Handling Your Hard Emotions - Encouragement for Today - April 4, 2024

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Kendra LeGrandApril 4, 2024

Handling Your Hard Emotions

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“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image …’” Genesis 1:26 (NIV) 

“For this to work, you need to leave your mask at the door.”

These were words my counselor spoke to me in our second meeting. The first meeting was when she handed me a book on boundaries, which felt like a very blunt way to tell me I had a problem.

Now, when she told me to leave my mask at the door, it was all I could do not to fake a stomachache and never return.

She was saying I couldn’t keep my happy-go-lucky face on in counseling. It would get in the way of making progress. Instead, she challenged me to be honest in expressing my emotions … honest with myself and God.

But I thought showing frustration, anger, disappointment and sadness as a Christian was wrong. I thought if I believed in God, then I shouldn’t express these bad emotions because they were just that: bad.

That’s when my counselor kindly stopped me again and said, “Those aren’t bad emotions. They’re hard emotions. They’re uncomfortable to sit with. But they are God-given. He isn’t afraid of our emotions. He wants us to be honest about our feelings.”

You see, we were created in God’s image: “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image …’” (Genesis 1:26). Our purpose as image bearers is to glorify God, and He has given us so many emotions to feel as we walk out this calling. Our full range of emotions is a blessing. Even hard emotions have a purpose: For example, sadness can help us value joy. Anger and frustration can help us respond to injustice and value peace and stability. And our hard emotions drive us to depend on God.

Jesus experienced some hard emotions too:

  1. Frustration with merchants in the temple (Matthew 21:12-13).
  2. Sadness when His friend Lazarus died (John 11:35).
  3. Loneliness when He was on the cross (Matthew 27:46).

Though our emotions, if not dealt with and processed well, can lead us to sin, Jesus’ emotions stemmed from His righteous love for His people. In His anger, He did not sin. In His grief, He did not sin.

This “aha!” moment, realizing that all emotions are God-given, was freeing for me. And maybe you find yourself feeling a little freer too?

You may be:

  1. Upset with your child who hasn’t picked up their toys.
  2. Frustrated with a friend who keeps canceling plans.
  3. Angry at a spouse for the way they’re handling a work situation.

And those are OK feelings. We just don’t want to stay there all the time. We want to understand why we’re feeling how we’re feeling, repent if our emotions have led us to sin, and ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to handle our hard emotions with grace.

I’m becoming more comfortable not only leaving my mask outside the door of my counselor’s office but also when I meet with friends or in my church small group. I’m still not the best at expressing hard emotions … but it’s not about perfection. It’s about progress.

God, thank You for the gift of emotions. Thank You for Your grace on days I don’t get it all right. May Your Holy Spirit work in me so I get better at processing and expressing my emotions each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


For a resource to help you name what you feel and figure out what to do about it, grab a copy of Jennie Allen’s new book: Untangle Your Emotions.

Are you a book lover? Or maybe you’re looking for a community of women who you can grow with? Circle 31 Book Club would love to have you! Check out our community here.


Be in the know with Circle 31 Book Club on Instagram @circle31bookclub or on our Facebook page. We love to read, discuss and grow together. The circle won’t be complete without you!


Psalm 139:13-14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (NIV).

Ezekiel 36:26, “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” (NIV).

What emotion is hard for you to feel and express?

What’s one step you can take in processing that emotion in a healthy way? Maybe grab coffee with a friend, journal, or talk to a counseling professional for help. We’d also love to hear your thoughts and feelings about today’s devotion in the comments!

© 2024 by Kendra LeGrand. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

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