Why Can't I Feel My Faith?

Why Can’t I Feel My Faith?

by Jeffrey Rosario  |  March 4, 2013

I’ve been reflecting on a recent conversation with a friend about the difficulty we have in feeling our faith amid the dark moments of life. “I just don’t feel like I love God”, he said. He believes in God. He understands His faith intellectually and accepts the evidence and logical proof. It’s the emotional part that’s missing. He struggles to feel it.

“Don’t trust your feelings” is the warning we often hear. And the warning is true, no doubt. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the emotional aspect. Desiring and pursuing an emotional connection with God does not necessarily equate to trusting in our emotions. It’s simply acknowledging that the emotional factor is part of who we are.

The reality of Jesus should impact our minds and our hearts. The gospel should affect us intellectually and emotionally.

I CAN’T INITIATE, BUT I CAN RESPOND

If we don’t feel that we love God, we can’t really muster up that love. It can’t be fabricated. The way to experience love for God is spelled out in this simple verse:

“We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

That’s a beautiful concept. Love for God is felt in your heart to the degree in which you personally encounter His love for you.

The way God feels about me is the very thing that inspires the way I feel about Him. I can’t initiate love for God, I can only respond to His love for me.

YOU FEEL WHAT YOU THINK

If the simplicity of John’s statement is true, then the more respond points I have, the more opportunities I have for God to engage my heart. Consider the formula: “Thoughts produce feelings, feelings produce actions, actions produce habits, habits determine character.” It all starts with what we think about. Our feelings and emotions are determined by the thoughts we entertain. If we dwell on doubts, discouragements, and negativity, that’s where our feelings will follow.

The deeper these sublime concepts are entertained in the mind, the more they will transition into the emotional sphere.

So why not saturate our thoughts with the love of Jesus and all that heaven has invested in us? When we actually realize that Jesus did not merely give Himself ‘to the world,’ but rather to me—that’s when it takes on real significance and moves my heart. Not a mere theory or a logical argument, but a personal reality. The idea that God knows me personally is a thrilling one.

What if we meditated on God’s overwhelming interest in us?

“The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son” (Steps to Christ, p. 100).

What if we regularly thought about Jesus’ heartfelt words to His disciples?

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30).

What if we spent even a few moments each day reflecting on the commitment Christ has made to us in Gethsemane and on Calvary’s cross? What if we stopped paying attention to the thorns, and focused more on the roses? The deeper these sublime concepts are entertained in the mind, the more they will transition into the emotional sphere.

May God help us to enthrone Jesus in our thoughts and give Him more access to our heart. May we use “our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ . . . clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity” (2 Corinthians 10:5-6, The Message).

And may we have the joy of marveling like the disciples: “Did not our heart burn within us” (Luke 24:32)?

Jeffrey Rosario Speaker
Light Bearers
We reserve the right to approve and delete comments. By commenting, you agree to our comment guidelines. For reblogging or reproduction, see our reproduction guidelines.
  • AMEN!!! Praise the LORD for using you to speak to me through this message! I’m attending a week of revival and reformation at church this week and last night’s theme was the Cross! What you said here harmonizes w/last night’s message!!! GOD is trying to communicate to me how much He loves me and because of such an amazing love, I am naturally moved/touched to love Him back and feel it tangibly!!! So sharing this with a couple of friends (and family) whom are in desperate need to hear/read this same message. Thank you for sharing!! May GOD continue to bless and use you for His honor and glory, Jeffrey!!!

  • Amir Davis

    A life in Christ is a life of restfulness. There may be no ecstasy of feeling, but there should be an abiding, peaceful trust. Your hope is not in yourself; it is in Christ. Your weakness is united to His strength, your ignorance to His wisdom, your frailty to His enduring might. So you are not to look to yourself, not to let the mind dwell upon self, but look to Christ. Christ in His self-denial, Christ in His humiliation, Christ in His purity and holiness, CHRIST IN HIS MATCHLESS LOVE– THIS IS the SUBJECT for the soul’s contemplation. It is by loving Him, copying Him, depending wholly upon Him, that you are to be transformed into His likeness. -SC 70.2-

    “Christ in His matchless love–this is the subject for the souls contemplation.”

    ^ That is the quote that changed my devotional life forever. This is what Jeffrey is saying, Ellen White is saying, and God is trying to get us to understand. Dwell upon and take in His love for (ME) and (YOU) individually, personally, and the results are life changing, for real.

  • claudinec

    May my thoughts enthrone Jesus amen

  • Brother Jeffrey, this was such a timely and blessed post! It inspired me to share…

    Isn’t it just a battle of the mind?

    Proverbs 23:7 says it best, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

    In God’s Word, the apostle Paul appeals throughout most of his epistles regarding our minds… “Let this MIND be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” Phil 2:5 and “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your MIND” Romans 12:2 and “Therefore gird up the loins of your MIND…” 1 Peter 1:13.

    These are just citing a few, there’s so much more. One even slight turn, a mere redirection of thinking can change years and years of developed habits; it’s most definitely a step by step process as we choose to behold Jesus Christ, who He is, what He’s done and what He will do.

    Human tendency is to sensationalize our sins by beating ourselves up and when we look to others’ sins, we beat them up. Don’t get me wrong, we should never minimize the result of sin.

    “But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
    And your sins have hidden His face from you,
    So that He will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2

    The “beating ourselves” and “beating others” is still a focus on ‘self’, the mind is focused on our supposed goodness and our own strengths. It’s a bad case of martyr syndrome.

    “It is a law both of the intellectual and the spiritual nature that by beholding we become changed. The MIND gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell. It becomes assimilated to that which it is accustomed to love and reverence. Man will never rise higher than his standard of purity or goodness or truth. If self is his loftiest ideal, he will never attain to anything more exalted” (Great Controversy-1888, p. 555).

    A change of mind results in beholding Jesus! “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Step by step, “glory to glory” our thoughts, feelings, actions, habits and eventually our character is changed.

    I have learned in my life, and am still learning, when I fix my eyes on Jesus, it no longer becomes about me, not about who I am, not about what I’ve done, and not about where I’ve been but it becomes about who Jesus is, what Jesus has done and where Jesus wants to take me!

  • Nice blog, Jeffery. The thought-feeling disconnect surfaces often in counseling and just in life. People quote Bible, chapter and verse, but don’t feel what they know. And so on and so on. . . My own journey has me believing that the soul is like soil–it takes a sharp edge to break the fallow ground so that the seed will take root. Sometimes deeply held, nearly unconscious lies contradict our head knowledge and keep truth from penetrating the deeper layers. . . I could go on. . .

  • Bridgette Presley

    this is the very prayer for my own soul…thanks Jeffrey

  • Lindsay White

    JUST what I needed Jeffrey.. thank you, and thank God.

  • My Spirit has been lifted up to Calvary and I have see the beauty of God’s love for me. Am revived.!! Thanks Jeffrey

  • Thank you SO much, Jeffrey! This was such a blessing to me…Really, thank you.

  • Jimmy Estrada

    Powerful!! May we apply this to our everyday life, may we dwell upon what He has done for us and continues to do.. God bless

  • Stephanie Schmidt

    This is so powerful. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    It harmonize with a thought I heard, a few weeks back that I am constantly confronted with: that worriying is a sin ; Philippians 4:6-7

    Over 100 diseases have been directly attributed to worry! Worry will not only take away your physical energy, it will also rob the soul of its stamina as well. Worry is the ultimate act of rebellion against the rule of God in a believer’s life. Worry says that God is dead; and if He is alive, then He is incapable of doing anything about my situation! When we worry we have ceased to trust the Lord, and that is a sin!

    This connects, so good with the part stated:
    Love for God is felt in your heart to the degree in which you personally encounter His love for you.

    The way God feels about me is the very thing that inspires the way I feel about Him. I can’t initiate love for God, I can only respond to His love for me

    And the part:
    If the simplicity of John’s statement is true, then the more respond points I have, the more opportunities I have for God to engage my heart. Consider the formula: “Thoughts produce feelings, feelings produce actions, actions produce habits, habits determine character.” It all starts with what we think about. Our feelings and emotions are determined by the thoughts we entertain. If we dwell on doubts, discouragements, and negativity, that’s where our feelings will follow.

    So why not saturate our thoughts with the love of Jesus and all that heaven has invested in us? When we actually realize that Jesus did not merely give Himself ‘to the world,’ but rather to me—that’s when it takes on real significance and moves my heart. Not a mere theory or a logical argument, but a personal reality. The idea that God knows me personally is a thrilling one.

  • This article was awesome I read it thru a link on Facebook and it impacted me. I just got back home from vacation and my friend tells me I got to preach this Tuesday at our local church. I started to think what am going to preach about, checking thru my mail I came across a letter from Light Bearers and this same article was in there. I prayed about it and I believe this is what God wants me to preach about because not only would it continue to help me in my faith but now it will expand in help others. I’m translating this into Spanish so my church can feel the blessing that im getting from it.

    Thanks you guys. God bless you all.

  • claudinec

    Thank you Jeffery this was a blessing. God so loved the world that He gave His only beloved Son. God is love and I love Him because He first Loved me God bless you guys.

    Claudine

  • Jon Stephan

    Thank you.

  • everton

    This is a beautiful thought. I have had to disconnect with my feelings often, in order to follow truth. but God has tamed my heart much and i know by experience that if i turn my mind on Christ he gives beautiful emotions. Many times only my affections for Jesus rooted in his goodness has saved me giving in to devilish and deadly counter emotions. But i could not have said it half as good as you did Jeffery. Simplicity and beauty are certainly siamese twins and they need no separaation

  • Sankarah philemond

    Praise God!! I feel really blessed and strengthened. Thank you Jeffrey!

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for sharing these ideas. They come at in a timely manner for me. May God continue to remind us all of His love as we navigate the many miserable valleys of our lives on this earth!

  • James R.

    Thank you my brother! Its a relationship and we gotta nurture and care for that relationship like nothing we’ve ever loved before. Love you bro, praise be to God!

  • Samson Yohannes

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts . They help me to adjust my focus on Jesus again and prevent me to get distracted by worries and doupts .