Faith vs. Feelings

It’s easy to have faith in God when you don’t feel you need Him for anything. When your relationship with your spouse is good, when the kids are healthy, when you have enough money, and when your boss appreciates your work (or when you don’t have an upcoming test, for those in school), it’s easy to forget God. Yet this is when faith is weakest, when it’s not needed.

Leah and I have started working out since we’ve moved down to Houston. She was already in pretty good shape, but I have a few pounds I could easily lose. It’s hard, though. We have the P90X videos and plyometrics is ridiculously difficult. I can only get to 33:30 remaining and I’m sore the next morning. It’s ok, though, because my work is paying off. I’m starting to lose weight and that pain I feel is because I used my muscles beyond their capabilities, meaning they’ll rebuild themselves to be stronger. I hope to, within a month or two, be able to do the whole thing. My legs will be stronger, my heart will be stronger, and I’ll be leaner.

Oddly, we seek to work out our bodies, but don’t seem to want to work out our faith. We’re often happiest when we see no reason to need God, when our lives are going according to our plans. Personally, I think it’s a matter of feeling in control. With working out, I can stop if it’s too much or if I just decide I don’t care. I have that power. With life’s struggles, I usually don’t have that choice. But just as my character can only be built when I don’t want to build it, so my faith can only be built when I’m not in control. That feeling of being out of control breeds fear and, though I could quote Yoda here, I’ll quote 2 Tim. 1:7 instead, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

When you come to a challenge in other areas of your life, how do you respond? Do you back away and give excuses, or do you face the challenge head on? The way you respond to challenges in your life shows a lot about what you believe about yourself, but it also reveals a lot about what you believe about God. A weak faith in Him will make someone seek to avoid life’s struggles because uncertainty is uncomfortable; a strong faith will enable a person to embrace those times because their faith is growing stronger still and their God gets another opportunity to show them and the world His infinite love.

So…how strong is your faith?

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