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Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (NKJV)
We continue to look at some interesting questions that reveal the difference between what we know in our head about God, versus what we truly feel in our emotions about Him. Remember, what we are examining is how we feel at OUR WORST, when life is caving in around us and we are in the depths of our greatest unhappiness. During those times, think about your answers to some of these questions and let if reveal how you REALLY feel about God.
When I am forced to trust God, I feel…
Our head would say that we feel secure, or cared for. Maybe we feel peaceful or relaxed because we KNOW God can be trusted. Have you ever felt doubtful? Have you ever wondered if God really cares? When you are forced to trust God, do you feel like this is His chance to “get you” for all your sin and failure? Payback time? Do you wonder if He is looking down and saying “I told you so…” or “you should have thought of me sooner”?
As we discussed yesterday, where do these feelings come from? Logically, they cannot come from God Himself, for He has never failed us in any way. Obviously they come from our own misunderstandings, our own experiences with others, and our own ignorance. That’s the bad news. The good news is that all that can be corrected by simply knowing the truth and informing your emotions.
Find out the truth, and inform your emotions.
I’m sure that someday God will…
The typical answers are: bless me, find me the perfect spouse, help me get out of debt, make me a better Christian. Have you ever felt sure that someday God is going to expose your struggle with that secret sin? Or maybe He is finally going to punish you, or cause you to suffer or take something precious from you?
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (NKJV)
How can we read that and still feel like God is “going to get us”? One obvious reason is sin that we are tolerating in our life. It causes guilt which in turn causes us to think and feel wrongly about God. That’s a fairly legitimate response, and should not be ignored. If you feel like God is “going to get you”, take a good look for sin you might be ignoring in your life.
We can finish “I’m sure that someday God will…” with dozens of different Bible verses filled with wonderful promise. We need to notify our emotions and live in the joy of those promises. It sounds easy, but examination of the “typical” Christian life and attitude exposes if not the difficulty, the rarity. Another…
When I think about what God tells me to do, I feel…
Overwhelmed? Unable to comply? Constrained? Deprived? Is God a kill-joy? A robber of fun? How does that feeling line up with Scripture?
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (NKJV)
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (NKJV)
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Author Michael Wells (Sidetracked in the Wilderness) refers to the contradiction between knowledge and feelings in Christians as “unbelieving Believers”. We believe in the “facts” of God, sincerely, but there is a disconnect in our daily life and how we emotionally manifest the facts we believe.
Does this indicate an absence of true salvation? While I think at times it probably does, that’s not what I’m contemplating in this series. I’m speaking more to the multitudes of Christians who struggle finding joy, peace and security in their relationship with God. These Believers have allowed their deep, deep, deep concepts of God to be distorted by the faults of other humans, their own faults and are very often just simply haven’t learned or recognized this in their life. And yes, I must also include that I think this often caused by the level of worldliness we have become comfortable with.
If we REALLY believe the truth about God, we would never worry, never be depressed, never feel hopeless, never by anxious and never doubt. One aspect to maturing as a Christian is to take what we know and understand in our HEADS, and move it down to live in our HEARTS, where it will be manifested in our choices, actions and attitudes.
A few more tomorrow and we’ll wrap it up.
Lord God, help us in our unbelief to believe the truth with both our mind, and our emotions. Help us to be believing Believers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?
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