It seems that often, far too often, we “Christians” find ourselves over-our-heads in pity, condemnation, discouragement or doubt because of this little thing called: “feelings.” We don’t feel like reading our Bibles, sharing our faith, going to church, etc. Or, we don’t feel like anything is happening in areas where we need answers or miracles (me, right now) … So, we long for those times when we felt God in such a real way we thought we were going to explode!!
Feelings by their very nature are misleading. Surely you’ve felt something one day, only to feel nearly the opposite the next. I believe feelings and emotions are part of being a Christian and in being human in general, but God calls us to much more than that. God calls us to work. We certainly aren’t saved by works – as Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us – but we sure aren’t saved by feelings, either. We’re saved by God, and therefore should take Him seriously when he says, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17). That means it’s possible for us to feel as though we have faith to move mountains, yet in reality it could be that we have the dead faith spoken of in James 2:17. God calls us to be and do rather than to simply feel. He calls us to have real faith instead of only emotional highs.
Real faith is something others can see. That’s why James says in verse 18, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” Faith can’t simply sit on it’s butt, or spend all it’s time in worship services or Christian events – no way! People are lost and need a Savior & Lord – you have the opportunity to do something! Faith can’t help but demonstrate itself, and that in turn is what helps us know it is real. What shows we have real faith is when that faith compels us to help the poor and to turn away from temptation. Real faith is when we stand for God in a society that runs the other way. Real faith causes us to occasionally leave the our comfort zones to step out upon the water where Jesus calls us: “Yes, it’s me! Do not be afraid. Come.”
And interestingly enough, that kind of faith is certainly something to feel good about!
Ok… I’m done.
And, I feel so much better!