As a new believer in Jesus Christ you must early on learn to distinguish faith from feelings.
At the point of your surrender to Christ many things were going on: your mind heard and understood the truth, your spirit sensed the conviction of the Holy Spirit, your will surrendered to the Will of God, and your physical body may have trembled, collapsed, knelt before its Maker. Your emotions may also have been quite active, intense, extreme, or in a place of deep peace and calm, knowing now that you had stopped fighting God, running from Him, or denying your guilt.
But these things in themselves are not the day to day experience of walking with the Lord. Your experience of salvation is merely that: your experience of repentance and commitment to Jesus Christ. Walking in faith from there on in is something quite different. Do not let the loss or changes in your feelings distress you; you are as surely a child of God still. Though the devil would like to convince you otherwise, your soul is secure in Christ.
Hear the testimonies of these great men of God:
“Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods ‘where they get off’, you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion. Consequently one must train the habit of Faith.” – C.S. Lewis
“The Christian life is not a constant high. I have had my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me, or help me.’” – Billy Graham
Someone came up with this clever drawing that is helpful for every believer to understand early on.
Sometimes what we think is a problem with our faith, or worse a failure of God, is really only a matter of our mistaken expectations.
Jesus pre-warned us:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
We often need to be reminded of this, as Peter exhorted:
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Pet. 4:12)
In fact, we need to be reminded of many truths… we need to nourish our souls with truth.
“We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed.” – C.S. Lewis.
Fears and doubts result when we feed on the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
“Anxiety and fear are like baby tigers: The more you feed them, the stronger they grow.” – Billy Graham
Get into the Word, pray daily, be with other believers, go to church, share your faith and shun All things impure. Above all else, love God, for you can be assured of His Love for you!
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3 thoughts on “Thursday, 8/1/19 – Discipleship – Assurance”
Thanks Barb… Yes, faith is like courage. As courage acts despite fears, so faith acts despite doubts. Courageous faith acts despite doubts AND fears. Press on…
Thanks for this one John. I can totally identify with the first quote by C.S. Lewis. Sometimes the gospel sounds so fantastical, especially when explaining it to a non-believer, that I sometimes have to stop and wonder if I really believe it. But I guess that’s where faith takes over, and i say to myself, YES I really do believe. Nice to know I’m in good company with someone like C.S.Lewis. Press On brother!