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Faith and Feeling

( [email protected] ) Jul 28, 2011 07:03 AM EDT

We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV)

QUESTION: I am a Christian, but I do not feel as strong love for Christ as I know I should. What can I do about this?

The fact that you mourn your lack of love is all in your favor. No one is likely to deplore the coldness of his heart unless there is some warmth there already. It takes love to desire love. There has scarcely been a Christian, however devout, who has not grieved because he loved Christ so little. This appears to be the one mark of saintliness that is almost universal.

Further, you must remember that your love for God is not primarily an emotion, but an act of the will. True Christian love is the love of willing, not the love of feeling, though it is likely to bring a great deal of joyous emotion along with it. Our Lord made the test of love to lie in obedience to His commandments (John 14:21-24). Feeling is a by-product of obedience. The order is: (1) believing, (2) willing, (3) obeying, (4) feeling.

QUESTION: My occupation is distasteful to me and God has not answered my prayer to have it changed. Can God be using it as a "thorn in my flesh" and refusing to hear my prayer for that reason?

This is extremely doubtful. Paul's thorn was not his occupation, but something far more personal than that. God may be delaying the answer to your prayer because He knows that your trouble does not lie in your occupation, but in yourself.

It is a fallacy to believe that we are unhappy because of external circumstances, and that if we only get our circumstances straightened out we will become happy automatically. I once heard a great preacher say, "You'll never be contented anywhere until you can be contented anywhere," and I agree with him fully. Peace of heart is a gift from God to the man who has met certain spiritual terms. It has nothing to do with occupation or living conditions. "My peace I leave with you" was spoken to persons who were to know little else but trouble for the rest of their lives.

God usually changes our circumstances by changing us internally. Allow Him to lift you above your present occupation and He may lead you into a better one.


Prayer

Thank You, Lord, I am to live by faith not by sight or feelings.

Thought

Feelings are sometimes so contradictory. Have you found it so? Feelings may encourage faith or contradict it. Faith fixes on God and lets feelings be what they will. It is by faith that we live.

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