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Can you think of any other time in history--like we live in today--when the vast majority of people are convinced that their FEELINGS ALONE are the ultimate source of truth? That we simply CANNOT TRUST something outside of us to be true when our feelings run to the contrary?
Maybe that's why Jesus, at the conclusion of the Parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18 (designed to teach us to pray and not give up), left us with this haunting question:
"However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
You see, Christlike faith requires that I put much more confidence in what God says than in my feelings. Easy? No! But it IS something that all true Christ-followers must relentlessly choose to do.
I love what the ministry Cru has taught for years about this reality. They use an illustration of a train where you put coal (FAITH) in the engine (the FACTS of God's Word), trusting that the caboose (FEELINGS) will eventually follow afterwards.
[Under the picture on the Cru website it says, "The train will run with or without the caboose; however, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, Christians do not depend on feelings. Place your faith in the trustworthiness of God and His Word. The more you learn of His Word, the more you will be able to answer any doubts with solid facts. Your feelings will begin to respond to the truth of God's Word and not your circumstances."]
Friends, this is profound! And even though it TOTALLY goes against our culture today, it really works! The Bible puts it this way, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ." (Romans 10:17)
So many of our great heroes and heroines in scripture had to exercise this kind of faith when their emotions were obviously contrary. They chose to look away from their circumstances to a powerful, all-loving, all-knowing God.
Think of the great examples of Abraham, Moses, David, Ruth, Esther, Mary the mother of our Lord, the Apostle Paul, etc. One of my good friends puts it this way: he asks, "How do you spell faith?" His reply? "R-I-S-K." When God calls, you choose to obey and get out of the boat. By His power and grace, you begin to do the impossible: you walk on water, looking to Jesus! Our world desperately needs brave men and women of God to have this kind of faith and obedience!
We need to trust God's Word when it talks about things, like what constitutes Biblical marriage (only between a man and a woman), and what is sin. And the real existence of eternal punishment in hell for those who refuse to take God's free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. And, obviously, much, much more.
Many of these facts of Scripture do not FEEL good: we strongly want things to be more loving and less confrontational. But we understand that it is MOST LOVING in the long run to speak the truth in love than to sugarcoat the truth with lies that ultimately bring death and destruction. And after we choose to believe, live and speak the truth, God will come and empower us to keep moving forward as we focus the eyes of our faith on Him.
God bless each of you in your walk of faith today. It isn't easy, but, as we look at what He did for us, how can we do less?
11/5/2022 08:05:52 am
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He is the executive director of The Grand Awakening.