Trust in Jesus, Not Your Feelings

Most people blurt out this four letter word without even thinking about it. They don’t realize the dangers in saying it. Our culture has accepted it as normal vocabulary. People use it to try to express themselves when they don’t understand there’s a much better way to do that. You’ve probably caught yourself using the word quite often. If you haven’t, then maybe you say it without thinking too.

The word “feel” can be dangerous. Very few words cause more problems in our relationships with God and others. You see, your feelings fell flat and false with the fall into sin. They are not trustworthy. They are not always true. Feelings can be full of sin and full of lies. Just to illustrate, ask yourself if you’ve ever caught yourself saying anything like this. “I just don’t feel like God loves me.” “I feel like I don’t have a purpose in life.” “I feel like God would be disappointed with that decision.” “I don’t feel God’s presence.” “I feel like this is the right choice.” “I feel like taking care of my kids is a burden.” “I feel like serving my husband/wife isn’t working.” “I feel like I don’t have any friends.” “I feel like I’m being judged unfairly.” “I feel like I’m not being fed when I go to church.” “I really feel we should move forward in ministry this way.”

The problem with our feelings is that they are so unsteady. They can change from one moment to the next. Putting weight on your feelings is like standing on Jello. It’s like building your life’s foundation on a stretchy trampoline. Jeremiah warned, “The heart is deceitful above all things” (7:9). We all have a compulsive liar that whispers to our soul – our heart. If you trust in your feelings and always follow how your heart feels, you’ll find yourself on very shaky ground. You won’t see the true reality of who you are and what your purpose is in Christ Jesus. That’s why Solomon wrote in Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (3:5). Trust in Jesus, not your feelings.

Right now your feelings may be tempting you to misunderstand this. You might have already had the thought, “But I’m an emotional person! Isn’t it ok to have feelings!” Of course it is. Emotions of sorrow and joy and excitement and love are all good. It’s good to be sorrowful over our sin and to rejoice in forgiveness and knowledge of our salvation in Jesus. Let’s just remember that our feelings don’t get the final word. We do many things in our lives, with other people, and in our church that touch the emotions. But we don’t trust our emotions. They are not gospel truth. Your Heavenly Father does not deal with you based on your heart’s emotions or your gut reactions. He deals with you based on his loving mercy and grace in Jesus.

So make sure the reality of God’s truth comes first. Then allow your emotions to reflect that truth. When you feel like God doesn’t love you. Believe that he does. Jesus says so. When you feel like you don’t have purpose. Believe that you do. Jesus says so. When you feel like God isn’t with you. Believe that he is. Jesus says so. When you feel like what you’re doing for your loved ones isn’t worth it. Believe that it is. Jesus says so. When you feel like you’re not being fed in worship. Believe that you are. Jesus says so. Jesus always gets the final word. Trust what he says and how he feels about you.

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Peter Sulzle