ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE GOD OR YOUR FEELINGS?

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“But feelings cannot be our ultimate authority because, as we all know, they are so changeable, and unreliable. They come and they go, and you never know what they may be. ‘I dare not trust the sweetest frame’, says a hymn-writer, because it may have gone by tomorrow. If I am to be governed by my feelings I shall find myself constantly changing—sometimes happy, sometimes miserable, sometimes feeling that all is well, sometimes that everything is going wrong, sometimes thrilled by reading the Bible, at other times having to force myself to get something out of it, feeling dry, arid, dull, stupid! Is not that your experience? If so, how can you rely on feelings as your authority?

Then remember, too, that feelings can be so easily counterfeited. If what is nice is of necessity good, if what gives me a pleasant, comfortable feeling must be right, then I have no answer whatsoever to the cults. I would just have to say: ‘Well, go to them. Anything that makes you feel better, anything that gives you a kind of release and relief is good; follow it. Anything that makes you a better man must be right, go after it.’ If we rely merely upon the pragmatic test of what makes me feel better we have no standard at all. I cannot criticize any teaching. It is so entirely subjective that I have no standard whatsoever.”

– Martyn Lloyd-Jones

 

“I would believe God’s word before my feelings any day. How do we deal with an inquirer who has accepted Christ, but who lacks assurance that he has eternal life? We do not ask him to look at his feelings, but we take him to some such passage as John 3.36. We tell him to read it and he reads: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.’ ‘Who says that?’ we ask. ‘God says it.’ ‘Is it true?’ ‘Oh, certainly it is true; God says it.’ ‘ Who does God say has everlasting life?’ ‘He that believeth on the Son.’ ‘Do you believe on the Son?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘What have you then?’ ‘O, I don’t know, I don’t feel yet that I have eternal life,’ ‘ But what does God say?’ ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.’ ‘Are you going to believe God or your feelings?’ We hold the inquirer right there until on the simple, naked word of God, feeling or no feeling, he says, ‘I know I have eternal life because God says so,’ and afterward the feeling comes.”

– RA Torrey

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