Discouragement Always Comes and Emotions Come to Play

In the Christian life there will always be discouragement, even at the peak of success. If we will be emotional, it could really bring us down.

When I was young, I have read from some Christian pamphlets that to stay on the faith, we have to set aside our emotions and let faith alone be our guide. At some point though I tend to disagree. I have always believed that a genuine Christian has a heart that is continuously being renewed by God by His Holy Spirit. The Christian heart that is filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit will always be dominated by holy affections. Quoting from Jonathan Edwards from his book Treatise Concerning the Religious Affections,

“true religion consists in a great measure in vigorous and lively actings and the inclination and will of the soul, or the fervent exercises of the heart.”

Truly then, a heart could be a gauge to measure our closeness with the Spirit of God. The more our heart is filled with holy affections, the the closer we are with His Spirit. But discouragements come, and failures always strike us. Depression and some other feelings could powerfully impact our feelings. More often than not, our heart feels weak and discouraged.

When dryness comes, there could be two responses. One is further wandering away from God, the other is using that dryness as a great incentive and motivating force to draw closer to the Eternal Fountain.

Yes, faith is almost foremost, and not the feelings. But we must not neglect that genuine faith always includes holy feelings. Glad or sad, joyful or in anger, in praise or discouragement, let us use our emotions to be strong in the Christian faith.

 

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