Can Feelings Be Trusted?
Question: I’m a born-again Christian who received Christ as my Savior more than 20 years ago. At that time, I literally felt Christ come into my heart and change my life. Yet there are times when I have to fight doubts because I just don’t feel right with the Lord. I know all the gospel verses and believe them, but it seems to me there must be something I’m missing. Can you help me?
Response: There could be many reasons for not feeling right. A child who is secretly doing something of which his parents would not approve doesn’t feel right about it. It doesn’t mean he is no longer their child, but he knows that if they knew what he was doing they would be upset with him. Of course, God knows all about us.
Are you living a carnal life, consuming that brief span of time allotted to you on this earth in pursuing the world’s vain ambitions and pleasures, forgetting that time is very short and that eternity is forever? In your heart you know whether disobedience and neglect are the problem. Beyond these considerations, one’s faith can wane with the neglect of God’s Word and prayer and failure to fellowship regularly with other believers.
Our confidence in God and in our relationship with Him begins with His Word, feeding upon it, and resting in its promises. You could even be doing that and yet have doubts, because you don’t have a solid-enough basis for trusting God’s Word. One of the best ways to restore your confidence in the Word is through a study of prophecy. The fulfillment of prophecy provides tangible, empirical evidence that proves beyond any doubt that the Bible is inspired of God and that we can count upon all that it says.
The assurance of faith depends upon the truth of the gospel, and nothing makes that so sure as the fulfillment of prophecies concerning the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. You need to be thoroughly grounded in God’s Word in this regard and then tell this good news and share the infallible proofs with others. The best way to strengthen your faith is to tell others why you believe and to be earnestly involved in seeking to win others to Christ.
Prophecy was the primary tool used by the early Christians in preaching the gospel. We need to do the same today. Paul would go into the synagogue, read from the Old Testament prophecies that promised the Messiah, then show that they had all been fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The Jews had no choice, if they were to be honest, but to believe that Jesus was their Messiah. Here is how Luke, who accompanied Paul on his travels, recorded a typical incident in one of the many towns they visited:
“They came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews; and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered and risen again from the dead, and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.” (Acts:17:1-3)