Friday, March 19, 2010

Don't Mistake the Feeling - March 19, 2010

Good Friday morning! The expected snow is here, but it isn't too serious for us. The kids had better get up and ready for school. :-) Did you expect a feeling of relief when you were saved? Some do feel a lightening of their load, but others expect something else. If you expected a feeling when you were saved, and felt nothing, perhaps you had your expectations set wrong.

Many times in my former life in the corporate world, I ran into expectations. Often those expectations were set in a budget meeting or a project kick-off. The meeting would take place with no input from those with knowledge in the field and yet, somehow, the people in the meeting would set expectations for the cost of something. Of course, with the estimated cost based on nothing but guesses and wishful thinking, the actual cost would be much more than expected. We may be guilty of the same thing when we set expectations for some undefined feeling at salvation.

We don't know where this expectation comes from, perhaps a "health and wealth" minister gave some indication that giving your life to Jesus was a highway to a gold mine, or simply our own wishful thinking led us wrong. In any case, we can come to the cross expecting that we will gain some good feeling that will trump all the pain and suffering we have felt up to that point. The problem is Jesus didn't promise that!

The promises Jesus made to His disciples were more like: the world will hate you, but remember that it first hated me, or, don't be surprised when you are tossed out of the synagogues and brought up before the courts. When we go into salvation expecting to come out with some overall good feeling, we are ignoring some evidence. We also may be depending upon our guts for confirmation of salvation.

Happiness often depends upon the state of our internal biology. An ill feeling will not make a person happy, Christian or non-believer, nor will a rebellious colon make you feel like skipping and jumping. We want Jesus to take away all bad feelings and give us immediate good, even perfect, health when saving us from sin. That is a promise He made, but not here in this life, only in Heaven when we come home to Him. Like our pets, we want it NOW. Sorry, part of giving up your life to Jesus is in learning to wait for His timing.

The devil is going to use this to sow doubt of course. You may hear that little, nagging doubt in your spiritual ear, "How can Jesus love you if you feel so bad this morning? You must not be saved!" Don't you believe it; the promise of salvation is not based on how our guts feel on any particular evening or on our health condition at any time. Don't mistake the feeling, Jesus' gift of grace cannot be won or confirmed by how we feel. We live justified by faith in Christ Jesus!

If you got up feeling pretty darn good this morning, as I did, you should praise God, but if you got up feeling rather grumpy or sad, praise God for that too! Feelings will come and go; health may not be made perfect until we see Jesus, but our salvation is assured by Christ Himself.

Enjoy the Friday and look forward to that great day of our homecoming!


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