Thursday, January 28, 2010
Sometimes I feel sure I am loved by God, and other times I have doubt. There are moments when I am sure that God loves me, and there are moments when tiredness, frustration, financial worry, and stress crowd out the peace and joy of the presence of God.
I do not doubt that Jesus came to live amongst us and offered his life as a “fragrant sacrifice” (Ephesians 5:2). But I do not always “feel” close to God. Scientists have shown that human feelings have to do with chemistry in our brains, and shows how useless it is for us to trust our feelings as a sign of the presence of God.
It is for this reason that Jesus points beyond feelings to the fruit of our lives. Jesus says that if we want to be sure of God’s presence in our lives we must look for signs of God activity (John 15:8). Our relationship with God is based on God’s goodness within us that transcends both our ups and downs. This is a goodness that is shown in the way we care for those who struggle with life; in the way we encourage those who have lost faith; in the way we practice generosity with people around us; and in the way we refuse to repay anger with anger, pain with pain and hate with hate.
This has nothing to do with me “feeling good”. This has to do with surrender: I surrender my tiredness, my irritability, my scepticism, to God – and God’s Spirit uses me to bless someone else. It is in these moments that I m sure of my faith: because in spite of my weaknesses, God’s blessing has been given to another person (1 Corinthians 1:23-31).