Faith Not Feelings: Letting God’s Word Define Us

Like me, have you ever struggled with putting feeling over faith, over simply choosing to trust God and obey? Do you ever find yourself forgetting the truth of God’s Word in those moments, especially when times are hard or God seems absent?

It isn’t easy, balancing our feelings along with our faith. God certainly made us emotional beings and uses our feelings. And in and of themselves, they aren’t evil. However, our emotions do not always line up with His truth.

Sometimes our feelings change faster than the weather and lead us to make sinful and unwise choices. Other times, they are misguided and misinformed—the result of wrong perceptions when it comes to people, situations or other things.

When our emotions run amuck, we can rely on God’s truth in spite our feelings, taking Him at His Word. We can choose to let His Word lead and define us, letting His ways influence the choices we make in our lives and the truths we hold onto.

Because faith and truth can rarely be based on our feelings, we must continue to study God’s Word. We need know His truth so that we are transformed by it. This helps us catch our feelings when they are contrary to His truth. With His Word and the Holy Spirit’s help, we can then reign in our emotions when they do not align. Each day we have to surrender to His will in spite of what we feel.

God’s Word transforms our minds and emotions. This transformation helps us be more and more able to base our lives on God’s truth rather than on feelings. This is called the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). We renew our minds by studying and meditating on God’s Word. As we spend time understanding and taking in His truth, it takes root in us.

Not sure how to prepare for your time in the Word?  Start here.

In this, we can also be better witnesses to the Gospel. Because our lives are being transformed to look more like Christ, non-believers will see the difference. The opposite is true when we live by our emotions: In that case, we will not look much different than the world around us.

As we share the Gospel, we will be like walking testimonies of how God has been changing and growing us. Others will see that we are more like Christ in love, humility, kindness and self-control.

In an article on Ligonier.org, Joe Thorn writes,

“The key is not to pursue feelings themselves but to pursue the Lord Jesus Christ by looking to Him, knowing His ways, pondering His promises, and obeying His commands. Faith is what gives birth to feeling. The emotional component of the Christian life isn’t always as present as we would like.”

Nonetheless, he continues,

”God has created us as emotional people… Neither stoicism nor emotionalism are marks of healthy faith. What is needed is robust, biblical theology that informs and transforms our emotions.”

Lord, help us choose to live by faith and not our feelings. We want to become more like Christ Jesus, Who gave His life for us. Help us do our part to grow closer to You by studying Your Word. May we seek to love You and others, and to be witnesses for Christ in every way—thought, word and deed. Let us refuse to be led by our feelings, choosing to let Your Word define us and trusting in You alone.

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Faith Not Feelings: Letting God’s Word Define Us

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