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Faith over Feelings

Monday, June 14, 2010

Category: Attitudes, Faith, Character

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:1,6

If you’ve been around Walk in the Word a while, you’ve no doubt heard our favorite definition of faith: Faith is believing the Word of God and acting on it no matter how I feel because God promises a good result. This is critical to the Christian life. Faith discounts how we feel and boldly acts upon the Word of God.

I know a woman who wants more than anything to talk-talk-talk to her unbelieving husband about Christ. She’s having a hard time believing that she’s not a big part of his decision to come to Christ. She feels she must say something or he will never change. But faith discounts how we feel and boldly acts upon the Word of God. First Peter 3:1 says, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.” So she obeys the Word and keeps quiet.

The question for us is, “Will I do what God has asked me to do and trust Him to do the part that only He can do?” That’s a faith issue. We must choose to obey God even when we don’t feel like obeying. Do you ever have those situations when you could talk yourself out of obeying in eight different ways? But unless we want to be like roller-coaster Christians for the rest of our lives, we have to learn to obey even when the emotions aren’t there.

Emotions are wonderful things. In their rightful place, they bring color and fulfillment to our lives. As our servants, emotions can do much good, but when they become our “master” and start dictating our actions, we are headed for disaster. Think of your life as a train. Emotions make a lousy engine but a great caboose. Learning this truth has been a real point of victory for me. When I’m frustrated or anxious, I can choose to have faith no matter how I feel. If I feel like indulging myself, avoiding a problem, or nursing a personal slight, I must choose to ignore how I feel and cultivate faith instead. I must “believe the Word of God and act upon it no matter how I feel.” Why would I deny what comes most naturally to me? Because I choose to believe God instead.

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