Fact, faith, feelings
I recalled the time when I first rededicated my life to Jesus. That was the time when I felt God's presence so strongly in my life: at youth service, in my prayers, at my bed, and in altar calls. I began to have strong faith knowing that God is with me, and I will cry out to Him whenever wherever.
Gradually, as the weeks went by, when I start to move on in life, God began to test my faith. I just cannot feel the tangible presence of God anymore. When I saw my parents quarreling, I asked God where He was. When my relationships with my friends turned sour when I was in Secondary three, I asked God why did things turn out that way. When I went for altar calls, expecting God to touch me or give me a vision, and He did not do anything in the end, I felt disappointed.
That was when I began to realize the intentions of God: He wanted to shape my character and let my faith grow. It was not all about feelings.
Something I learnt in the discipleship lessons:
Based on God's word. For instance, God is faithful!
God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9
Believe by faith that whatever that God promises and speaks are true and worthy.
This is when you start to feel God's tangible presence, see visions, etc.The order is always like this. Feelings cannot come first; faith cannot come first.
Before I learnt this, I based almost every situation by feelings. Most commonly in altar calls, when I questioned God why I did not feel anything. It was only until 3 weeks ago, when I learnt about this, I started to apply this theory on my problems.
Currently, I must admit that my faith is not very strong. Because of the problems I am facing, like when quarrels keep happening, and when I asked God for visions, I felt that I had not completely surrendered my life to Him, as surrendering my life means to give Him my all: problems, worries, thoughts and service. In the end, I may not be pleased with the outcome, but this is one thing I know: He has great plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11), and all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).
I may feel that its hard to lift my faith in this hard times, but I know, that when everything's over, I will become strong in faith.
Therefore, for now, as I go through this tough times, I know that this are things I need to do:
- Persevere: Don't give up...
- Hold on to God's promises..
- Remember God is my Immanuel: always with me...
- Do the best I can to ensure my faith will not waver...