Focus on Faith, Not Feelings
By Rick Warren
— January 9, 2018
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21 NIV).
When you are a baby Christian, God gives you a lot of confirming emotions and often answers the most immature, self-centered prayers — so you’ll know he exists. But as you grow in faith, he will wean you of these dependencies.
God wants you to sense his presence, but he’s more concerned that you trust him than feel him. Faith is what truly matters to God, not what we feel.
The situations that will stretch your faith most will be those times when life falls apart and God seems nowhere to be found. This happened to Job. On a single day he lost everything — his family, his business, his health, and everything he owned. Most discouraging for Job was that for 37 chapters of the Bible, God said nothing!
How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life and God is silent? How do you stay connected in a crisis without communication? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears? You do what Job did: He fell to the ground in worship and said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21 NIV).
Tell God exactly how you feel. Pour out your heart to God. Unload every emotion that you’re feeling. Job did this when he said, “I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak” (Job 7:11 GNT).
He cried out when God seemed distant: “Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house” (Job 29:4 NIV).
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Talk It Over
- Describe a time when you have felt God’s presence in your life.
- Think of another time when you wanted to feel God’s presence but didn’t. Did it change your response to God? If so, why?
- What does it look like to follow your faith instead of your feelings?
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