facts, faith, and feelings


Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. . . . Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
(John 14:1, 27)

Today’s verse passage is a powerful reminder of how we ought to regard and prioritize facts, faith, and feelings. The beautiful words of Jesus make clear the fact that God is very concerned about our mental and emotional health. He offers us real and legitimate, lasting peace. This is what He wants for us. He counsels us to stop worrying because worrying helps nothing. It cannot add anything to our lives (Matthew 6:25-34), but it can cut them short and impoverish them if we let it! Today in these turbulent and uncertain times, people are living in a perpetual state of anxiousness. Hurried, worried, harried, and buried typifies many North American lives these days. Those tuned into the problem know they don’t feel right emotionally. Unfortunately, many follow the dictates of autonomous human wisdom in an attempt to remedy the problem and to procure mental and emotional health and well being. This approach is foolishness. It places a premium on feelings as supremely important, while placing faith in man-made schemes, gimmicks, and bandwagon fads in order to achieve the desired feelings. On this view, reality itself—the facts of the matter—hardly matter at all. The entire scheme is wrong-headed; the thoughts of man are indeed vanity (Psalm 94:11). Feelings, fleeting and transient, cannot be what leads and guides us, nor is it wise to place unwavering trust in that which is not true. Faith in the wrong thing, no matter how great the faith exhibited, will still end in disaster. A man may have great faith that the ice is thick enough on the river to hold him up. Nevertheless, if that faith commitment doesn’t reflect reality, he is still going to receive a very cold bath the moment he steps out onto the ice. On the other hand, a man may have a very weak and feeble faith that the ice can hold his weight even the though the river is frozen to the bottom. With weak faith in that which is true, the man can make it across the river without incident. It is the facts of the matter, the truth, that is paramount. The Christian understands this, and knows that there is a Fact above all facts, the great and Ultimate Truth with which all lesser truths participate. That great Truth is the Lord Jesus Himself, the One in Whom all the fullness of the godhead dwells bodily (Colossians 2:9). We ought to make knowing Him our chief pursuit in this life (Philippians 3:8-10), trusting in Him to meet our every need (Colossians 2:10; Philippians 4:19). With our faith locked firmly onto Him Who is True (Revelation 19:11), we can expect God to make good on His promise to provide us with joy unspeakable (1 Peter 1:8) and a peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). Praise God Who shows us such grace!

God bless,

pastor john