February 15, 2022

How to Change Your Bad Feelings and Experience More Joy

Written by Shana Schutte

“When you change how you think, you can change how you feel.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 15, 2022

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

In addition to the lovely honor of writing devotionals for Wisdom Hunters, I also coach singles who are over 30 and interested in finding a committed, meaningful relationship.

When *Linda came to me in 2021, she told me she was starting to recognize she had some unhealthy relationship patterns and wanted to change because she desired marriage.

“I cut men off as soon as they show any interest.” She was 43 and hadn’t ever had a relationship. Since we started working together, she has met a godly widower and they are seriously talking about their future. I’m so happy for her. 

Because we finished our coaching sessions several months ago, I followed up with her last week to get an update and to take a look back at what she had learned through our time together.

“I learned that your emotions aren’t always telling you the truth. I see now that I thought I was being wise in rejecting men because I told myself I saw this red flag or that red flag, but in reality, I was just really scared. My emotions were lying to me.” 

Emotions. They can’t always be relied on. When we lean on our feelings, one minute they can take us here and another minute they can take us there. But the good news is that emotions follow thoughts.

Therefore, if you want to feel differently, you need to change how you think. This is exactly what Linda experienced in her love life. When she started to think differently, she felt differently. When I asked her if she still feels panic like she did when we first started working together, she shook her head and smiled, “No, not at all,” she said. Praise God! 

A changed mind creates changed feelings. 

Perhaps this is why the Lord tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).  He doesn’t tell us to be transformed by the renewing of our emotions. What does it mean to be transformed by the renewing of our minds? It means we choose to think God thoughts. It means we grab onto His perspective and truth about our circumstances. And when we do, then our feelings—and our actions—will follow. 

According to 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, the believer is called to do battle against the Adversary’s wicked schemes—and the battlefield is in our minds. The devil has no power over us except through that which we believe. Then, once he alters what we believe, He can change how we feel. 

When I look back on my turbulent twenties, so many difficulties in my life were fueled by what I believed and how I thought. I thought I was a bad person, so I felt bad. I thought God was condemning me, so I felt condemned. I thought I had irreversibly messed up my life, so I felt hopeless. 

The freedom to be all God has called us to be, to have the kind of fulfilling relationships we want, and to experience joy in our work doesn’t begin with how we feel. It begins with how we think. It begins with thinking how God thinks about all that concerns us. 

The renewing of our minds — to think about our lives God’s way—is what sets us free to be all He has called us to be. Without God’s perspective, we’ll experience negative emotions because negative emotions follow ungodly thoughts and beliefs.  

The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out” (Proverbs 18:15).


 Lord, help me not to allow my emotions to rule me today. Help me to bring my feelings to you for healing, but not get stuck in them. Help me to get your perspective and truth about my life so that I can experience joy.


What are you thinking today about God’s love for you, about your future, about yourself, others, and the world? What are you telling yourself about your relationships, your capabilities and about what’s possible? Are your emotions filled with hope, love, peace, and joy? If not, take a look at your thoughts and what you believe. Do you need to work on a little transformation according to Romans 12:2?

Related Reading

1 Peter 1:14; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Proverbs 2:1-10

Worship Resource

Casting Crowns: The Change in Me


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