It’s a sunshiny day (perhaps it really isn’t as you’re reading this, but just imagine it with me). You drink in the sunshine and feel that cooling breeze. The sky is an ocean of blue, so calming and peaceful. The grass couldn’t be any greener. Days like these could last forever. Ahhh… who couldn’t let a smile brighten their face as the birds chirp away to their own unique tunes? It’s one of those beautiful days; the kind of day that puts stress on the list of forgotten things.
Keep working your imagination for a moment. Here’s another day that you’re probably familiar with:
Thunder clouds are rolling. That loud crack of thunder may very well play a part in the beginnings of your headache and the dreariness of the sky is wearing off on you. Somehow, you must make it from the grocery store to your car, but running through this downpour is the last thing you want to do. It’s a mad dash for the car as the rain drops pelt your face. You push a hand down into your pocket or purse, but where are your keys? Your fingers are searching as the rain continues it’s relentless downpour and suddenly you see your keys, laying on the front seat in your locked car. Are you stressing out yet?
Things like this can change our attitude in a minute and we’re constantly conforming how we feel to what’s going on around us. It’s easy to be happy when the sun is shining and life is good, but who’s about to smile when the sky is dreary and things are falling apart?
Unfortunately, our faith is often similar to this. People want that spiritual experience; that feeling that comes with a cheery song or a “fluffy” sermon. The Christian culture has a tendency to chase after that “feeling” and forget the rest. Suddenly, worship isn’t about praising our Savior for His incredible goodness, but about fulfilling our own personal desires. No one wants to hear that they’re helpless in their sin. In fact, we don’t even want to hear that we have sinned; that hurts our pride too much. We simply want to hear that God loves us just the way we are, but isn’t it our sin that makes God’s love so wonderful? Is it not the contrast of our worthlessness that makes the care of our Savior so amazing? Are we willing to discard the truth of our failure, but keep the love of God that forgives that failure?
Feelings Flee –
If there is anything that has been stressed to me again and again about love, it is this: True love does not rely on feelings, but on trust and understanding. Love matures beyond tingles down your spine, a pounding heart and sweaty palms. True love lasts – even when the cheery feelings don’t – because it isn’t simply based on an attraction, but on a deep understanding and a deeper trust.
Jesus referred to the church as His bride, which means He loves us as a husband loves his wife (only His love is perfect). He loves His people with a deep, unending love, but all we want is the shallow feelings that come and go.
Knowing Christ should give us a longing to grow our faith. When we dig deeper into God’s word it helps us to understand Him better. The more we understand God, the more we will trust Him and the longer we know Him, the deeper that understanding and trust will grow. Our faith is not meant to simply stop at the feelings, but to mature far beyond that, into a deep love for our amazing God who’s love cleanses us from all sin. That is a faith that lasts through hardships.