1 Timothy 1:8-14
"I just don't..."
I'd been here before. Church had ended, and a young man approached me wanting to pray. When I asked him what was in his mind I received a response I've heard many times.
"I feel disconnected from God. I don't feel like I'm living as a should. This just doesn't feel right."
As we prayed I shared the Gospel with him. That while we were still sinners Christ died for us, and that His sacrifice is sufficient for ALL sin, and we can trust in what Christ has said and done. I knew he'd probably heard it before, but I'm constantly realizing it's something we need to hear over and over again. After the prayer, he thanked me and said he believed what I had told him, but he didn't feel it.
As he said this I realized this is the perspective held by many Christians today. If we aren't feeling God in a deep emotional sense, the something is wrong. If we attend a worship service that doesn't provide an ecstatic high, then the Holy Spirit wasn't present.
Understand I'm not saying emotions are a bad thing, they're awesome. I love feeling the all encompasing presence of the Holy Spirit that calms my sould and drives away any fear. However is the feeling what we should be basing our faith upon? I'm known as a pretty even tempered guy, but I know my own emotions are all over the place. In the same day I am sad, joyful, angry, doubtful, confident, bored and excited!
Paul wrote to Timothy in the midst of his suffering. What kept him going? "I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me." Paul didn't just feel like a child of God, he KNEW he was a child of God. He knew because Jesus did just what He said He would do, He gave everything of Himself to fulfill the law in our place. When you KNOW something, you can trust it no matter what emotional swing you find yourself in. This brings me great comfort. I can KNOW that my salvation is not dependant on me or how I'm feeling at the moment. I can also KNOW that Christ is with me wherever I go, through any victory or defeat, during the times of abundance and draught, despite my sin, Christ is there, Christ has forgiven me.
As I finish writing this I have just ended a phone conversation with a friend. One of our friends has died. He was 26 years old. At the moment I don't feel anything. I'm blank. This verse has become real. I don't know why God allowed this, but I can KNOW His gospel abolishes death and brings immortality to light. My friend is with Christ. My friend has not died. Whatever I may feel, I can KNOW this truth.
Christ is my Savior
I know it.