By Olajide David
Feelings depict our moods. At times we feel angry, sad, happy, lonely, helpless, courageous, fearful etc. Feelings can take any form and frame, but do we measure God by how we feel?
To begin with, we must recognise that God is a spirit (John 4:24) and access to him is by worshiping in spirit and truth. This does not give room to feelings. Connecting to God is via spirit and truth not how we feel.
Psalm 46:1 tells us of the unfailing help of God. In him is safety (Refuge) and strength (empowerment) that is needed in the journey called life. As Christians, our regenerated spirit through salvation is empowered with might (Ephesians 3:16). One of the reasons for this is to enable Christians live above how they feel and start living by the truth. Remember it’s one of the key requirements to worshiping God.
Psalm 46:2-3 shows chaos, a troubled state and a situation where helplessness is the order of the day. The natural result of the events listed above is bound to affect our feeling. We feel afraid, in despair, uncoordinated etc. In fact we tend to feel God has abandoned us and we are all alone. In the extreme we begin to think God is wicked.
Reading through the book of Psalms, it is noticed that the Psalmist feelings is shown in his write up. E.g. Psalm 42:11(moody/sad man), Psalm 45:1(shows a happy man), Psalm 51:1(a man in guilt) to mention a few. So it’s not out of place when our feelings tend to get the better of us.
Psalm 46:4-7 shows us the truth about the situation described in Psalm 46:2-3. Now it’s a case of truth versus feelings.
A characteristic of a Christian is that he walks by faith in the truth and not by sight which influences his feelings (2 Corinthians 5:7). What then is the truth?
John 17:17 described the truth as the word of God. The truth is often at variance with how we feel. Hence, circumstance and challenges may affect how we feel but it changes nothing about the truth.
He’s a spirit being we connect to by the truth and he moves when we act based on the truth. Apostle Paul recognized the efficacy and the ability of the word of God to build us up (Acts 20:32) that it was recommended to Christians. Relating our challenges to the truth according to Gods word has the ability to change our perspective, build our faith to a point where we come to a realization that we are more than the way we feel. Although the bible tells us of our high priest in the person of Jesus Christ that he understands how we feel, what we go through because he came as a man and has a perfect understanding of the human nature (Hebrews 4:15). However, when he was tempted (Mathew 4:1-11) the human in him was hungry. Being hungry would make anyone crave the need to eat and drink. The devil saw this as a perfect time to strike. He came with all his tricks but rather than let his feeling get the best of him, our master the Lord Jesus Christ responded with the truth. For everything the devil threw at Jesus, there was a word of truth to counter it. Imagine Christ responding in accordance to his feelings at that instant. The result would have been catastrophic. Following this example from Christ, It’s obvious that feelings would not solve the issue that confronted him but rather the truth is the solution. A point worth noting is that as followers of Christ, we are most vulnerable when we are led by our feelings. The chances of getting across to God is very slim when we judge God by feelings rather than by his word which is the truth any day, anytime and anywhere in the world.
As believers, it’s our duty to develop ourselves beyond relating with God based on how we feel and understand that our relationship with him is enhanced by relating with him based on the truth. Knowing the truth can set us free (John 8:32). We can be free from anything we so desire even from the wrong feelings. The truth can correct our thinking pattern and shape us until we are conformed to image of Christ. As a reminder, Jesus was a man who moved and operated by the truth and not how he feels. Our ultimate aim is to be Christ-like. Individuals who function in accordance with the truth, people who would not succumb to their feelings. Always remember feelings won’t change situations only the timeless and changeless truth does. Feelings are temporal, the truth is most definitely eternal (Psalm 119: 89). Does your feeling still really count?
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