Is Faith Driven by Emotion?

Emotions are an important thing to us as human beings. God has created us with the ability to display and feel a wide range of emotions. Just because we have them though, does not mean that they should dictate the way that we live our lives. This is a lesson that I’ve been learning this semester.

Something I have realized this semester is that my life has been dictated by my emotions up to this point. If I wake up tired, or in not a good mood, then my day is usually not a very good one. If I made a bad grade or a girl rejected me, then I would be driven into a place of despair and anguish. There was no consistency in my life. I was always up and down.

This was the same way with my faith in Jesus Christ. If I woke up in a good mood, then I would read God’s word. But if I woke up and did not feel good, or had struggled with temptations the day before, I would not. Trusting in my emotions for my faith was a very dangerous thing because as Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable–who can understand it?”

So if the heart is deceitful and wicked in its nature, why do we put out trust in our emotions? It is exhausting to base our faith on our emotions. Our emotions are constantly changing. They are stirred very easily and a lot of times they are way off from the truth. If we are constantly banking on our emotions being correct, then we will be swayed very easily.

So if emotions are not the basis for our faith, what do we put our assurance in? The one thing in our world that is not changing constantly is God and His Word. If our identity is in things that are constantly changing, we will be constantly changing. But if we put our identity in God then our identity is based and assured in a never changing, always constant God.

How do we know that God is unchanging? We get this assurance from His Word.

“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should CHANGE his mind.
Does he speak and then not ACT? Does he promise and not FULFILL?” (Numbers 23:19)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:9)

“Every good and perfect GIFT is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly LIGHTS, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

These are just a few verses, but if you still don’t believe me, check out the Psalms. They are filled the unchanging, perfect attributes of God. He is the Almighty. David was assured in these even though his external circumstances were very tough.

If our faith is based on the assurance of God’s Word and the assurance of knowing the true unchanging God of the Universe, then our lives will resemble peace. We will no longer be trying to manipulate our emotions into feeling God.

There will be times when you don’t “feel” God, but He is still there. His Word says that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). There are many assurances of who God is in spite of what our emotions are telling us.

Is there room for emotions in faith then? Yes. But only if these come through the assurance of who God is. Seeing God in all His glory should bring us to our knees. Seeing God in His perfection should produce an emotional response. But not always. Are you emotions coming from seeing God glorified and lifted up, or for some other reason?

I encourage you to seek God no matter what your emotions are on any given day. Your emotions, your external circumstances will change, but the God of the Universe is constant. Seek His face and be assured by His attributes and His Word. God is on the throne and that will never change.

Blessings,
Joseph. 

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