I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Living by Faith or Feelings?

Do your feelings follow your faith?
We live in an era where people don’t feel like working, so they don’t. They don’t love anymore, so they divorce. Our feelings control what we do.
And since our feelings change from one day to the next, so does our consistency.
And our stability. We feel unsettled, drifting.
When hardships come, we doubt God. We don’t feel like He is there. So therefore He must not be.
Our feelings control our actions. And change what we believe.
Should they?

Our feelings are God-given.
Many people mistakenly think that Christians should always be happy—that no hardship should depress, or sadden us because God is there.
God is there, true. But that doesn’t always bring happiness.
When Isaiah stood before God, he cried, “Woe is me! I am undone.”
That wasn’t a feeling of happiness. Yet he was in God’s presence.

Jesus wept over the lostness of Jerusalem. Jesus was grieved over going to the cross. His stress was so great he wept blood—capillaries in his skin broke and poured out blood.
That’s some deep feeling.
Now if Jesus acted on his feelings, he would never have gone to the cross.
So did He ignore His feelings?
God gave us feelings, not to be ruled by them, but to use them for Him.
Jesus took his feelings and gave them to God.

F.B. MEYER, a great commentary writer of the early 19th century, said we are a people who want to live by feeling, which controls our faith, which determines our facts.
People stop believing God because something bad happens to them.
They say, “If God is like that, there must be no God.”
They have allowed their feelings to determine what they believe.
Their feelings—faith—fact.

By living like that, our world becomes unstable.
Our feelings change, sometimes by the moment.
How do we live by faith and not our feelings?
We take the fact—that God promised not to leave us. And we believe it. No matter what circumstances come that make us afraid, or want to doubt, or be sad.
We start with fact.
Facts don’t change.

What is true will be true yesterday, today and forever.
We live with people who tell us there are no facts: That what is true for you is not true for me.
That brings unstable feelings, and an unstable world.
Some even doubt that 2 + 2 = 4 .
They’ve allowed their feelings to dictate what they decide are facts.
No wonder they are lost.

The world operates on laws that depend upon their truthfulness.
Take gravity. We are stuck to the ground because of gravity. We don’t float around today and fall to the ground randomly when the law decides to work. It works all the time. Can you imagine our life if we had to wonder if we would where we would be after we slept?
Those laws of nature are true. They are facts that don’t change, even if we may feel dizzy and not grounded, or when we feel like we are floating on a cloud.
We rest our faith on the facts and allow our feelings to follow.

We take the fact of what God said and chose to believe it—that’s faith.
Sometimes it takes a lot to convince our fickle feelings.
Sometimes it means acting even when our feelings aren’t there.
Like act loving to our husband when we feel like kicking them in the shins.
But as we live like the facts are true, (because they are) and rest our faith in the “rightness” of those facts, then feelings will come.
Perhaps not immediately, but they will come.

Our society wants instant response. Our feelings don’t operate on instant. Saying to ourselves, “Be happy.” Doesn’t instantly change our minds to “be happy.”
To live the life of faith, we must first take the fact, rest our faith on it (believe it), then our feelings will come.
As we practice this “faith-living,” we will find it easier not to allow our feelings to dictate what we do.
We respond by what we know, not how we feel.
God’s Spirit flows from ours to make us thankful, joyful, grateful. The smile on our face reflects the peace of our heart.
The feelings are there, even the sad ones, but they are rooted in facts that lead to a deeper faith in the promise of the truth of God’s word.

Where do you struggle with living with feelings over faith?

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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Tell of My Kingdom's Glory
Three Book Series