Have you ever felt enslaved to your emotions? For much of my life, my faith and joy were at the mercy of my emotions. Although I did my best not to allow my emotions to determine my actions, I still felt very hindered by them. As humans, we are tripartite beings made up of body, soul, and spirit. Our souls are composed of our mind, our will, and our emotions. Emotions are wonderful and extremely necessary, but they’re also terrible masters.
One of the primary ways that I sense God moving is in my emotions. When the Presence of God is manifested in a place, it often moves me emotionally (and I believe this is true for many people). But what happens when you feel nothing?
In Psalms 42 and 43, the psalmist makes an interesting statement in regard to his soul. The Psalmist writes, “Why are you so downcast, O my soul? And why are you so disquieted within me? Put your trust in God!” Though seemingly a simple statement, these verses reveal this profound truth: You can speak from your spirit and take authority over your soul.
Emotions are often liars—and if you let your emotions determine either how you think or how you act, you will be like the person in James 1:7 who is “like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind… unstable in all their ways.”
So, what happens when you don’t feel like you have any faith? What happens when you don’t feel like God is near? The lie that many of us believe is that if we feel faithless, we are faithless; but the strength of your faith is not determined by what you feel, but by what you do in spite of how you feel. It is true that we can feel faith in our emotions, but faith itself is not only an emotion. A large part of faith is a choice to believe what God says despite our emotions or circumstances.
I remember once reading a story about the great healing evangelist Smith Wigglesworth where he was asked to come pray for a man’s wife who had been given only hours left to live. When he came to the home, the husband and the relatives were all praying, “God, I thank you for this woman. I pray that she would die peacefully and that you would take care of her children when she passes away.” Wigglesworth was taken aback by the level of unbelief in the room and when the relatives had finally finished praying, he prayed with authority, “In the name of Jesus, be healed!” And the woman immediately got out of bed and was completely healed.
When speaking about faith and emotions, Wigglesworth said this,
“There are times when there seems to be a stone wall in front of us. There are times when there are no feelings. There are times when everything seems as black as midnight, and there is nothing left but confidence in God. What you must do is have the devotion and confidence to believe the He will not fail, and cannot fail. You will never get anywhere if you depend on your feelings. There is something a thousand times better than feelings, and it is the powerful Word of God.”
Faith rests on the Word and the character of God, which brings up my last point: If we are not saturated with the Word of God, our faith has nothing on which to rest... nothing on which to lay hold of. The Word of God is the title deed of your inheritance as a child of God. A person who lives unaware of their inheritance could live as a beggar when they’re in line for a fortune.
The Word makes us aware of the goodness and character of God. If you don’t believe that it’s God’s will to heal, you won’t have faith for healing. If you don’t believe that it’s God’s will to do the impossible, your faith won’t accomplish much. The Word renews our mind and makes us aware of what our faith can access. When the emotions of your soul are attempting to sabotage your faith, speak the Word to your soul and command it to come into line with the truth!