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FAITH IS MORE THAN A FEELING: PART I

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Text: Matthew 19:26 … Do your feelings control you? Intro: I once asked someone, “how do you feel?” They told me they feel with their hands. That was so funny. How do we feel spiritually, not with your hands? So many people say, “I feel I got faith” or “I feel the Spirit moving.” To be honest we can’t really feel the Spirit, Instead, we sense the Spirit. The spirit of God changes the atmosphere where the Spirit is. It changes the person. It changes the place you are at. Mark 11:23. Feelings are real. We truly experience them. We don’t imagine them, and God has created us with a incredibly wide range of emotions and feelings. If we read the Bible and think about God’s promises, our faith will increase. Not by our feeling! Faith is more than a feeling. How do you feel right now? Have you ever thought about how many emotions and feelings we can have? Do you find it easy to express emotions? For example, do you often watch a movie and find yourself crying tears of joy or sadness? Maybe you get excited when you watch your favorite sports team play. Can you remember watching your team on TV and you suddenly throw yourself off the sofa and land right in front of the TV and shout “come on boy” when a player was running to score? We became so emotionally involved in what we were watching we feel like we are actually there. Feelings are a gift from God. Feelings are real. We truly experience them. We don’t imagine them and God has created us with an incredibly wide range of emotions and feelings. We can feel happy, playful, calm, confident, courageous, peaceful, joyful, comfortable, optimistic, delighted, encouraged, satisfied, jubilant. We can also feel angry, afraid, depressed, hopeless, confused, hurt, sad. We don’t imagine our feelings. They are real, they may be the truth but they are not always the truth. If we believe in Jesus Christ and feel like God loves us and accepts us that is the truth. If we feel condemned or that God has abandoned us that is not the truth. Feelings are a poor measure of the truth or faith. As believers we are to live by faith, not by sight or feeling. There are times when the situations we are in or the circumstances of our life may appear to indicate that God is not for us or that He is giving us too much to handle. Yet even in difficult times we are to live by faith in God’s word which tells us despite our circumstances, God is for us and not against us. We need to live by faith in the promises of God’s word not what our feelings may tell us. Maybe you feel a little hopeless, maybe you feel like you can’t cope another day. Maybe the challenge for you today is what are you going to believe– your feelings or God’s word? You see, to be able to live by faith in God’s word, we need to know God’s word. If we regularly read the Bible and think about God’s promises, our faith will increase and we won’t be dependent on our feelings. Consider these verses: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) So don’t look at the troubles you can see now; rather, fix your mind and faith on things that cannot be seen. For the things you see now will soon be gone, but the things you cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:18) For we live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Let me be clear – there is nothing wrong with showing emotion.

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