Feelings are interesting.
They often consume us. They often direct us. They often misdirect us. They often blind us.
They often are what we build our faith in Christ on.
I first began to run into faith issues at Bigstuf camp in Panama City Beach Florida in 2008. Now many of you who know how awesome that camp is and how close most people come to Christ during that time are going to be confused at that. Of all places, how could you have trouble with your faith there?? Sure it would make sense if something terrible happened in my life or if I was around a whole bunch of hypocrites or trials or just plain confusion; but at Bigstuf? Really? What gives? Well I am not really sure what gives. All I know is that I lost all feeling. I no longer felt that connection with God. I felt like he had gone silent.
Then college came that fall, at the world’s largest evangelical university, Liberty University. The silence continued. It was almost overwhelming. It began to attack my own salvation. Tearing at it and causing deep seated doubt. Where did my security go? Where did my feeling of Christ go? I mean really isn’t it reasonable to think that God could hook me up with a modern day burning bush or something? Part a sea for me? Raise a dead guy to life? I mean seriously.
The silence and absence of feeling would have probably destroyed my faith. But I knew that I had not built my faith in Christ upon feelings. Building my faith on my feelings would be like building my house on sand. I had built my house on the rock of God’s Word (Matthew 7:24-29). I realized that my faith was not conditional upon God’s response; it was conditional upon His character. I realized that the silence was more of a faith builder in the end, than a faith destroyer. The teacher is always silent when the test is given. When God is silent in your life, you are being tested. I realized that you will meet God on a mountain top and it will be great, but you will always have to come back down to where you were before, to face the world. The dip is inevitable. There is no such mountain without a valley in between.
Now I find myself often asking for faith because I still have my fare share of doubts that seem to creep in at the most inopportune times. Although the majority of days I am very spiritually confident and strong, ready to take on anything, there are still other days when I am weak, unsure, and insecure. But I have made it a long way from where I used to be. And I am sure some of you are right there with me, or maybe you are behind me, or in front of me. But if there is one thing I have learned from this, it is that I can’t put my faith in my feelings; I must put it solely in God and who he is. My faith MUST be in the faithfulness of God or it is no faith in God at all.
Where are you in your faith in Christ? Behind? Ahead? Right in the middle?