Monday, January 09, 2006

Faith and Feelings

“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say you are my God.” Psalms 31:14

Here we see King David make a statement that we’ve heard him say many times, but what is significant are the words that precede this statement. Many people base their relationship with the Lord on their feelings. If we feel close to the Lord then He is close. If we feel far from Him then He is far. If we feel joy, peace, and love then we are in His favor, but if we feel grief, pain, guilt and distress then He is not near. If we look at David’s words that precede this verse, we will find statements like “My eye wastes away with grief”, “My bones wastes away”, and “My strength fails me because of my iniquity.” Other words that accompany his plight are broken, trouble, reproach, and forgotten.

When we enter times like this we tend to believe that God has forgotten us, or that we’ve been cut off from before His eyes. This is completely contrary to the truth. God’s faithfulness and truth are not conditioned by our feelings. I enjoy it when good feelings accompany my faith, but my faith is not based on my feelings.

How does David conclude the Psalm? By calling on all of God’s children to love the Lord and to place their trust in Him. Even though he is struggling with his own doubts and fears He puts the call forward, and speaks the truth of God’s sovereignty and his faithfulness.

You may be in a time in your life where the truth of God’s word is accompanied with times of peace, and comfort. Your worship springs from a fountain of overwhelming joy. Or you may be in a time of your life where you feel dry, broken, and full of reproach. Regardless of how you feel move forward in the Lord. Speak His truth, and work to forward the kingdom of God, because if we are not doing this, it doesn’t really matter what feelings we have. We are commanded by God’s Word to proclaim His truth; we are equipped by grace, and spurred on by faith, not feelings, to fulfill the works ordained beforehand because we are his workmanship.

On the other side of the coin, many people feel good about their souls condition, but their life does not line up with scripture. The Buddhist claims to have found peace, but is still under condemnation of the law. Their feelings have deceived them. Only when feelings line up with the Truth can they be trusted. Other than that, they deceive. In our attempt to seek and know God, let us make the Truth of Christ the treasure we seek, and this can only be found in the Word of God. And if we don't know the Word of God, how will we know if our lives line up. This is why the Psalmist says "Thy word I have hid in my heart that I might not sin against you."

When times of trouble and distress come, may we say with David “My times are in your hands”. I will not worry about how things make me feel, but I will trust that all that comes my way is ordained by Him and He is faithful, and His truth does not waiver with my feelings. Therefore, I will march on proclaiming your truth.

-Doug Eaton-


At Monday, January 09, 2006 3:02:00 PM, Anonymous Puritan Belief said...

Great Post Doug,

I once went to a mormon chuch and everyone there had really good feelings eg they wore wonderful clothes never swore and didn't drink alcohol. I believe them when they say they get warm fuzzy feelings and that it is "the spirit" as they say that does this.

They have the warm fuzzy spirit but not the Spirit of Truth namely Jesus Christ.

I enjoyed your perspective.

At Monday, January 09, 2006 3:05:00 PM, Anonymous Puritan Belief said...

I should have said I once visited (I haven't actually been a member or anything)

Afterwards I talked to a few of the elders there. I told them the truth about Jesus and they went very cold and asked me if I noticed that the Spirit had left because of what I said and that they no longer felt very good.

That lovely feeling demon is there to decieve them.

At Monday, January 09, 2006 4:35:00 PM, Blogger Kim from Hiraeth said...

Excellent post, Doug, and very timely. I have a friend who needs to hear what David and you have to say to him! I'll be sending him the link with a prayer that it will encourage him and direct him anew to the One in Whose Hands he may find rest.

At Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:33:00 AM, Anonymous DCK said...

AMEN, Brother!

At Wednesday, January 11, 2006 5:26:00 PM, Blogger Virginia said...

That's a beautiful picture!


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