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Can a believer experience adverse emotions? Absolutely, whether we are believers or not, the soul is not immune to outside influences and experiences. In Genesis 42:21 we see Joseph’s brothers saying of Joseph, 

And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. (KJV)

Joseph was a mighty man of God; however, he was not immune to the anguish of the soul. That anguish was the result of what he experienced as his brothers sold him into slavery and cast him away from his people and from his family. 

As born-again believers we will suffer, Jesus told us so in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV) Notice that trouble is guarantee, but also notice that in Jesus we find peace in the midst of trouble. Jesus encourages to take heart by letting us know that he has overcome the world.

The problem is when our depression is ongoing. The word soul in Genesis 2:7 is the Hebrew word nep̱eš This is “the inner being with its thoughts and emotions.”[1] Some translations use the word being, some use the word creature, but the original word refers to the soul (Nepes). We become a living soul as the soul is ministered to by the Spirit, that is, the breath of life. In John 10:10 Jesus tells us,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 (ESV)

Jesus gives us the life that causes our soul to be a living soul. As stated before, the souls do not have life on his own; life is given by the Spirit. The devil, on the other hand, is the opposite of life, he will do whatever it takes to distract us from developing a relationship with God because he knows that in that relationship, we find life. 

Beloved, it is God’s Spirit who create in us a living soul; but when we disconnect from the Spirit of God the soul goes back to experiencing symptoms contrary to the life God gives. That decision to disconnect from God flows out of our soul (Leviticus 26:15 and Deuteronomy 4:29). What gets on the way of a healthy relationship with God is our pride; the idea that we can do whatever we are called to do without Him. Leviticus 16:29 is one of several portions of Scriptures that encourages us to humble ourselves before God. 

If you find yourself not praising God; if you don’t pray, if you don’t study the Scriptures, if you have no peace and no joy you are depraving your soul from life; you are literally sucking the life out of your own soul because you are cutting your soul from the source of life. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 4:4, 

“…‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (NIV)

To be continued…

[1] Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 746.

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