The life of faith, and the instinct of faith are one and the same. It is an enjoyment of the goods of God, and a confidence founded on the expectation of His protection, making everything pleasant and received with a good grace. It is indifference to, and at the same time a preparation for every place, state, or person. Faith is never unhappy even when the senses are most desolate. This lively faith is always in God, always in His action above contrary appearances by which the senses are darkened. The senses, in terror, suddenly cry to the soul, “Unhappy one! You have now no resource, you are lost,” and instantly faith with a stronger voice answers: “Keep firm, go on, and fear nothing.”
No person should trust their feelings above what they know is right or wrong, and they should never be chosen over what the word of God says or what the character and nature of God reveal. However, neither should we deny or suppress our feelings. Our feelings are one of our God-given receptors that can reveal His voice and heart.
In our culture, having feelings or emotions is often equated with weakness. This is a lie that is deeply ingrained in many of us. God created feelings, surely like anything else they can be misused and abused, but the intent and purpose of feelings came from God, since he created emotions. Why is it difficult to believe that he himself has emotions?
God is a Person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires and suffers as any other person may. In making Himself known to us He stays by the familiar pattern of personality. He communicates with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills and our emotions. The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of the New Testament.
We need to learn from the centuries of experience provided by our brothers and sisters in the church and in the Bible. A Christian who has David in his bones, Jeremiah in his bloodstream, Paul in his fingertips and Christ in his heart will know how much and how little value to put on His own momentary feelings and the experience of the week. To remain willfully ignorant of Abraham wandering in the desert, the Hebrews enslaved in Egypt, David battling the Philistines, Jesus arguing with the Pharisees and Paul writing to the Corinthians is like saying, “I refuse to remember that when I kicked that black dog last week he bit my leg.” If I don’t remember it, in the next fit of anger I will kick him again and get bitten again.
I adore the reality of God’s emotions! He’s full of them. Take His unchanging, perfect love, or joy or compassion. Love, joy and compassion are emotions!
Measure not God’s love and favour by your own feeling. The sun shines as clearly in the darkest day as it does in the brightest. The difference is not in the sun, but in some clouds which hinder the manifestation of the light thereof.
There are days when we will be distracted, tired, sick, bored, or even downright tired of praying. That’s normal; we are, after all, only human. But God has the victory—He just wants our heart and our willingness to pray. He will do the rest!
January 28, 2020
When circumstances seem impossible, when all signs of grace in you seem at their lowest ebb, when temptation is fiercest, when love and joy and hope seem well-nigh extinguished in your heart, then rest, without feeling and without emotion, in the Father’s faithfulness.
January 7, 2020
Faith is not a feeling. It is not even the feeling that something is going to happen in answer to our prayers. Faith may be easier to exercise when such feelings are present. Nevertheless, feelings of that sort never constitute faith. Faith is a response on our part, the obedient response of our wills to who God is and what He says.