“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
The testimony of a woman of great faith and the fruit of that faith has touched many lives of late. I have witnessed two differing sides of the story. One testifying that through a great tragedy this woman of faith continued to believe that her God was mighty and rested in His will, keeping her eyes focused on Him to the point where the other less seasoned person felt she was being too optimistic and not seeing the reality of the situation. But as the scripture says faith is the substance of things hoped for, not what we see with our eyes. It is such a lesson to us to focus on God and His Word, not the circumstances.
Darien Cooper addresses this in her book, “The Beauty of Beholding God”. “Feelings are not the issue. Never make them the issue in your mind. The issue is: are you choosing His will to the best of your ability? If so, receive what comes from Him without any guilt. Don’t resist, fight or feel guilty about your emotions. It is all right to be emotional at times. Emotions become a liability only when they are your direction givers or when you attempt to use them to get your way, manipulate another or fall into self-pity. Otherwise, remember that God gave you your emotions and they are designed to be a healthy release.
The distinction between peace, contentment and overflowing joy and “happy feelings” was clear. Peace and overflowing joy come from beholding God and committing our will to Him. Happy feelings may or may not accompany this, but whether they do or don’t doesn’t affect our spirituality.
As we commit our wills to Him beholding Him through the rough spots, we can usually look back and see what He has been doing. Could that be what the psalmist meant when he said, “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life”? Psalms 23:6
God’s goodness and love are not always recognizable while we are going through a crisis. But later the understanding comes. “Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” John 13:7
I found this example by Darien to be encouraging as so many of us wonder about emotions and feelings and how they play into our walk with the Lord. Tears are very healing! But our focus needs to be on the promises of God. He is always faithful, no matter how enormous the trial!
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Psalms 34:19