Faith Over Feelings: Living by the Certainty of Faith
We’re called to live by faith over feelings (2 Cor. 5:7). Our faith is rock solid if we have placed it in God—the unchanging, perfect, eternal, sovereign One. And this faith is founded on the infallible, certain, life-changing, authoritative Word of God. Scripture tells us how to live and what to believe. This is what should govern and determine how we speak, think and act—not our ever-changing, easily influenced feelings. Our faith is not blind but informed and guided by God’s perfect Word.
Sometimes these two can be mixed up; we try to live by both faith and feeling. We may say, “I am going to be a missionary, regardless of the Bible telling me that the church needs to confirm me, because I feel like that’s what I’m called to do… I’m going to marry this person, despite the fact that the Bible tells me not to marry an unbeliever, because it feels right… I won’t forgive this person, even though the Bible tells me to forgive, because I don’t feel like I can.”
We often allow our feelings to dictate our stance with God rather than what His Word already declares about us. I don’t feel forgiven by God, so He must still be angry with me. I don’t feel joy, so I will not worship God. I don’t feel God’s presence, even though I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me. I don’t feel God when I do my Bible study, so I must be doing something wrong.
God calls us to live instead by faith over feelings. This means we act not based on our feelings but on what God calls us to do. We don’t believe something because of how it makes us feel but what Scripture says about it.
Faith Over Feelings: Old Testament Examples
Hebrews tells us of the countless believers of the Old Testament who lived by faith over feelings. Take a moment and read through Hebrews 11, analyzing the stories referenced by the writer, and consider how they may have felt versus how they acted. All of them probably had feelings of doubt, fear, temptation toward sin and uncertainty, yet they walked by faith. They allowed their faith to inform and guide them.
Take the example of Noah.
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith (Heb. 11:7).
Noah was living in a world of pagans who hated God and loved sin. He was building an ark because God was going to send rain—something never seen before this time. Noah was already old, and he spent many years building this ark. Do you think he felt like building it? Do you think he felt fearful of the sinful people around him—what they might think or do? Do you think he was tempted to give up or to not trust God? Probably. But he chose to live by faith in God. His faith in God propelled him forward, not his fickle feelings.
We’re faced with the same decision today, friends. We can live by our feelings or by our faith. If your faith is in Christ, it’s solid and trustworthy. Your feelings are forever shifting and influenced. Which will you look to?
Faith Over Feelings: Informing Our Feelings
In the end, it is God and His Word that should inform our feelings, not the other way around. When you are tempted to listen to your feelings or your feelings are overwhelming you, stop and look to God’s Word. Compare what you are feeling to what He says.
Do your feelings line up? Great—follow what God’s Word says. But if your feelings contradict God’s Word, you need to say “no” to them. Those are the feelings we put off and ignore. Though they may feel strong, they’re not trustworthy. God’s Word is your source and foundation. Live by it, not your feelings.
This article about faith over feelings originally appeared here.