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Faith, Not Feelings Pleases God

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“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21 NIV).

When you are a baby Christian, God gives you a lot of confirming emotions and often answers the most immature, self-centered prayers so you’ll know he exists. But as you grow in faith, he will wean you of these dependencies.

God’s omnipresence and the manifestation of his presence are two different things. One is a fact; the other is often a feeling. God is always present, even when you are unaware of him, and his presence is too profound to be measured by mere emotion.

Yes, he wants you to sense his presence, but he’s more concerned that you trust him than that you feel him. Faith, not feelings, pleases God.

The situations that will stretch your faith most will be those times when life falls apart and God is nowhere to be found. This happened to Job. On a single day he lost everything — his family, his business, his health, and everything he owned. Most discouraging, for 37 chapters, God said nothing!

How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life and God is silent? How do you stay connected in a crisis without communication? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears? You do what Job did: “Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’” (Job 1:20b-21 NIV).

Tell God exactly how you feel. Pour out your heart to God. Unload every emotion that you’re feeling. Job did this when he said, “I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak” (Job 7:11 GNT).

He cried out when God seemed distant: “Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house” (Job 29:4 NIV).

God can handle your doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion, and questions. You can bring everything to him in prayer.

Thoughts:

In what ways can you show God that you trust him even when you don’t feel his presence?
– What are some of the things you can praise God for, even when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life?

By Rick Warren
Used by Permission

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Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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Don’t Give the Devil a Foothold

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“Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” Ephesians 4:26b-27 (NLT, 2nd edition).

When you give the Devil a foothold into your life, he takes a stronghold. What does that mean? If you give Satan control of one little part of your life, he will soon take over the whole thing. You give him a foothold into your life, and he turns it into a stronghold.

Let me explain it this way: On D-Day, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. It was critical that they establish a beachhead — that is, a foothold on the beach that would allow them to set up a staging area to bring in more men and equipment for the battle. From that tiny foothold, the Allied forces were able to push inland in an effort to liberate France.

But Satan isn’t trying to liberate you. He wants to establish a foothold in your life in order to take over more and more of your life. Once he gets deep enough into an area of sin, he turns the foothold into a stronghold, and that makes it harder for you to take back control of your life.

How does Satan get a foothold in your life? In Ephesians 4:27, the example is anger, but it could be any negative emotion. If you fill your life with worry, he’s gained a foothold in your life. If you fill your life with resentment, he’s gained a foothold in your life. If you allow guilt to turn into shame, Satan has a foothold in your life.

The Apostle Paul says the best way to deal with these negative emotions is immediately. He says, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26b-27 NLT, 2nd edition). You make a choice to deal with it right away.

Otherwise, the negative emotion will fester in your heart and give Satan the opportunity to establish a foothold in your life.

Talk It Over

  • What negative emotion have you allowed the Devil to use to take a foothold in your life? Or, what emotion has the potential to become a foothold for the Devil?
  • What does it mean for a negative emotion to fester in your life?
  • How can you be proactive about dealing with negative emotions that may arise in your life?

By Rick Warren
Used by Permission

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR COMMENTS.

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We’d love to hear from you.  If you don’t see our response form, please go to http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/rw_devil-foothold/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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