So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud. (Jeremiah 38:6)
So often what we believe about God is based on our life circumstances and how we feel. What’s happening now and what I’m feeling now determine what I believe for now. If it feels as though God is far away, then He must be. If it feels as though God doesn’t exist, then He must not. Emotions, in our culture, are given an elevated status as being trustworthy and believable, but we must be careful not to pay too close attention to them for they are deceptive.
Emotions are not based on fact – they’re based on our impressions of a situation or how we feel about it. Emotions sway because feelings change. Couples who go through a divorce experience a change of feeling – the love that they felt at one time no longer exists.
When we reduce our trust in God down to how we feel, we risk misunderstanding Him.
Jeremiah didn’t write off God because the circumstances he was experiencing felt bad. His faith and trust in God weren’t built on circumstances; they were built on God’s character. Jeremiah trusted that God was in control of his (Jeremiah’s) situation, so he faithfully did all that God asked him to do – regardless of the personal pain that he experienced as a result.
Is your faith in God so rock-solid that you can declare, “No storm can shake my inmost calm?” Jeremiah is one example of many people of faith who trusted God in spite of what was going on around them and in spite of what they may have been feeling in the moment.
Emotions are real and it’s normal to experience them, but they shouldn’t be the basis for our faith because they often fail to tell the whole truth.
Father, there are moments in time when my emotions seem so real and so strong. It’s easy to give in to them and to trust them, but to do so is foolishness. Give me the ability to divorce myself from my emotion and to see situations for what they truly are. Let me proclaim a fervent trust in You regardless of what’s going on around me.