But I Feel…

I can’t seem to say the words without closing my eyes. “But I feel” …like there is no good option.

Then, eyes opened too wide, I grope for words to justify the way I feel. I explain all of the reasons I’m stuck. As if I have to be convinced that my own conclusions are correct, I address each possibility.

It’s not just when I feel stuck. The words have a way of blinding my eyes and hiding my hope when I feel angry, sad, jealous, hurt, and even stubborn.

You too?

Fact: “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jer 17:9 NIV.)

God created emotions, which means they are good. Yet the seat of our emotions lies to us. Scripture never tells us to follow our hearts, but to follow the Lord. He wants what’s best for us and has the ability to lead us in that best direction. Our feelings, persuasive as they are, are subject to sin.

Fact: Feelings fell with Adam and Eve.

Ever since the fall, feelings have fallen prone to the twisting of sin. That’s how verses like “be angry and do not sin” can exist (Eph 4:26 ESV.) It isn’t wrong to feel, but feelings often tempt us to sin. Our emotions often deceive us, which is what sin is all about.

Fact: Following feelings alone is like closing our eyes and wondering why it’s dark and we’re lost.

In the seriously beautiful, convicting words of Isaiah 59 (NIV,) God describes the darkness of separation from Him. He explains how sin hides His face from us and how “feeling our way” leaves us groping for guidance and security. He goes on to speak of us “uttering lies our hearts have conceived.”

Our emotions often deceive us, which is what sin is all about.

Fact: “But I feel,” followed by submission, is a wonderful way to surrender.

The Isaiah passage ends with God declaring His coming to redeem us; His salvation for those who repent. When we allow our feelings to shut our eyes to the truth and lead us into sin, we must repent. David, over and over again in the Psalms, exemplifies this.

How often David would go before the Lord lamenting, groaning, crying out, and even rejoicing. He came with all those emotions, and David confessed them to the maker of all. We find an example in the famous words of Psalm 139 (NIV):

“Search me, God, and know my heart…

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Would you submit to the Lord with me, asking Him to search your heart, even the “buts” and the “feels?” That He would open our eyes when our feelings want to shut them and lead us in His light, His way?

Fact: He knows our hearts even when our feelings hide our hope. He, our hope and peace, is with us still. Though our feelings might shake us, He does not move (Psalm 62:5 NIV.)

Praise Him!

Interested in guest posting on First And Second? Click HERE…new series on Sin Lies, looking for your thoughts!

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0 Replies to “But I Feel…

  1. I love those Scriptures and they have taken on new meaning for me since PTSD: a symptom of our broken world and a sickness of the heart and brain, which removes our ability to process emotions. I was completely and utterly trapped by the trauma I had experienced as a child and in watching my Mum die an excruciating death (even clothed as she was in God’s peace). Sin, yes, but more than that, disease, a disease only God can heal. My sin as a little girl was to idolize my parents. Consequence: separation from God, the trauma of believing God was a punishing God and not a grace-filled God. Did I understand that’s what had happened or that I was making that choice: no…only God could teach me that in His infinite wisdom…and He did, in His timing…not mine…but even that: it has allowed me to understand grace to the depths (which was my yearning as a little girl filled with love for her Savior).

    PTSD changed my perspective: I knew emotions, I knew the choice of hope in grief, but NOT the choice being taken from me…but that too: is God’s incredible gift to me! In the entrapment His Spirit in me kept me alive, the enemy of our soul, the perpetrator of evil, silenced. Nobody can now convince me that our works, our strength to turn away determine our path: no, Jesus does, through the strength and faith and hope HE pours in. Now, my heart bleeds for those suffering from mental illness…I always thought they had a choice…now I know their only choice is to give their heart to God…and that it is this that allows God to hold them through it…so more than ever, as the enemy becomes more and more ruthless, we are called to witness in love and truth: to show the compassion of Jesus for the blind and to be real about our fleshly struggles as you are here. And my Savior in me weeps, calling me to speak…to remove the cloak of shame and live in the power of His grace.

    1. Wow Anna. I’m so sorry for what you have struggled with. I’m also so grateful the Lord is faithful to you and walking you through so much healing. In so many things we think we have a ton of choices (and we kind of do…they just don’t lead where we want them to!) but we always have that one choice to surrender to the Lord, and we know that choice always results in the best for us. Prayed for you this morning!

  2. Bethany- I tend to believe my feelings are truth, even though they are not. It’s comforting to know that Jesus had feelings too, but didn’t read into them.
    Feelings can be a reminder to check what’s going on inside and use that to lead us closer to Him.
    I enjoyed your post!
    Your #TestimonyTuesday neighbor,

  3. Absolutely I will submit my feelings to the Lord! Anything that is not peace, joy and love isn’t of Him. It is a moment by moment choice isn’t it? As quite a reflective gal, I can sin putting myself in condemnation (what is wrong with me?) yet that really isn’t our natural state is it? It’s a journey for sure, to be solid in the truth of who we are, but thankfully He created us as made for relationship too so we help lift each other up to His truth of who we are. Thanks for doing this today!

    1. Lynn, we are cut from the same cloth that way. I can be very introspective and self-condemning too (thank you Lord for John 3:20!) Moment by moment choosing to submit even our feelings to Him seems like a lot, but it is so worth it- and peaceful! Thanks for sharing and encouraging me today!

  4. Bethany, you’ve put this together wonderfully. Yes, feelings lie. They can’t be trusted. But they’re not wrong. Feelings just are. As you said, it’s what we do with those feelings that often lead us into sin. Great post. Visiting from Sitting With Friends.

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