14 down, 26 to go!
Today’s message hit me emotionally in a way that the others have not so far but maybe because there have been some new developments in my life right now that are testing my faith and relationship with God. Today’s topic is about what do we do when we don’t feel God and of course Rev. Warren uses one of my favorite people in the Bible Job.
I know some people like David and other people John or Peter and well of course people like Jesus, but Job is my boy! Even as a teen reading his story I connected with him and his test of faith. I guess I liked Job because even when things were not okay he still stuck with God. Also, as a teen where “everything is bad and no one gets me” I connected with Job as he was in a place where everything was bad and no one got him. Now again as a graduate student where “everything is bad and no one gets me” I am still connecting with his story. However, I think the best connection of the Job story is the end where he gets double for his trouble 🙂 I don’t know about you but I’m ready for my double for the trouble!!!! Whoo…I feel like I could start a sermon with that, lol. [Praise Break….3….2….1]
Anyway, moving back to the book, this chapter starts by saying
God is real, no matter how you feel.
I feel the above statement is so important and I am so glad that I have gone through some things that allows me to understand this and even now as I am still going through things…this concept has assisted me to stay connected with God. Even on a bad day where I didn’t feel like praising Him or giving Him the glory, I would say even if I can just hang on to the hem His garment and say something anything that lets Him know that I still appreciate Him and honor Him in spite of…to just get past my feelings and act on the idea that God is still God in the good and the bad maybe just maybe I can activate my spirit man and get a worship in that is in spirit and in truth.
There is a second short phrase, in the middle of the chapter:
Faith, not feelings, pleases God.
This last sentence reminds me of one of my favorite hymns as a kid, “Hallelujah Anyhow.” I don’t know if you have ever heard of the song but I know when I’m not “feelin” God or “feeling” God this song always reminds me that no matter my situation, circumstances or feelings–God deserves a hallelujah. The words are simple it just says, “Hallelujah Anyhow/Never Let Your Burdens Get You Down/When Life’s Burdens come your way/Hold Your Head Up High and Say/Hallelujah Anyhow.” Here is a video to a caribbean remix 🙂 of the song that I found on YouTube a few week’s back and placed on this blog before
For me, the Hallelujah Anyhow song helps me a lot. I also have a phrase that I say to myself in church when I feel distracted by all the things going on around me, “Tú y yo para siempre/You [God] and I forever.” Usually, saying this focuses me in church on why I am there which is to connect with God first and people second. In private time, when I say it, it calms me down and is a remember that working on my relationship with God is most important and that if I have that together…the rest will come.
During times of spiritual dryness you must patiently rely on the promises of God, not your emotions, and realize that he is taking you to a deeper level of maturity. A friendship based on emotion is shallow indeed…God’s grace is still in full force; he is still for you, even when you don’t feel it. In the absence of confirming circumstances, Job held on to God’s Word.
The book of Job ends by saying, “After this [the trials and tribulations] Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generation. So Job died, old and full of days (Job 42:16 & 17 NKJV).”