desire, your morning, your zeal for me so that I rejoiced even more. What's the means of comfort.

It is number one Christian Fellowship and number two godly obedience.

On this occasion. How did God minister comfort to Paul's heart through the Fellowship of Titus.

The very fact that Titus came to join Paul at this time and to interact with him to converse with him to talk with him to pray with him was a great source of help and comfort to Paul the Fellowship of Titus with Paul was used of God and was able to be used by God because Titus himself had received great comfort by his fellowship with the church at Corinth. Did you get that too. There by the consolation verse seven with which he was comforted in you. You seek not only by his coming, not only because Titus came in while Paul had another Christian to talk to you already had one or two others with him, but he had now another one to talk to, to fellowship with and that was a great comfort to him. But not only by his coming, not simply by his arrival in his presence with Paul, his bodily presence, but also by the consolation with which he Titus was comforted in you. So Titus had become relieved of his birth. Yet the same burden that Paul had for the people of Corinth had the same fears that they may not respond properly to that first epistle that strong, confrontational, MD epistle that told them they must do something very difficult if they were going to please the Lord in this situation, and Paul was concerned that they might not respond to that properly and that depressed him to think that they might not Titus also share the same concern, but the difference was the tightest got to go to Corinth and check things out tightest got to observe the proper response of the Corinthians to Paul's letter.

Titus was greatly encouraged himself by their response and was able to travel back and report these things to Paul and that was what brought comfort to Paul. But Paul was comforted by his fellowship with Titus. Titus was comforted by his fellowship with the church at Corinth, I think you want to be getting the idea one of the primary means that God uses to help people in their times of discouragement and depression is the fellowship of the saints, but do you know it so often happens when people get discouraged and depressed. They stay home because they don't feel like talking to anybody and thus they continue their problem is they go round and round chasing their own emotional tail, so to speak, getting deeper and deeper and deeper into the slough of despond. When if they would obey the Lord and not forsake the assembling of the saints. The very thing that is difficult to do and it is difficult to talk to people when you don't feel like talking to carry on a conversation. When your mind is weighed down with weightier matters to chitchat about trivial things, as it seems to you when you've got heavier matters on your mind, but the very thing that is difficult to do with that time is one of the most important things you can do one of the very things that God has appointed for your help Christian Fellowship. But of course that's coupled with godly obedience.

That is a proper response to truth. He was comforted in you when he told us of what your earnest desire, your morning, your zeal for me so that I rejoiced even more. What's he talking about the Corinthians earnest desire or longing.

What is that there earnest desire to obey the word of God that came to them through the apostle Paul to do what he sent to do if you can't remember what that was. Go back to first printing chapter 5 and read it again.

It is reported that you have with among you, a man who is living in a morality that's not even condoned by the Gentiles by the pagans that a man should have his father's wife, even though I'm absent from you. I tell you what to do deal with that man getting out of the church confronted removing it and do it yesterday. Get it done right now.

That's what Paul said how they respond to that. Who are you to tell us what to do. This is our church. We believe in a in the. The autonomy of the local church bought out will take care of this ourselves or any of the various things they could have said, but they recognize that the words of the apostle Paul was indeed the word of the living God, and they responded to it accordingly. They responded with great earnest desire to obey the truth, they responded secondly with morning that is morning over there sin. Recognizing and acknowledging that their tolerance of this intolerable situation was in fact sin before Almighty God, and they mourned over there sin when they realized that that's what it was and it says they demonstrated zeal and enthusiasm for the truth that had come to them and for Paul as being a faithful messenger of truth to communicate the truth to them. All of these are proper response. I can imagine a more God honoring response than what is described here. They desired to obey the truth. They mourned over the sandwich they had committed and they were eager to exalt the communication which they had received is the truth of God and to thank the messenger that God had used to send it to the so were talking about the means of comfort. The Corinthians, themselves, were comforted first and what was the means of comfort in their situation. It was the word of God to reveal their sin that was first they needed God's word that was critical to what happened in their lives. Secondly, there was a believing response to recognize and acknowledge the sandwich of been pointed out to them through the word of truth. Thirdly, there was obedient action to correct their sin. That's what brought healing to them the word of God to reveal their sin, a believing response to recognize and acknowledge their sin and obedient action to correct their sin to deal with the man who was guilty of such sin in their midst.

That's what brought comfort to the Corinthian church. What brought comfort to Paul. A report from Titus that the Corinthians had responded in a godly way to his epistle. That's all it took for Paul, his anxiety is fair was occasioned by the fear that they might not respond. The proper way that would have caused him deep deep anguish and now the report that they had responded properly. Relieved his fingers and brought joy in their place and dear friends. What will bring you comfort in times of difficulty.

Well, it will be based upon the truth of God's word. It will be based upon your willingness to deal with sin if that's involved and it's not in every situation, but when it is to own your sin to deal with it to confess and forsake it and what will bring you comfort in regard to your loved ones that you are so burdened for when you see their response to truth that's going to relieve your anxiety that's going to fill your hearts with joy. Many of you can testify to that. Children, for example, that you are concerned about or have been concerned about maybe prayed for for many months and years and then you see evidence that God is working in their hearts and that they are responding to that truth and everything changed.

Sorrow changed to joy for errors changed to please turmoil changed to calmness because you know or you see evidence that they are responding properly to God's truth. But thirdly, we consider quickly Paul's regret.

He talks about in verse eight. Four. Even if I made you sorry with my letter. I do not regret it. Although I did regret it for I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry though only for a while. Paul refers here once again to his painful letter, and he acknowledges that the first printing epistle because the Corinthian sorrow. He knew it would couldn't help it. The way he was required to compose it it because the Corinthian sorrow, a sorrow that Paul tells us that he did not ultimately regret but he did temporarily regret. You can see the mind of Paul wrestling with this issue in verse eight I made you sorry with my letter. I do not regret it now though I did regret it for a while. Paul seems to be saying I sent the letter I knew it needed to go, but after it went. I was saying should I worded that differently could I said that little more softly can I get that back postman postman my letter. If you ever done that mail the letter they wish to get back or push the send button and said 00 I wish I had done that I wish I could get it back and your mind is full of turmoil and and anxiety and self-doubt. Did I do the right thing or did knife is another way I could've done it should. I've done it differently. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, was this too hard.

Was this too harsh and this is what's going on in Paul's mind for months as he's waiting for the response. Yes, Paul's letter was a painful letter to cause painful results because temporary sorrow for the Corinthians. When they first received it and were shocked by it. Confronted by it slapped in the face by it, and it caused sorrow in Paul's heart that he had to send it. It was very hard for him but what was it the caused Paul's regret.

He regretted that he had caused them sorrow.

He regretted the necessity of rebuke and correction. It pained Paul to pain them or maybe two. Clarify that just slightly. It pained Paul to have to paid them.

He had to do it, but it wasn't easy.

It pained him only a parent can understand what a child never understands when a parent says getting rated to a corrective discipline a child. This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you all yeah sure. Yes it does.

Yes it does. And here's was going on with Paul.

This hurt him more than it hurt them. He regretted it for a long while Paul is telling us that for Christian there is no delight in confrontation and rebuke ungodly people often delight in hurting others.

It's a sinful delight. Some people delight only hurting people they consider to be their enemies, but all they enjoy that some people seem to delight in hurting anybody and everybody. Maybe everybody's their enemies.

I don't know that's an ungodly response and ungodly action before the Christian there is never any righteous delight in inflicting pain. Never any righteous delight in inflicting pain, but that does not prevent the Christian from the difficult obedience to God of causing pain when it is required, but it's a difficult thing that brings me then finally to verse nine Paul's joy.

Now I rejoice. He says and what caused Paul's joy. Verse nine. Now I rejoice not, that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance for you were made sorry in a godly manner that you might suffer loss from us and nothing. What was Paul's joy.

Well, it was not as he reiterates here that they were made sorry. He took no delight. None whatsoever in the pain that he caused to them what was it the broad Paul Joy number one that the sorrow produced repentance number two and even more importantly that that repentance was the work of God you sorrowed in a godly manner. You sorrowed in a manner prescribed by God. There is, is Paul going to say and Lord willing to look at next Lord's day. There is such a thing as worldly sorrow and then there such a thing as godly sorrow worldly sorrow doesn't accomplish anything good in their lives. Godly sorrow accomplishes great great great great eternal good in our lives.

And Paul is filled with joy that the sorrow produced repentance.

Paul is filled with joy of the repentance was clearly the work of God. Paul was filled with joy that they repentance erased there liability that you might suffer loss from us and nothing.

What is that loss, the loss that they would have experienced if they had refused to repent. That would've been a serious loss and Paul seems to be indicating that if your response is not one of repentance in my letter that came to you is actually going to add to your loss wife because it's another reminder of truth that you have rejected.

You rejected the truth that you knew initially in my letter comes and demands that you respond to truth and you reject that as well. And the more truth you reject the greater is your injury, the greater is your loss and so Paul is grateful that the sorrow produced repentance. Paul is grateful of the repentance gives evidence of being the work of God in their hearts. And Paul is grateful that because it is godly repentance. It erased liability, which they carried up until the time they did repent Paul's grateful that his letter did not result in injury or in additional injury, but rather, it resulted in great good in their lives. They responded correctly and therefore his letter did not bring them harm.

It brought them good.

If Paul had not written it then presumably they would have suffered great loss, but Paul wrote the letter difficult and painful though it was and anxiously anxiously anxiously awaited the outcome and it was a time of great turmoil for Paul would finally thank God it had the desired effect to lessons in closing the first one in regard to godly front confrontation and appropriate discipline in the second one of the necessity of godly sorrow and repentance in response to our sin.

Justice reminder in godly confrontation, appropriate discipline will be involved in this. At times, in some ways, whether his parents with our children weathers church members in the church, whether as supervisors in the workplace with with derelict employees or whatever it may be godly confrontation, appropriate discipline. I can tell you several things about a number one it's difficult work.

Nobody welcomes it.

Number two, it cannot be accomplished without pain, both for the offender and for the correct door. It's painful, number three, and this is vitally important, the results of this work cannot be known in advance by anybody but God cannot be righteously avoided. The times I've heard people say when they are considering something along these lines.

Well, I don't think it'll do any good.

I don't expect it to do any good. So why should we do it we can't know the results in advance what a politicking that position. I don't think my letter my first letter is going to do any good.

So I'm not going to write wrong wrong wrong decision. The truth is, it may accomplish much good or it may not. It may result anything even greater resentment. In fact, if it doesn't produce good it will result in greater hostility and resentment. It's going to increase attention. It's going to make the relationship even more difficult for us who have responsibilities in this area, we must obey and leave the results with God is not always going to turn out well like you did for Paul and the Corinthians, but it's always our responsibility to obey God's word and trust God to use our obedience as he chooses is what John MacArthur said at this point, sometimes confronting sin requires more than what love and compassion are comfortable with. Nevertheless, it is necessary because sin is a deadly killer. Paul was a reluctant disciplinarian, not harsh and abusive, but it had to be done. Paul's regret vanished when he saw the results of sorrow, godly confrontation, appropriate discipline.

It must be carried out by God help us. Number two, we learn the necessity of godly sorrow. Recent and repentance response to our own sins we live in an age where sin is treated lightly even by the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ in which people are not regularly and what many churches sometimes never confronted with sin never called to repentance, never, never called to self-examination, never reminded that Salem is a great offense against God, and it will destroy you if you are true child of God will destroy your usefulness. Which is bad enough, and if you are deceived if your counterfeit Christian then your lack of repentance is taking you straight to hell your unwillingness to to examine your heart to own your sin, to repent of it is one of the greatest evidences of a of an unregenerate person that I know this is serious business. Yes, it is necessary to deal with sin, it is necessary to examine our hearts, it is necessary to acknowledge our sin and to repent of it and know how wonderful are the results when we do owe how serious are the results when we don't.

Well, that's a lesson in human emotions and a whole lot more. Besides Shelley Bell our heads in prayer father take your word and use it to instruct our lives to for the honor and glory of Christ we pray man

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