"Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

emotional baggageTrue emotional health frees us from our past to live joyfully in the present. For many of us, this joy is hindered by ‘emotional’ baggage. Emotional baggage is a metaphor of holding a volatile mix of negative and unprocessed emotions that we've acquired throughout the years in battered old baggage. These feelings comes from people, places, behaviors and experiences from our past that still have a negative impact our present. It impacts how we deal with life situations and relationships. In our childhood, we start to carry an emotional Fannie pack. As we enter adulthood it becomes extra-large suitcases and difficult to carry.

Pastor Pete has counseled hundreds of people in his ministry. From a spiritual perspective, this emotional baggage morphs into something bigger and heavier because deeply entrenched parts of our past has not been touched by the power and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of forgiveness, peace and acceptance, we have baggage bursting with anger, restlessness and regret. Jane, for example, is a member of a Sunday school class. She was abused sexually by an uncle as a teenager. Today, twenty-five years later, whenever an authority figure gives Jane suggestions or constructive criticism, she gets defensive and withdraws. She is unaware of how unexamined past chains her to unloving, disrespectful ways of relating in the present.

Theme: Trusting God is a way of life and not a statement of belief. The evidence of faith is in the way you live, not in what you say you believe. (Facebook post with comments.)

Responses to the question "What is it like to trust God" (from our WL congregation):

  • To give up control of our life (Jaime).
  • To be OK with not getting what we want (Sarah).
  • To believe that God is good (Rhoel).
  • To see the big picture (Betsy).

Isaiah 40:1-11 (Who is God to us when we sin grievously?) "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God" (Isa 40:1).

ThemeWho God is when we sin.God is undeterred in pursuing us despite our besetting grievous sin. God's people have abandoned him, but God has not rejected them.