Does God have emotions?
Yes, He does! And did you know that you can experience the emotions of God?
Of course, God doesn't have fickle feelings and whimsical moods, nor is He influenced unduly by the condition of the world He has created. You can be sure that He never experiences "prophetic mood swings", either.
God does not sit in heaven worrying over our earthly condition, wringing His hands with sweaty palms. I don't believe there is ever a conversation within the Godhead where something is said along the lines of, "Oh My, what are We going to do?"
Yet, in Scripture, we see that God takes delight. He experiences gladness and joy. He is lavishly and lovingly generous.
His protective instinct is often aroused, and He goes to battle on behalf of those in need. He comforts. He is sympathetic and relatable, tolerant and patient.
The Bible shows us how God expresses His emotions.
Zephaniah even portrays Him as a singing God. Just look at the numerous words of emotion in Zephaniah 3:17 (NASB). "The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will rejoice over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."
As human beings made in God's image, we have been created as emotional beings because that is the way He is. That is already a pretty clear acknowledgment that our Creator God is Himself an emotional being.
Due to our fallen state, we are also badly tainted with sin, rebellion and evil motives, yet in our original design, we are modeled like our Creator.
He expresses Himself in many ways, and He wants us to follow Him closely as we love and serve Him. He is not a distant, detached, aloof and unfeeling God; indeed, He is passionate and compassionate.
That Your Joy May Be Full
"I have spoken these things to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11). This is Jesus speaking to His disciples. Remember that He and the Father God are one; here, He is speaking as God, telling the disciples that His own joy is increasing as He is explaining the kingdom to them, and that He wants their joy to increase as well.
He wants joy to be a shared emotion for all of His disciples, including you and me.
Scriptures do not portray our personal God as a cerebral, emotionless deity. No, together they give us a full-color picture of the God who is moved by emotions such as yearning, love and compassion to act.
He loved the people He has created so much that He sent His only Son to save them from a well-deserved sentence of death. He loves each of us so much that He takes the initiative to save us even when we spurn Him repeatedly.
God's heart beats with such a profound depth of feelings that on a celestial EEG, it will never flatline.
When we accept His outreaches and respond to His love, all of heaven bursts with joy and celebrates with Him. In fact, heaven knows how to throw a party!
Jonathan Edwards, colonial pastor, preacher and theologian of the First Great Awakening (who from his portraits appears to represent stern formality and rigid fortitude), preached about what he called "holy affections," that is, sanctified emotions.
He wrote, "True religion, in great part, consists in holy affections." He considered the enjoyment of holy affections to be part of the abundant life of true believers. As Psalm 16:11 (MEV) puts it, "You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
Jack Hayford, respected elder statesman in the body of Christ, considers that in an environment in which God's Word is foundational and the person of Christ is the focus, His Holy Spirit brings clear thinking along with an emotional response.
Dr. James W. Goll is the founder of God Encounters Ministries. He is an international bestselling author, a certified life language coach, an adviser to leaders and ministries and a recording artist. James has traveled around the world ministering in more than 50 nations sharing the love of Jesus, imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry and life in the Spirit. He has recorded numerous classes with corresponding curriculum kits and is the author of more than 50 books, including The Seer, The Prophet, The Discerner, The Lost Art of Intercession and Praying with God's Heart. James is also the founder of GOLL Ideation LLC, where creativity, consulting and leadership training come together.
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Dr. James Goll is the founder of Encounters Network, Prayer Storm and helps carry on the work of Compassion Acts. For information on his online school visit: geteschool.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.
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