In my daily fight to trust in the God for whom nothing is too hard I often find myself going to my feelings as my starting point. Instead of first consulting the truth of God’s Word I check in with myself. What do I feel today? Am I tired? Fearful? Angry? Happy?
My dad describes this sinful tendency in his book, Christ Our Mediator: “Even when it comes to our spiritual life, at any given moment we direct and locate our faith in our emotional state rather than in clearly objective truth. We tend to ask God for more ‘experience,’ then assure Him that if He’ll give it, we’ll acknowledge and believe His truth. And one of the tragic results is that we’re seldom amazed by the reality of the cross and of the gracious disposition of God toward sinners that the cross reveals.”
Sound familiar? I have experienced seasons where feelings of fear and anxiety seemed overwhelming and I was tempted to despair. As I pressed more deeply into the Scriptures and sought the counsel of those around me, I realized that I was exalting the truth of my feelings over God’s clear and objective truth. I was placing my faith in my unstable and inaccurate emotions. It was only after I repented and began to fight for faith in the Lord and His Word, that feelings of peace and joy followed.
Martin Lloyd Jones says, “I must never ask myself in the first instance: What do I feel about this? The first question is, Do I believe it?”
Where do you find yourself today? Are you being tempted to put your faith in how you feel about your circumstances? Maybe it’s exam week and you are anxious or maybe you were up all night with a sick little one and find yourself tempted to anger or discouragement. Whatever you might be up to today, I want to encourage you to look first and only to the Lord –and not your feelings—and trust His grace to carry you though.