“But Lord, I do not feel like this situation is going to work out?”
“How am I supposed to do the right thing Lord if I don’t feel excited about doing it?”
“If it is your will Lord, shouldn’t I feel like it is?”
“What if my feelings and faith do not match?”
Have you ever pondered some of these questions to the Lord? If we’re honest, I think at some point in our lives (and that point may be right now) we all have toiled with these questions. Life is filled with ups and downs and filled with some “high happy emotions” and then some really “low sad emotions.” Sometimes life can feel like you’re on a raft of emotion where you are floating through the ocean, just riding the waves… going UUUUP and down…UUUUP and down.
God is patiently showing and teaching me this: The will of God is not always going to “FEEL” like the will of God. Almost ALL of the time it’s not going to. Yes, God cares about our feelings, but He cares MORE about our holiness and His will being accomplished through our lives. When we read through scripture, we see many individuals who were tested to move beyond their temporary feelings and into the realm of obedient faith to what God commanded. Don’t believe me? Let’s go down memory lane:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”-Hebrews 11:1
when it came to sacrificing his one and only son Isaac? Do you think Abraham initially “felt” excited and happy to carry out this task? I’m almost certain he did not! However, he still obeyed in faith IN SPITE of his emotions! He faithfully trusted that God would take care of him and his son and God did. (Gen 22:1-19)
when God came to him in the desert and told him he was the chosen person to lead his people out of Egypt? Do you think Moses initially felt happy to complete this task? Absolutely not! He was very afraid, fearful, and unsure. But IN SPITE of his feelings he went to Egypt to do what God said. He faithfully trusted God would guide him and God did. (Exodus 3:1-17)
in the Garden of Gethsemane? It was nearing time for him to be taken, beaten, and brutally crucified for the whole sins of the world. Do you think Jesus in his human flesh was jumping with excitement to do this? Absolutely not! The bible says he had great anxiety and sorrow. SO great, that his “sweat became like drops of blood.”-Luke 22:44 But IN SPITE of his emotions, he humbled himself and obediently carried out the will of the Father. (Matthew 26:36-46)
What can we learn from all of this? It is not sinful to “feel our emotions,” however, it is sinful for us to allow our emotions to prevent us from carrying out the will of God (James 4:17). We have to desire God’s will above our feelings. For Christians, we have to be willing to choose faith and obedience to God even if it “feels” hopeless, confusing, frustrating, sad, lonely, and hard! A mature faith has the ability to discipline the emotion and one’s own will for the ultimate will of the Heavenly Father! Is this an easy task? OF COURSE NOT! It is one of the most difficult task of any natural human, but through trusting God, it is possible! I once heard a quote that said, “Feelings are wonderful servants but terrible masters.” That is so true! Yes, God created us with the ability to feel, but He didn’t create us for our emotions to be the masters of heart. That is what He is for. He is the ULTIMATE and TRUE Master. He should sit on the throne of our hearts, not our emotions.
Instead of you thinking that you’re on the raft of life just floating through the ups and downs of your emotions, consider yourself a sailor on a sailboat who is an activate participant in your eternal soul journey. You have to use insight, wisdom, strength, and endurance to make it to your destination. When the contrary winds of emotions try to carry you opposite the direction of God’s will, use your tiller (God’s Word) to turn you in your heavenward direction. Trust that your faith in God will be your mainsail to carry you to your eternal destination. You will meet some resistance on your journey. You will have to endure some unexpected weather, but remember, your Master is in control of the water, weather and the waves. He will use the very things Satan tries to use to drown you, to PROPEL YOU! HE is faithful to His promises. So, what should you do when your feelings and faith do not match? Choose FAITH !