I'm a bit blue on a bus to Kingston. I woke up blue. I do from time to time. Not the colour. The feeling.
There's usually no reason for it. My circumstances are exactly the same as yesterday when I was feeling pretty jolly. In fact I had my best night's sleep for a while last night. My wife fended off the small border at 4.45am and I remained subconscious and blissfully unaware.
I just woke up feeling glum. With a little lump in my throat, a tension in my stomach (definitely not abs) and a heavy heart.
I find at times like this I'm really helped by a clear doctrine of sin. Because knowing I am a fallen sinner means that I don't fully trust my emotions.
The Bible teaches us that the world is fallen and creation is cursed. (Genesis 3 and Romans 8:18f for background reading). This means that there is not one part of me that is functioning fully as it could be. Even when we are healthy our bodies are in bondage to decay.
Most of us can accept this for our physical health. We don't expect to avoid all illness. But we seem not to expect our mental and emotional health to be effected. For some reason we think that our emotions will always follow our circumstances. That we will be happy when happy things happen and sad when sad things happen. But our emotions are as fallen as the rest of us.
The Psalmist knows this when he asks himself in Psalm 42:5
"Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?"
It's a refrain repeated in the Psalm which he doesn't answer. Because there is no answer. What he does do is tell himself truths about God. The verse goes on:
"Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God."
It's almost a command. He orders himself to look to the Lord.
So that's what I've been doing today. Forcing myself to listen to truths about the Lord Jesus. Reminding myself of his great love. Talking to him about how wonderful he is.
I don't feel much better. But then my emotions are fallen so I can't expect a bit of biblical truth to cure them. But it doesn't stop it being the truth.