Mind, Character and Personality/Emotional Factors
Obedience to God Delivers From Passion and Impulse—Obedience to God is liberty from the thralldom of sin, deliverance from human passion and impulse. Man may stand conqueror of himself, conqueror of his own inclinations, conqueror of principalities and powers, and of “the rulers of the darkness of this world,” and of “spiritual wickedness in high places.”—The Ministry of Healing, 131 (1905).
Emotions to Be Controlled by Will [See Chapter 76, “Decision and the Will.”]—Your part is to put your will on the side of Christ. When you yield your will to His, He immediately takes possession of you, and works in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. Your nature is brought under the control of His Spirit. Even your thoughts are subject to Him.
If you cannot control your impulses, your emotions, as you may desire, you can control the will, and thus an entire change will be wrought in your life. When you yield up your will to Christ, your life is hid with Christ in God. It is allied to the power which is above all principalities and powers. You have a strength from God that (p.124) holds you fast to His strength; and a new life, even the life of faith, is possible to you.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 148 (My Life Today, 318.)
Emotions Controlled by Reason and Conscience—The power of the truth should be sufficient to sustain and console in every adversity. It is in enabling its possessor to triumph over affliction that the religion of Christ reveals its true value. It brings the appetites, the passions, and the emotions under the control of reason and conscience, and disciplines the thoughts to flow in a healthful channel. And then the tongue will not be left to dishonor God by expressions of sinful repining.—Testimonies for the Church 5:314 (1885).
Doing God’s Will Versus Feeling and Emotions (counsel to a young man)—It is not your feelings, your emotions, that make you a child of God, but the doing of God’s will. A life of usefulness is before you if your will becomes God’s will. Then you may stand in your God-given manhood, an example of good works.
You will then help to maintain rules of discipline instead of helping to break them down. You will then help to maintain order instead of despising it and inciting to irregularity of life by your own course of action.
I tell you in the fear of God: I know what you may be if your will is placed on the side of God. “We are laborers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9). You may be doing your work for time and eternity in such a manner that it will stand the test of the judgment. Will you try? Will you now turn square about? You are the object of Christ’s love and intercession. Will you now surrender to God and help those who are placed as sentinels to guard the interests of His work, instead of causing them grief and discouragement?—Testimonies for the Church 5:515, 516 (1889).
Restlessness and Dissatisfaction Changed (assurance to one in the balance)—When you come to receive Christ as your personal Saviour, there will be a (p.125) marked change in you; you will be converted, and the Lord Jesus by His Holy Spirit will stand by you. There will no longer be the restless uneasiness and dissatisfaction which you possess.
You love to talk. If your words were such as would glorify God, there would be no sin in them. But you do not realize peace and rest and enjoyment in the service of God. You certainly are not a converted man to do God’s will, therefore you cannot feel the cheering, enlivening influence of His Holy Spirit.
When you decide that you cannot be a Christian and still do as you please, when you realize that you must surrender your will to God’s will, then you can comply with the invitation of Christ, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).— Manuscript 13, 1897.
Control of Inward Emotions—You may be cheerful if you will bring even your thoughts into subjection to the will of Christ. You should make no delay but closely search your own heart and die to self daily.
You may inquire: How can I master my own actions and control my inward emotions?
Many who profess not the love of God do control their spirit to a considerable extent without the aid of the special grace of God. They cultivate self-control. This is indeed a rebuke to those who know that from God they may obtain strength and grace and yet do not exhibit the graces of the Spirit. Christ is our model. He was meek and lowly. Learn of Him and imitate His example. The Son of God was faultless. We must aim at this perfection and overcome as He overcame if we would have a seat at His right hand.—Testimonies for the Church 3:336 (1873). (p.126)
Emotions Are as Changeable as Clouds—But shall we wait till we feel that we are cleansed? No; Christ has promised that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). You are proved of God through the Word of God. You are not to wait for wonderful emotions before you believe that God has heard you; feeling is not to be your criterion, for emotions are as changeable as the clouds. You must have something solid for the foundation of your faith. The word of the Lord is a word of infinite power upon which you may rely, and He has said, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Look to Calvary. Has not Jesus said that He is your advocate? Has He not said that if you ask anything in His name you shall receive? You are not to depend on your own goodness or good works. You are to come depending upon the Sun of righteousness, believing that Christ has taken away your sins and imputed to you His righteousness.—The Signs of the Times, December 12, 1892. (Selected Messages 1:328.)
Emotions No Sure Safeguard—Feelings are often deceiving, emotions are no sure safeguard; for they are variable and subject to external circumstances. Many are deluded by relying on sensational impressions. The test is: What are you doing for Christ? What sacrifices are you making? What victories are you gaining? A selfish spirit overcome, a temptation to neglect duty resisted, passion subdued, and willing, cheerful obedience rendered to the will of Christ are far greater evidences that you are a child of God than spasmodic piety and emotional religion.—Testimonies for the Church 4:188 (1876).
Christians Should Not Be Subject to Emotions [See Appendix A, 807, “Counsel to a Depressed Middle-Aged Woman,” and Appendix B, 811, “Implicit Trust Irrespective of Changes in Emotional Atmosphere.”]—God’s children are not to be subject to feelings and (p.127) emotions. When they fluctuate between hope and fear, the heart of Christ is hurt; for He has given them unmistakable evidence of His love.... He wants them to do the work He has given them; then their hearts will become in His hands as sacred harps, every chord of which will send forth praise and thanksgiving to the One sent by God to take away the sins of the world.— Letter 2, 1914 (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 518, 519.)
Christ Gives Mastery Over Natural Inclinations—Christ came to this world and lived the law of God that man might have perfect mastery over the natural inclinations which corrupt the soul. The Physician of soul and body, He gives victory over warring lusts. He has provided every facility, that man may possess completeness of character.—The Ministry of Healing, 130, 131 (1905).
The Rapture of Feeling No Evidence of Conversion—Satan leads people to think that because they have felt a rapture of feeling, they are converted. But their experience does not change. Their actions are the same as before. Their lives show no good fruit. They pray often and long and are constantly referring to the feelings they had at such a time. But they do not live the new life. They are deceived. Their experience goes no deeper than feeling. They build upon the sand, and when adverse winds come, their house is swept away.—The Youth’s Instructor, September 26, 1901. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 4:1164.)
Feelings of Unrest Sometimes Good—Feelings of unrest and homesickness or loneliness may be for your good. Your heavenly Father means to teach you to find in Him the friendship and love and consolation that will satisfy your most earnest hopes and desires.... Your only safety and happiness are in making Christ your constant counselor. You can be happy in Him if you had not another friend in the wide world.— Letter 2b, 1874 (HC 259.) (p.128)
The Lord Wants to Disturb Minds—Christ sees men so absorbed in worldly cares and business perplexities that they have no time to become acquainted with Him. To them heaven is a strange place, for they have lost it out of their reckoning. Not familiar with heavenly things, they tire of hearing about them. They dislike to have their minds disturbed concerning their needs of salvation, preferring to engage in amusements. But the Lord wants to disturb their minds, that they may be led to take hold of eternal realities. He is in earnest with them. Very, very soon they will all know Him, whether they desire to or not.— Manuscript 105, 1901.
Not to Be Absorbed in Self-study of Emotions—It is not wise to look to ourselves and study our emotions. If we do this, the enemy will present difficulties and temptations that weaken faith and destroy courage. Closely to study our emotions and give way to our feelings is to entertain doubt and entangle ourselves in perplexity. We are to look away from self to Jesus.—The Ministry of Healing, 249 (1905).