Someone asked me if there ever was a time I feel so dry, I couldn’t feel my faith or God at all.
My answer was a resounding “Yes.”
“But if faith is about feeling, then it would be of less value,” I added.
Having to answer that question reminded me of this:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”
-1 John 1:1-4, ESV
I think the ability to remember is one of the greatest gifts that God has bestowed upon man.
I read this and I remember that very day I gave my heart to the Lover of my soul – when all that mattered was the truth of His forgiveness and His grace; when all I can think of was the overwhelming fact that I am loved and accepted despite my flaws and my wickedness. A different kind of joy together with peace that is, up to this day, inexplainable welled up in my heart.
If faith is about feeling and the feeling dies down, then faith dies together with it (and that is just sad).
I think about how unstable our emotions are and how we can easily shift from being all giddy and appreciative of how beautiful life is to being all down and depressed when troubles come. I think about how we can be so sold out that God’s will for us is good, pleasing and perfect and then feel so insecure of what the future holds or feel all uncertain when He asks us to step out in faith. I think about how zealous we can become in ministry when all is going well but are easily tempted to succumb to the temptation of giving up when things get rough or when we don’t feel loved or accepted or appreciated.
If faith is about feeling, then we don’t have enough reason to fight.
I think about the apostles and how they felt years and years after Jesus ascended to heaven – when the church faced persecution; when news of believers getting hunted, imprisoned, flogged, beheaded, and stoned to death were told everywhere.
What was it that made them cling tight to their faith amidst all the hardships?
Aside from the grace that was ever so sufficient, I’d assume it was the memory of the days they spent with Jesus – the One who died for all mankind to be saved – that made fighting for their faith all worth it.
Are we in faith because we are convinced that God is good, or are we in faith only when it feels good?
We first felt our faith when we felt how loved we were despite everything that’s unlovable about us. Could it be that the reason why we’re failing to “feel” because we’ve fixed our gaze on what we think we deserve more than understanding that we don’t deserve anything in the first place?
Whatever you are going through today, I pray that you feel the confidence that the psalmist had when he said:
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14, NIV