More than a good feeling

Emotions make my life so much richer.  The ability to feel joy and sorrow, love and hate, peace and turmoil give life color.  A shared moment of real laughter is renewing. An embrace releases a flood of happiness.  In the Pentecostal traditions that are my roots emotions are part of our worship gatherings. Tears are as much a part of our worship as prayer. Joyous songs are accompanied by hearty expressions of agreement and sometimes clapping along (offbeat in my case.)

Some of us are more prone to display our emotions than others, but emotions are present in every man, woman, and child. God gave us those feelings.  However, if our feelings are put in charge of life, we are at great risk.

When emotions rule the person, he is unstable and unproductive. We expect a toddler to plummet from giddy heights of laughter to stormy tumult of tears within 5 minutes. That same emotional roller coaster in an adult is cause for concern! At the opposite extreme, the person who represses emotions, who refuses to experience them, robs himself of a rich part of his humanity.

Here is my core thought for this day. 
Our faith must be anchored to more than good feelings!

Here is what the Word says-  “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19, NIV)

That is my favorite prayer in the Bible!  God wants us to have deep roots, a solid foundation laid on His love for us.  He desires that we truly comprehend through revelation, by faith, that which is incomprehensible to the natural mind.  Then, we will become all that God desires us to be in Christ Jesus.

If we only seek some emotional state, some good feelings when we pray, when we go to worship, we create a flimsy structure that will not withstand the inevitable storms of life. Everyone of us will face seasons of hardship or loss, experiences that defy explanations, days when God seems to have forsaken us.

The song of the Psalm lets us see the heart of a person in such a season. “I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and stand before him? Day and night, I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?” My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks— it was the sound of a great celebration!” (Psalm 42:2-4, NLT) ““O God my rock,” I cry, “Why have you forsaken me? Why must I wander in darkness, oppressed by my enemies?” Their taunts pierce me like a fatal wound. They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”” (Psalm 42:9-10, NLT) The singer concludes with an affirmation of God’s faithfulness, an anchor in his season of sorrow.

Love, my friend, is more than an emotion. It is a daily choice. Ask any married person about that! Some days there are feelings of great passion and then there are days when the heart is cold. Love is a choice made through every season.  When we love God, it must be more than the stuff of the heart’s feelings. Jesus taught us to love God more deeply. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mark 12:30, NIV) Our walk with the Lord is a combination of emotion and truth, of passion and discipline, of feeling and fact.

Today I encourage you to mature in faith, to appreciate the emotions, the good feelings, but to choose to ‘put your hope in God!’  God does not only love us when we feel all warm and fuzzy inside when they sing our favorite worship song in church! He is not just present when tears spill over in a particularly touching time of prayer. He is equally God on the bad days as He is in the good ones. He is still Lord when exhaustion steals our passion. He is Lord when anxiety about the future produces a temporary soul paralysis.

Choose to love the Truth! If we build our salvation on a special state of mind, on emotional well-being, we are resting on a foundation of sand. Yes, we will find ourselves then chasing a feeling, looking for a religious high, running here and there wanting somebody to renew the excitement.

The word from the Word encourages a grounded faith, one that anchors in the promise of God. “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV) “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV)  Steady on, trusting, hoping, until that great Day when our faith becomes sight, our hopes fully realized in the Kingdom come. Amen.

(Video of this blog at this link)

_______________

O The Deep Deep Love Of Jesus

O the deep deep love of Jesus
Vast unmeasured boundless free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me all around me
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward leading homeward
To my glorious rest above

O the deep deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He loveth ever loveth
Changeth never nevermore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Died to call them all His own
How for them He intercedeth
Watches over them from the throne

O the deep deep love of Jesus
Love of every love the best
‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing
‘Tis a haven sweet of rest
O the deep deep love of Jesus
‘Tis a heaven of heavens to me
And it lifts me up to glory
For it lifts me up to Thee

© Words: Public Domain

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