I have many favorite Bible verses. One of them is Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” I was reminded of this verse a few weeks ago when a friend mentioned that she just wasn’t feeling God right now. Too much trouble and strife in the world and she wondered if God has abandoned us.
I had so many replies to this comment that I could hardly choose between them. But I decided to respond to her feeling. “It sounds like you are feeling stressed out and wondering if God cares about what is going on.” From there we had a good conversation about the way she was feeling. But I finally had to bring her back to the faith thing – that faith isn’t a feeling, faith is confidence in hope and assurance when we don’t see God.
A lot of people think that how they are feeling is their faith. If a song or hymn really moves them, then they are worshiping. If the sermon makes them cry or feel sorry then it was a good sermon. I’ve never been a person who trusts feelings. Feelings are like the waves on the ocean – they change with the weather or the circumstances. Faith is the water 20 feet down – still and deep and sure.
Instead of a feeling, faith is a decision. I will trust God to get me through this. I will trust God with my future, no matter what my present looks like. God has brought me safe this far and God will bring me to my eternal home. These aren’t just cliches for me. They are the still, deep, sure faith that comes from living with Jesus.
My mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She will be having surgery at the end of September and we are hoping that is all. We are praying that the cancer is still so limited and slow growing that the surgery will take care of the problem. I have been praying for her several times a day and have asked her how she feels. Sometimes she is confident and sure. Other times, I’m sure, she is scared (not that she would admit it). But my mom is a woman of faith and she trusts God to bring her home. Feelings are fleeting. Faith is not.
What concerns do you have today? What is worrying you? It is okay to feel afraid or far from God or sad or joyful or confident. However you are feeling is find. But don’t confuse how you are feeling with the deep faith you can find only in Jesus Christ.