faith and feelings

“On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. Nobody can always have devout feelings: and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do His will, we are obeying the commandment, ‘thou shalt love the Lord thy God.’ He will give us feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference”

– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

WOW. That is incredible. When I first read that quote I had to reread it a few times to fully grasp the incredible grace that is described in those words.

It’s so easy for me to get frustrated with myself.  Sometimes it is so easy for me to love God and spend time with Him,  but other times I get apathetic towards Him and don’t have the desire to spend time with Him.  And I get so frustrated with myself, as if my faith is something that I do on my own.  But thank the Lord it’s not!  I have faith because He allows me to have faith.  I have feelings of love toward Him only because of His grace.  This quote really helped me to think about my faith not in terms of my feelings.  Though our feelings are the most tangible part, our faith is more than feelings.  Faith is actively choosing God, walking in obedience to Him, and daily trusting Him.  And even though our feelings come and go, His love for us is consistent and steadfast.  Wow.  Praise Jesus!

As humans we naturally think that we are so self sufficient and that our faith is something we can manufacture on our own.  But it’s not!  And praise the Lord for that because there’s no way we can sustain our faith on our own!  I try so hard to figure out the secret to resting and trusting the Lord and it’s so simple.  I need to go to God, the source of my faith, and ask Him to help me to believe, to help me to trust Him. It’s His gift to me, so how can I expect to understand and achieve it on my own?  I need to surrender my doubts and areas of unbelief to Him and rest in HIS faith.

And even though those times where I have lost feelings of affection towards Christ are so frustrating, I have learned so much through them. The Lord has used those times to affirm His character; to remind me of His absolute steadfastness. He has used them to refine me and teach me discipline and trust.  Praise the Lord that His goodness and faithfulness and sovereignty does not waver with my fickle feelings.  He is always good and always loving and always faithful.

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