There are days I don’t feel like I love God. But I am in a love relationship with God that isn’t based on how I feel for the day but based upon the faith that God gave me to love Him and live for him 24 years ago. So I trust my commitment to Jesus more than I trust my feelings about Jesus.
But does that mean I shouldn’t feel any emotions or be emotional?
God is emotional and has feelings:
God feels anger: Psalm 7:11; Romans 1:18
God feels laughter: Psalm 37:13; Psalms 2:4
God feels Compassion: Psalm 135:14
God feels grief: Genesis 6:6; Psalm 78:40
God feels love: 1 John 4:8; John 3:16
God feels hate: Psalm 5:5; Psalm 11:5
God feels joy: Zephaniah 3:17; Isaiah 62:5
And the biggest point of it all: God came into our world to know every temptation and every feeling and emotion we can experience but the difference is that as a human being… He didn’t sin (Hebrews 4:15). Yet, He felt everything we feel. That’s what makes God so trustworthy and understanding about your situation. He made you emotional and He knows what emotions you’re feeling right now. Have you ever thought this:
“I don’t feel God so God’s not with me or cares about me.”
“I’m feeling it so I better jump in and just do it.”
“I feel it’s right so it must be true.”
“I feel it this strongly so it must be true.”
“I don’t feel like praying or reading my Bible so God must not be real.
While these feelings may seem to be real to you, the question is ARE these feelings true? Maybe. But obedience and feelings don’t always line up. When we don’t “feel it”but we are “doing it” it’s like our feelings are dragging. Maybe I’ll say it this way:
Our feelings have to catch up to our obedience.
Here are eight practical ways to manage your emotions effectively on a daily basis.
1. Remind yourself that a loss of feelings doesn’t mean a loss of faith.
I don’t call my dad every day. If I don’t feel like I love my father every day it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me every day. I see my dad a few times a year but our love doesn’t change and my feelings don’t change. God is my father and I’m His son. Nothing can change that. God is not a Father who abandons and leaves you orphaned. Quite the contrary. He adopts you into his family and nothing can separate you from his love (Romans 8:15, 31-39). So if you feel like God doesn’t love you, trust in the strong bond of the Father’s love that he will not leave you. And even you cannot remove yourself from Him. He’s youur Father and he loves you unconditionally.
2. Be all in with God because God’s all in with you
We may not always believe in us but God always believes in you. What He starts He finishes. The good work He begins in you is also the faithful work He completes in you (Philippians 1:6). He’s not like me when I’m trying to build an empire state building puzzle. After I build it for a while, the border, then I’m out. I’m not the guy who has the puzzle on the table for 6 weeks and delightfully shuffles over to the 10,000 piece nightmare and say to myself, this is so relaxing staring into a pile of chaos. So I’m notorious for pulling out. God’s not. He’s all in and will finish what He started.
3. Know how God feels about me is different than how I feel about me sometimes
Just because you don’t feel like you are worthy doesn’t mean God doesn’t think you are. Just because you don’t think you’re worth the fight doesn’t mean God isn’t fighting for you right now. Your perceptions and feelings about you are going to be different than how you feel about you.
4. Respond to God’s promises than reacting to your feelings
God makes these promises to you when you don’t feel like worshiping or praying to seek God:
When you seek him with all your hearts you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13)
When you press on to know Him, He will come to you like spring rain (Hosea 6:3)
When you come to Jesus, your heart hunger will be satisfied (John 6:35)
5. Remind yourself when we are faithless He is still faithful
Even though I may not be loving God like I should every day, God is still loving me. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless he remains faithful, for He cannot disown himself.” In the midst of my uncertainty he is certain to be with us no matter what
6. Do what you used to do
When was the last time you were “on fire for God?” What are you doing during those times that give you passion to keep going? Are you reading your Bible, spending time in prayer, hanging with other Christian friends, in Bible study, or sharing your faith? Start doing those things and watch your feelings change.
7. Walk by faith and not by sight.
We walk by sight. We walk by feelings. We walk by hearing. But God’s best for us is to walk by faith as often as we can (2 corinthians 5:7).
Obedience is visible expression of our faith, so follow God in obedience and see Him more than you ever thought you could.
8. Don’t live passively
The key here is refusing to be passive and making a conscious decision to do what’s right. Being passive means you wait for an outside force to move you or to feel like doing something. Use your will to choose what’s right. And pray for God’s grace to give you the ability to do it.