THE EMOTIONS OF GOD the Father, Christ and Emotions of Paul                                    introduction

Emotions can often be a fickle dish. Still, emotions are made by the finger of God. We are made in the image of God, and as such, we find ourselves in worship before an emotional God who loves, fights, cries, gets jealous, and embodies compassion at every turn of Scripture. Emotions are central to the life of God as they are to the life of faith.

We must not overlook the many emotions God ascribes to Himself in the Bible. God uses language we can understand to teach us that he is not an unfeeling being.

  1. The heart of God is mentioned in Genesis 6:6 – “The LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”
  2. Grieved.
  3. The rebellion of Israel in the wilderness grieved the Lord.
  4. Psalm 78:40 – “How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert.”
  5. Wrath and displeasure Psalm 2:5 – “Then He speaks to them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath.”
  6. Laughing. Psalm 2:4 – “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord ridicules them.”
  7. Anger
  8. Jeremiah 7:18-19
  9. The anger of Jehovah is mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah
  10. Joy
  11. Isaiah 6:2-5
  12. The joy of God is referred to by the prophet Isaiah.
  13. Love. John 3:16
  14. Vengeance
  15. Deuteronomy 32:35
  16. God brings vengeance upon evil doers.
  17. Hate
  18. Deuteronomy 16:21-22
  19. God hates graven images that are set up to represent Him or take His place.
  20. Pleasure. In Isaiah 53:10, God is referred to as having the ability to experience pleasure.


  • Philippians 2:5-8 (Read)
  • Hebrews 4:14-15 – “Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.”

The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus took upon Himself the nature of a servant (man, in the flesh). Therefore, He understands our emotions…

Nonetheless, he guarded His emotions and never allowed them to carry Him into sin He is the perfect example of how good and controlled emotions benefit our lives. He was emotional on many occasions, but His emotions were appropriate and always under control. The point is this . . . It’s okay to be emotional if we handle it like the Lord did.

  1. Compassion
  2. Matthew 9:36
  3. Jesus was a man of compassion. The Greek word here refers to being moved inwardly; feelings, emotions.
  4. Properly-controlled anger
  5. Mark 3:5
  6. The word for anger is “orge.” It suggests a settled condition of mind, even though a strong emotion may be in one’s bosom.
  7. The Greek word translated “wrath” is “Thumos.” It indicates a more agitated condition of the feelings, an outburst of wrath from inward imagination. This is not what Jesus had.
  8. Jesus had “orge.” He was in control of His emotions and actions.
  9. Weeping
  10. Three accounts of Jesus having wept.
  11. Wept at the tomb of Lazarus. John 11:32-35 (sympathy and sorrows of others)
  12. Wept over the city of Jerusalem. Luke 19:41 (Over lost opportunities)
  13. Wept in the garden of Gethsemane. Hebrews 5:7  (Weeping in battle)
  14. The Greek word translated wept in John 11:35 is “dakruo,” and means to shed tears, and is only used in the New Testament with reference to Christ.
  15. In Luke 19:41, the word here is “klaio” and refers not only to crying, but also every outward expression of grief, bewailing, mourning, etc.

D Agony . . . anguish

  1. Luke 22:44 – “Being in anguish [agony], He prayed more fervently, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
  2. This denotes an inward emotional contest which also touches the conduct of the body.” Jesus was truly weeping in battle.
  3. Love
  4. John 20:2
  5. The love mentioned here is “Phileo,” and here refers to tender affection.
  6. Groaned
  7. 1. John 11:38
  8. Jesus groaned in His spirit.
  9. The Greek word used here (embrimaomai) means to be greatly perturbed in mind, deeply moved. CSB translates it as angry. “The Jesus, angry in Himself, came again to the tomb . . . “
  10. Sighed
  11. Mark 8:12; 7:34
  12. The original word, “anastenazo,” suggests a very deeply drawn sigh or groan from within because of feelings.
  13. Cried out
  14. Matthew 27:46
  15. It is said that Jesus experienced every form of pain in His death on the cross.
  16. Crying out was one of the ways He found relief from His pain.
  17. Sorrowful & Heavy in spirit
  18. Matthew 27:46
  19. Jesus experienced such deep emotions. So much was at stake.
  20. Joy
  21. John 15:11; 17:13
  22. The Lord wanted to share His joy with His people.
  23. Loneliness
  24. Matthew 26:40-46; John 6:15; Luke 9:18
  25. This was not because of an inner weakness, or feeling of insecurity, but because of the agony that was before Him.
  26. Control of His emotions 1 Peter 2:23 – “When reviled, He did not revile in return; when suffering, He did not threaten, but committed Himself

to the One who judges justly. ”

Note: Jesus was not a stoic who kept Himself above feelings.

  • Isaiah 53:4 – “Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.”
  • The song says, “Jesus knows all about my troubles.”
  • We learn from Jesus that it is okay to be emotional . . . However, the challenge is to keep our emotions within healthy bounds.


Paul’s emotions covered the spectrum from hate to love . . . from no compassion to compassion . . . from misguided zeal to controlled zeal, etc. From the day he met Christ, his life was never the same again . . . and neither should our lives be the same ever again. Time and time again in his writings he reveals his tender emotional feelings. He was a man of great self-control.

  1. Deep emotional feelings
  2. Philippians 1:7-8; 2 Corinthians 7:15; Colossians 3:12
  3. Paul had deep emotional feelings, inward affection, for his brethren.
  4. Suffering
  5. Philippians 1:13, 2-30
  6. Paul considered his suffering for Christ to be a blessing.
  7. Joy
  8. Philippians 2:2, 17
  9. Note: Paul’s joy was never determined by outward circumstances.
  10. Humility
  11. Philippians 3:4-10; 2 Corinthians 12:21
  12. Paul was not puffed up by his own importance.
  13. Contentment
  14. Philippians 4:11
  15. Paul had to learn to be content . . . and so must we.
  16. This was a great contributor to his mind.
  17. Note: Paul knew things are the way they are without because things are the way they are within.
  18. Calmness
  19. Acts 20:24
  20. Paul was a clam man even in the face of persecution.
  21. Right attitudes
  22. 2 Corinthians 12:7-11
  23. Paul had the right attitude toward his “thorn in the flesh.” H. Heaviness . . . sorrow
  24. Romans 9:2
  25. He felt for his brethren and their respective situations.


  1. We are not stoics . . . we are not zombies . . . If anything, Christianity puts real life and care into our feelings.
  2. An old Negro spiritual descries the emotional challenges we face: “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve see;

Nobody knows but Jesus.   Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down- Oh yes, Lord!Sometimes I’m almost to the ground.    On yes, Lord!”  It is not always possible for a person to always be “high” emotionally; likewise, it is not desirable for him to always be on an emotional “low.” God wants us to be in control of the emotions that can harm us physically and spiritually. Whether we are emotionally high, low, or somewhere in between, we should not permit our emotions to lead us into sin.


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