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Thursday, 26 September 2013

I just don't FEEL God with me anymore...

'I just don't feel God anymore...' is a surprisingly common phrase I have heard from all sorts of Christians no matter age, sex or how long they've followed Christ for.
We rely so much on our 'feelings' that the moment something is difficult in our lives (and therefore our emotions are naturally all over the place), we get all jumbled up and end up 'feeling' as though God isn't near us or for us anymore, and has for some unknown reason, left us in the pit alone.
This is just not true. God is ALWAYS with us - the good and the bad. He is our comfort (Psalm 46:1). This is a Biblical truth about God's character; in order for Him to be a comforter, He must be present when His children need comforted! Therefore - it is clear that He is present and active in the dark paths of life that we walk.

We need to be careful not to define our faith by our emotions and feelings.
I used to do this a lot - the moment something difficult happened to me or to someone I loved... I would feel upset and down, which often left me doubting God was with me, and even sometimes His entire existence, in the most desperate situations. But I KNOW that God is with me in my life - I've seen Him work so many times (for example this week in the provision of a home for me to live in - having been evicted from my current home - with young and friendly Christians not far from my work). We need to remind ourselves of the things God has done in our lives on a regular basis. Everytime you have a story of His love and can see Him do something - write it in a journal so you can read and remember it when you need encouraged. I can definitely see His hand upon my life and those whom I love, and so I KNOW that He is who the Bible says He is. With the many testimonies in my life of His love, I really should never waver in the tough stuff... but the honest truth is I still do and that is because I am a slave to my emotions. It doesn't make me a terrible person - but I think we should be striving towards getting a grip on our emotions and being able to claim them and rationalise them in the knowledge that we have a God who is walking alongside us and holding us up. We just have to be willing to acknowledge Him.
Some times we don't feel God in the mundane times either... maybe try spending some time in prayer and worship if this is true for you!!

John 21 recently challenged and encouraged me on this subject of not always feeling God even though He is always with me.
Before Jesus walked into the disciples lives, those among them who were fishermen, had quite a successful business and would have caught a lot of fish on their outings. The moment He met them however, they stopped being able to catch any fish without Him present. They suddenly needed Him in their company in order to successfully continue their business.
Until Jesus came into my life, it wasn't great but I was getting through life alright. Now that I've had a relationship with Him however, I just couldn't bare to live life without Him helping me through every moment. I wouldn't function without Him present. That is why in the deep times of despair and feeling as though He is absent, I find continuing life and everyday things so difficult. It is a necessity that we remember Him and trust Him in those times in order to allow Him to pick us up and dust us off.
The other really encouraging things about John 21 is that when they do catch the fish in Jesus' presence, verse 11 says that the 'net did not break'.
When Jesus has us and claims us as His, He never lets us go no matter how we FEEL. We need to learn to accept this truth deep in our hearts and push our 'feelings' aside. He will never let you go once you decide to trust Him with your whole life. He loves you and has claimed you as His own.

You may not 'feel' Him.. but He IS there.

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