James 5:13 Devotional [How to Respond to Emotions]

James 5:13 Devotional verse image

James 5:13 Daily Devotional [How to Respond to Emotions]

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”

James 5:13 (see verse)

What is James 5:13 about?

This is fairly straightforward. Those in trouble should pray. Those who are happy should praise God. James is helping us process two common emotions. We all face troubles sometimes, and prayer is often the solution to that. Happiness is also common, and the proper response to happiness is reflecting on God’s goodness in your life.

James 5:13: How to Respond to Emotions

Learning how to respond to your emotions is one of the most important skills you’ll develop in your lifetime. Emotions are not inherently bad, but they can be hard to manage and can easily grow out of control. You have more control over your emotions than you think, too.

The verse above gets us started on learning how to respond to emotions. Trouble and sadness are best countered by prayer. Instead of only worrying about your situation, pray about it! Let the Lord know how you’re feeling and let him work through it with you as well. I know it’s difficult to “just stop worrying,” so I’m not going to tell you to do that. Recognize the emotion and the worry, and give it to God.

The other example James provides is happiness. If you’re experiencing good emotions, the best way to capitalize on them is to praise God. Thank him for everything he’s done for you and all that he’ll continue to do.

Practice these things so you’re able to influence your emotions before they influence you.


Father, I thank you for emotions. Though they get complicated and confusing, they make life interesting and worth living. Help me to follow James’s advice and learn to respond properly to the emotions I experience. It’s in Jesus’s name I pray, amen.

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