Thursday, October 18, 2012

a bit of a pouring | emotions & faith

Emotions and faith, do they go together? This is a question I am asking myself regularly, I struggle with this so often. I know the Word of God to be true, however I feel as though I am not seeing anything happen, no feelings of peace or guidance....nothing.
What I know as truth can't seem to be separated from my emotions. Apparently in my mind they exist simultaneously, one can't function without the other. My struggle here is this: I know God is at work (somewhere) but I don't feel it, see it or experience with my senses. 
If I were to rely on emotion alone I fear I would give up because I don't "feel" like anything is happening. If I were to rely on what I know (with no experience) I feel like I would be a cold, robotic, legalistic "Christian". Faith based solely on feelings seems selfish, that kind of faith is all about the experience.
My knowledge of the Bible and my faith in the "reality" (truth) of it as God's word keeps me from giving up and letting go due to the lack of me "seeing/feeling/sensing" the working and presence of God in my own life.
I believe emotions/feelings do play a part in faith. If emotions are removed from faith in Christ the experience is removed. The experience and movement of the Holy Spirit is what convicts and encourages change.
Relying solely on emotions takes the faith part out of being a follower of Christ.
Faith is belief that is not based on proof.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

I have faith that God is real, that His Word is true and good. I have faith and believe what the Bible says... why is it that I struggle so much with feeling like He is actually doing something? My pride and selfishness in wanting to see and do what I want rather then being still to be aware of what God has. I forget all that God has done, the times of unexplainable  peace in the midst of pain and heartbreak. The times where He has provided what I needed, the times of healing from brokenness and freedom from bondage. 

Martin Luther said... We must not judge by what we feel or by what we see before us. The Word must be followed, and we must firmly hold that these truths are to be believed, not experienced; for to believe is not to experience. Not indeed that what we believe is never to be experienced but that faith is to precede experience. And the Word must be believed even when we feel and experience what differs entirely from the Word.

I'll keep crying out to God, believing His word. That He is good and true. That He is working and has a plan; a plan that goes far beyond what I can ask or imagine. I've been reminded of this several times in the last few days, in conversations with friends and family, from lyrics of a song and sweet truths in God's word.

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