We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.Hebrews 6:19
This past week, I have lived out the age old conflict between faith and feelings.
Let me explain:
You know how God has incredible promises in His word? Promises like how He will work something good out of whatever situation (Romans 8:28) and how He thinks good thoughts about you (Jeremiah 29:11) and how He’ll never, ever leave you (Deuteronomy 31:6)? Promises you know are true because He’s said them and He doesn’t lie? Well…..let me tell you……when you’re going through hard times, when your circumstances are diametrically opposed to His promises, when you’re struggling just to get through the day…..your feelings don’t match your faith. And in those instances, it can be very easy to dismiss God’s promises as mere stories at best, or lies at worst.
Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?Jeremiah (chapter 15 verse 18, King James Version)
We’ve all had those times when our feelings don’t match up with our faith. And if you haven’t yet, it’s coming. Hard times come to all of us, no one is exempt. But one thing God’s been teaching me is to not lose sight of His promises even when my feelings run raw. Because feelings are like clouds: they pass. They come and go, changing the atmosphere we’re in, then disappearing after a time. But God proves Himself faithful and trustworthy over and over again, even as our feelings ebb and flow.
Here’s the thing I’ve learnt about hope: hope isn’t whimsical, it isn’t all glitter and unicorns and sparkles. Hope is gritty….like soil. Real hope is hard. The rough edges of hope in the face of repeated disappointment cuts and bruises, and yet it is the very foundation of our lives. To lose hope is to lose the very essence of living. A life without hope is a terrible existence. Hope is the soil on which we plant new dreams, even after we’ve watched old ones burn to the ground. Hope is the foundation we lay our desires on, even after we’ve been disappointed. Hope is the thing that keeps us alive, even when everything else has given way. Hope is truly an anchor for our souls, and the hope we have in Jesus keeps us stable when our world shakes, keeps us sane when situations threaten to drive us crazy, keeps us smiling through our tears and looking forward to a brighter future even when we feel stuck in our current circumstances.
I quoted Hebrews 6:19 at the beginning of this post, because it serves as a reminder that God is faithful in a season where I’ve been walking this thin line between strong faith and strong feelings. He sent me this Scripture passage to remind me that His promises will come to pass, because He said they would. Yes, it doesn’t look like it right now. Yes, there are hard things I still have to walk through. And yes, I am still struggling in some places. But His promises still stand, and He is still faithful. And if He’s said it, then it’s already done.
So if you’re going through a hard time, feel the feelings….all of them…..as intense as they get. But don’t cancel God’s promises just because things are hard. And I’m not saying these things to sound cute….I’ve lived them….I’m still living them. And yeah, I have lost sight of my faith sometimes in the face of very deep feelings. But every time I did, God reminded me of His faithfulness. And I’m learning to hold on to the hope that all things are working together for good….even when it doesn’t feel like it.