Answers are given… to faith.
Posted on February 10, 2021 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
One of the biggest debates I have with students has to do with ‘how they feel about the truth.’ They want to use their feelings as the standard determining what is good or true. So if something makes them feel uncomfortable, it is evil; and if something brings them pleasure it is good. The problem with this is, ‘the truth is that which corresponds with reality and is unchanged by opinion, perspective, lies, or feelings.’ For an egocentric culture, the truth then will inevitably make you feel uncomfortable because it will always stand in opposition to your self-preserving appetites, will, and desires. C.S. Lewis said concerning this, “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth; only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” Feelings are important in that they indicate how we are interacting with the truth, but they are not intended to be the capacity by which we participate in the truth.
God in His wisdom has revealed Himself and His will to us through many voices, circumstances, and ways; and more recently He has spoken directly to us by His Son. Through Jesus, God has authored a coherent faith by which we can be certain of His will being done in our lives as it done in Heaven. Having shown Himself faithful and true in all and every circumstance, being motivated by loving kindness and not reactionary to what man does, God established a basis for expected praying in those who believe. Therefore, coherent faith is the capacity by which we participate in truth.
James writes regarding this faith, “If you need wisdom, ask our faithful and generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone, and not your feelings. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the way the culture tells you to think; these people are unstable in everything they do.” (James 1:5-8) How often do we pray with the idea that there will be some sign or tingling feeling that will indicate an answer; when in reality God said, ‘ask, seek, and knock’ by faith anchored in an understanding of His revealed will, and you will receive an answer… no explosions or feelings necessary.
Even when we struggle in the waiting and doubt takes hold of us, “God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us each step of the way. And if we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter, He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, aching groans, and broken hearts. God and His Spirit know us far better than we know ourselves, they know our developing condition, and The Spirit keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (Romans 8:26-28)
Faith takes the answer to our prayers for granted… believing God is good, and God is faithful. Faith knows that God gives to those who ask; so when we ask, there is no need of a sign or feeling, we press on expecting God to answer according to His perfect will… Faith takes it for granted God has answered and is already thanking Him for His goodness and faithfulness.
Feelings are a terrible guide and often leave us relying on the wrong person, seeking in the wrong place, and knocking on the wrong doors. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life that enables us to step out in faith being certain of His answers and help.
“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13)
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies, and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works. He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them.” – A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. –John 1:16-17