Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Faith is Not How You Feel

"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted". (Matthew 28: 16, 17)

I'm a feelings guy. Always have been. My feelings figure strongly into how I see my world. That's why, as a Christian, I have had to pay attention to the way my feelings color my spirituality. Do I "feel" as if God is near? Do I "feel like" I am in His will, doing the right things at the right time? You get the idea.

One of the things that comes up for me specifically in this regard concerns feelings and faith. I notice that as I am moving forward by faith, my feelings can swing wildly between Herculian invicibility and pitiful, whimpering doubt. If my feelings were an accurate and actual guage of my faith, then my faith would be subject to many rises and falls. But the record shows that, in the end, my faith has been a pretty stable and growing thing -- despite whatever doubts I may feel at a particular time. That's because doubt is not the opposite of faith. Unbelief is. Even the most faithful (see the passage above) have their doubts -- even while worshipping the Living Christ as He stands in front of them!

In the end, faith is a matter of what we decide to believe in and the actions and behaviors that follow our choice to believe. Don't get me wrong: I love feelings of inspiration as much as anyone (and probably more than many!). But if I only "have faith" when I feel inspired, my faith will ultimately prove flaky.

Maybe that is why the monthly publication of the Billy Graham evangelistic organization was entitled DECISION and not HAPPY HARMONIOUS BLISS.

1 comment:

Kristen Benson said...

Great post. Thanks for writing