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Clarification: By damaged emotions or physiological problems I am not referring to unusual things like the fear of the outdoors, but more common problems that many of us have including: excessive irritability, perfectionism, defensiveness, fear, guilt, worry, etc.

The phrase 'damaged emotions' is obviously not part of the vocabulary of Biblical times. Therefore, my question is 'What Bible references can be used to support the claim that healing for emotions can be obtained through God's word and what would that 'healing' therefore mean?


*Notes:

  • The question does not oppose modern day counseling or therapy techniques (secular or church endorsed) to help people. However I would like to consider that 'off-topic' to the question raised, as this is specifically asking for Biblical support.

  • This is what I would describe as an 'inter-faith' question, because although reverting to our own doctrinal rocking horse (which I often do) is acceptable for many answers, this question is with respect to the healing for damaged emotions that virtually any believer might experience through God's word regardless of denomination.*

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Great question. I know the Evangelical church is the most aligned to that type of Christianity. For example, many people with addictions or broken pasts will find their healing there. –  Greg McNulty Jul 3 '12 at 6:47
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3 Answers

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The Bible does directly speak of healing our minds and hearts which is just another way of saying in the vernacular --> 'damaged emotions'.

For example, in predicting the Messiah, the prophet Malachi describes his work as 'healing':

1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. (ESV Malachi 4:1-2)

This speaks well to damaged emotions as one who is suffering them feels like a animal locked into a stall. The free emotions which children play with are long over by the time sin and abusive relationships  have damaged them.  In contrast to this, 'salvation' makes us leap out of the stall, like an animal that is free to frolic in the fields with nothing but the wind in its face to restrain him. This freeing of the soul under the healing of Christ's rays speaks to the question. 

There are many other things the bible has to say in this regards but I will only mention a couple and then explain how God regularly heals my own damaged emotions.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV Matthew 11:28-30)

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

For the subject of 'guilt' refer to this very lengthy post intended to fully drive it away from the free  leaping deer.

The way that God heals my damaged emotions is primarily through worship. When I enter into worship I come expecting to encounter God by His Spirit who is there whenever two or three people meet in His name. (Matthew 18:20).  Usually during this time God sprinkles the blood of Christ on my guilty conscience and I sense how holy I am in His sight, on account of Christ's righteousness being imputed against me while I was yet a sinner and his enemy. With a cleansed conscience, free from Satan's accusations, I leap in love for God as I am reminded of His love for me.  Second, all the hurts and sins that I have given and received over the past week, becomes apparent and I realize I have collected a burden that He would like to lift. I am not proud, so I usually give it up and admit I am such a foolish sinner. I am usually brought to a tear , or two, but resist as much as possible because I am naturally a stoic. I leave worship rejoicing, relaxed and ready for another battled with the Devil all week long. This is really practical Christian living, I know know other kind.

I think what I described is a real life application of how to 'put on' an important piece of 'spiritual armor' which directly protects your heart, that is your affections:

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place (NIV  Ephesians 6:14)

This means know the truth of the gospel which tightens all your armor into place and prevents you from running off with a flying tunic that trips you! Also with faith in Christ's free righteousness charged to your account(not your own although this faith does also create that) in order to protect your emotions from the Devil. For we must not be unaware of him who hates us and is called 'the accuser of the brethren' (Rev 12:10)

Rather instead:

If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.(1 John 3:20)

I challenge you. Next time you enter worship:

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7

And see if this is not true in your close relationship with Him during worship:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

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very nicely put. Is there areason you have been answering your own questions lately? Also, why does the bible say where two or three are gathered ? Does that mean he is not there in Aline prayer or is there differently?? –  Greg McNulty Jul 4 '12 at 6:26
    
@GregMcNulty - I strated a chat room if you want to ask a couple questions off topic. Comments should not veer off. Cheers. chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/3984/… –  Mike Jul 4 '12 at 7:52
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This is the perspective to your question from one of the biggest Christian radio stations in the world - KLOVE:

Scott and Kelli both have a deep desire to reach out to the lost and be used by God for His glory.

Every day, God uses K-LOVE to make a difference in millions of lives. By providing positive music and inspirational stories, K-LOVE helps people draw closer to God. Unlike other radio stations, K-LOVE has a full time ministry team that processes over 100 phone calls a day of listeners in need of guidance. The pastors and staff at K-LOVE pray for over 1,000 prayer requests every day, and on average, intervene in one suicide case per day.

http://www.klove.com/djs/bios/scott-and-kelli.aspx

The songs they play are all about healing damaged emotions, damaged life situations. (As I am listening right now they are advertising their program about teenagers with addictions and how Jesus can change their heart.)
http://www.klove.com/listen/player.aspx

The biblical basis can be shown in the work of Norman Vincent Peal:

Thought Conditioners
By Norman Vincent Peale

Forty powerful spiritual phrases that can change the quality of your life Since happiness and effectiveness depend upon the kinds of thoughts we think, it is absolutely impossible to be happy if we think unhappiness-producing thoughts. One of the wisest men who ever lived was Marcus Aurelius, who said, "A man's life is what his thoughts make of it." If you put into your mind thoughts of fear, you will get thoughts of fear out of your mind. Fill your mind with resentment thoughts, and resentment attitudes will emerge. And in neither case, of course, can you find happiness-inducing thoughts. Whatever the condition of your mind, the Thought Conditioners I am going to suggest are so powerful that they will displace unhealthy thoughts. Indeed, displacement is the only way you can drive a thought from the mind. In my experience through many years in working with people, I have discovered that the most vital, creative and positive thoughts are those stated in the Bible. Its words are alive. The Bible itself states what its spiritual words will do. “If ye abide in Me and My words abide in you ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” This means, simply, that if you fill your mind with spiritual words so that they sink from your conscious to your subconscious mind by a process of spiritual osmosis, you will so condition your personality with spiritual power and sensitivity that God's will can operate in you. Every great value of this life, the ones that really matter, shall then be yours. The words of the Bible are powerful Thought Conditioners. They are capable of revolutionizing the entire personality. Over the years, I had noticed that certain passages from the Scriptures had a particularly potent effect on human beings. I began, therefore, to list the life-creating words from the Scriptures that had done me the most good. Many of these I had recommended to others. Some of them had been called to my attention by people in whom there had occurred the most astonishing demonstration of new life and joy. When I applied them to myself, I found they did indeed possess tremendous effectiveness. The process I have used both personally and in counseling, which has accomplished most impressive results, is simply that of committing these great passages to memory. One puts them in the mind as in a sort of spiritual medicine cabinet, each to be drawn out as needed for specific ills or maladies of the personality, or to meet life’s situations as they develop. As suggested above, the method is also to conceive of these thoughts as having displacement value, crowding out injurious thought patterns. The best results are gained by utilizing spare minutes to say these Scripture passages, or Thought Conditioners, over and over. As you are riding on a bus or train, or washing the dishes, or waiting for an appointment, utilize fractional moments to dwell and meditate upon the meaning of these texts. As you do so, there will flash out from them new insights, new perceptions of truth. Gradually, by a deep therapy, they will drive into the mind until presently your life will become a living demonstration of God’s power. The booklet contains 40 creative and vital passages. Why 40? Perhaps because in His own deepest spiritual experience, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert withstanding temptation. There is no magic to the number 40, but it so happened that when I finished my list it totaled 40. There are many more vital passages. In fact, you can read and re-read the Bible for a lifetime and never exhaust its wisdom. This is my 40, and when you complete these and feel that they are in your permanent possession, explore the Scriptures further and find the many others that will have the same health-giving effect in your life. Now, the method for using this booklet: 1. I suggest that you read it through quickly at one reading to get the over-all impact of 40 of the greatest gems of thought ever spoken. 2. Start at the beginning and memorize one verse a day. Meditate upon the brief message given with each. Then practice the simple techniques suggested. 3. It may be that one or two or more of these will have a particularly strong effect upon you. In that case, I suggest that you remove it from the book, put it in your pocket, under the glass of your desk, or on your dressing table so that you can see it every day and thus it can become your dominating thought. These are not arranged according to problems or categories. Neither are they selected on any basis of relative importance. I have listed them just as they have come out of my own mind, one after the other. Perhaps God sorted them for this particular purpose. I give them to you with the prayer that these brief spiritual Thought Conditioners may add to the happiness and usefulness of your life.

The things, which are impossible with men are possible with God. —Luke 18:27
This text shows how to do an “impossible” thing. Size up your problem, pray about it, do all you can about it. If it seems impossible, don’t give up, but affirm, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Keep relaxed. Don’t worry. Avoid getting panicky. Never think, “This can’t be done.” Declare, “It can be done, it is being done because God is doing it through me.” Affirm that the process is in operation. The final outcome may not be entirely what you now desire. But, handled in this manner, the solution will be what God wants it to be.

you can read the rest of the 40 here: http://www.drcolvard.com/thtcond.pdf

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Here are a few verses that might shed some light on the question (sorry, being a new user, I can only give you links for context for the first two due to SPAM protection on stackexchange):

The book of Psalms, Chapter 27, Verse 1

"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

The book of Psalms, Chapter 56, Verses 3-4

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."

The book of Isaiah, Chapter 41, Verse 10

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

The book of Isaiah, Chapter 41, Verse 13

"For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."

The book of Psalms, Chapter 34, Verse 17-19

"The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all."

The book of Psalms, Chapter 94, Verse 18-19

"When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul."

The book of Proverbs, Chapter 18, Verse 1

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."

The book of Isaiah, Chapter 40, Verse 31

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 15, Verse 4

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."

Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 15, Verse 13

"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."

The way in which positive emotions seem to be created and negative ones eliminated seems to be mainly through the belief that one is doing God's will, and that it is the way to salvation.

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(+1) Kind of refreshing to read such a good list of comforting verses. Welcome to SE! –  Mike Jul 3 '12 at 10:56
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