Faith and Feelings

Do you remember the story of the Centurion Soldier as written in Luke 7:1-10.?   That’s the one about the Soldier who was really generous to the Israelites—he helped build their synagogue—and he had a servant who was dying, so the Jewish leaders came to Jesus, and asked Him to come and heal this man’s servant.  When Jesus got close to the house, the Centurion sent others to Jesus to tell him, that he didn’t need to come to heal his servant, that he, (the Centurion), was not worthy of Jesus entering his home.  The Centurion said, “only say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

The Centurion said, “I also am a man placed under authority, and I have soldiers under me.  And I say to this one, “Go!” and he goes, and to another, “Come!” and he comes…..”

Jesus said, “Not even in all of Israel have I seen such great faith.”

This Centurion Soldier was under authority, and others were under his authority.  I imagine as a soldier there are very few feelings involved in obeying your commanding officer.  This ability to obey—to act out what someone over you tells you to do—this is what Jesus calls ‘faith’.   Faith is the ability to take God at His Word.

Our first step of faith—is to believe that Jesus is the Christ, that He died to save us and give us a relationship with God.   This step of faith brings us into a relationship with God, and then God reveals His will to us, as we read His word, spend time with Him in prayer and spend time with other believers.

My husband reminds me a great deal of the centurion soldier in the Bible.  He also is a “soldier” type of person.  He obeys God—not because he “feels” it is the right thing to do, but because he “thinks” it is the right thing to do.  There is a big difference.  

When we were young parents, (with one child), we were both working.  I had read a book about the importance of mothers- mothering.   I went to my husband and said, “I want to stay home with our children.  I think this is what God would have us do—and I shared with him why I thought that was the path for us.”

My husband thought and prayed about what I shared.   Then—we had a bump in the road—suddenly—my husband no longer had his job.   Now, he could have said, “well you’re the only one who has a job—you need to keep working.”   Instead, he said, “why don’t you quit your job.”

We went back to his parents’ home.  We went to a career counselor—which is where he realized he really wanted to have his own construction company.  (This dream would not be realized for quite a few years after this—but it was realized.)

He was offered another job—which he took—and for the past 30 years he has been the main provider of our family—because this is what we both believed God had called him to do.  It has been a walk of faith—not sight—as there were many, many times– circumstances “looked” very, very bad—times we faced bankruptcy.    You can read more about this story in,  “The Gift of Hindsight.

Faith Is Not a Feeling.  That actually is a name of a book written by Ney Bailey.  You can listen to it for free on Open Library—you have to sign up for an account to do so.  Here is the link for that:

The concepts of faith not being a feeling have helped me tremendously in my relationship with God. 

When you read through the 11th chapter of Hebrews—it is helpful to have this concept in mind—many of these people, “believed” God and obeyed Him, despite their feelings.

In other words—feelings are not necessary for obedience—but obedience is necessary to live a life of faith.

May we be encouraged!!

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