Your feelings are lying to you.
You feel like the world is flat, but it is round. You feel like you are standing still, but you’re spinning lightning fast into space.
In like manner, feelings about life can be deceiving. Being wrong feels the same as being right – until you know better.
It might feel okay to hurt someone because you’ve been hurt. It might feel okay to lie, depending on the situation. It’s easy to see how letting feelings run our life can quickly run it into the ground. Sadly, we see evidence of this every day in the news – people killing other people because, to them, it feels right.
If you have no basis for what truth is, your entire life will be spent making decisions based on feelings. If you don’t have a guidebook for life, how can you know what is true and what is not? It is much easier to not let your feelings guide you when you trust God and are spending time in His Word, the ultimate truth. “Sanctify them by the truth. Your Word is truth” (John 17:17).
It’s so easy to let the emotions we feel to become our reality, but we need to be careful! Satan can use them to discourage us or endanger us spiritually.
Let’s explore a few feelings we experience in life that are actually lies.
“I’ll never get out of this mess. I can’t imagine ever feeling normal again after what happened to me.”
If you’re in the middle of a personal crisis – whether physical, mental, or emotional – it’s hard to imagine being on the other side of it. We tend to think based on how we are feeling in the moment, but God wants us to base our thoughts on His words. He says we can do all things through His strength, that nothing is too hard for him, and that He has great plans for us. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14).
“I keep trying but nothing is working. There must be no hope for me.”
Have you been there? That moment when you have tried so many methods to fix a problem and are out of solutions, with no end in sight to the suffering? The writer of Lamentations was in a place of wanting to give up. He says, “My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.” The only thing he has to cling to is his hope in the Lord — but what a thing to cling to! He goes on to say,
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.”
We must choose to hope in the Lord even when we cannot see or fathom an answer to our problem. When we have exhausted all the avenues we know of to fix our problem and come to the place where it’s hard to remember ever feeling good – trust God. He is there. He is all-knowing and already has the problem worked out. He alone can provide the peace that passes understanding.
“I’m happy, so I must be doing the right thing. God wants me to be happy.”
True, God does want you to experience happiness. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). But more than temporary happiness in this life, Jesus is interested in your eternal happiness. If you’re a parent, you understand the concept of temporary vs. long term happiness perfectly . What’s more important to you – your child’s temporary happiness eating junk food every day, or their long term health and happiness by denying the cravings and eating healthy?
It’s the same with us and God. We may feel happy doing something in the moment, but if it’s gonna hurt us long term, God doesn’t want that. Measure your life against the pages of Scripture. Are you living in a way that promotes your eternal happiness?
Let’s look at an example of how feelings can deceive in the Bible, Matthew 7:21-24.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Jesus says that at the judgment, there will be people who feel like they are so close to Him – yet he does not know them. Why? Look at the next verse. He specifies those who will be on a firm foundation: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Who will be safe eternally? Everyone who hears Gods words and does them. Trust God by obeying what He says – it’s that simple!
Take a moment to evaluate your life. Are you feeling stuck? Ignore it – God says He has great plans for you. Are you feeling hopeless? Remember, God promises to meet all your needs. Maybe you are the opposite – you feel happy, so you assume you are right with God. Spend time reading the Bible and make sure it’s actually true!
My top tip for how to trust God with your feelings?
Start a journal. This is my favorite way to process and understand my feelings. For me, sometimes I don’t know what’s bothering me or what lies I’m believing until I write my feelings down. It really helps me see the big picture and what to pray/study about. I always write down my prayers, as if I’m writing a letter to God. Alternatively, you could also write journal entries of your thoughts. I encourage you to get a pretty journal and start writing today!
- This journal is perfect if you’re a free-spirited writer and just want blank pages on which you can freely express your feelings.
- This journal is great for those who want a more structured approach to a prayer journal. If you struggle to write down your feelings, this journal provides helpful prompts for you to do so.
Want a resource to encourage you as you learn how to trust God instead of your feelings? Lately, I’ve been reading & enjoying Renewing the Mind Project by Barb Raveling and Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf.
When you live your life based on the Word of God instead of your feelings, “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). You will trust God and be at peace despite your circumstances, because you know God’s got your back.
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Do you have any tips on how to trust God instead of your feelings?