Faith without Feeling

“Faith is not a feeling. It is simply an act of assent, of openness, and often doesn’t feel like much at all. Faith has to do with what God is doing, not with what we are feeling.” (Eugene Peterson, Practical Christianity)

I have to remind myself of this—usually in the most difficult times. When I face a time of doubt, and I feel like I’m floating in a canoe in the middle of an already rough ocean and the horizon’s not looking very friendly and I tossed the oars overboard hours ago, it’s comforting to remember that with God, it’s not about how I feel. Faith is “an act of assent,” a firm yes to whatever God has planned.

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One thought on “Faith without Feeling”

  1. When I was at the end of my sophomore year of college, I had an interview for a peer instructing position and Dr. Beatty was one of the interviewees. The topic of faith and spiritual growth came up and I was asked how I had grown spiritually since attending Emmanuel. I was leary about my answer because, since I had been at college, I had less of a feeling of God. Being raised in a church that held experience and feeling in high regard, I started to doubt my salvation. I knew I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and I knew He was God and I knew He was present in my life, despite my feelings. So that is how I responded to the question. I was honest in the fact that I was going through a “dry time” and was relying on the knowledge of God’s existence rather than the feeling. I will never forget Dr. Beatty’s simple response. He told me that this was the beginning of faith. Talk about a paradigm shift; I have never looked at my faith in the same light.

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