Living by feelings vs. Living by faith

How often do we live by feelings/emotions instead of living by faith?

Putting things off again and again till they reach crisis proportion can end up being a lot more stressful than just taking care of it right away.  And, if a person procrastinates on important things they should be doing too often, the avalanche of consequences can be so overwhelming that it takes much effort and help from the outside to dig back out to the surface.

Sometimes we just have to do the thing we know to be the right thing, even when we don’t feel like it.

What kinds of things do we put off because we dread it or just don’t feel like doing it?

  • Finances,
  • bill pay,
  • filling out forms,
  • signing up for classes,
  • applying for jobs,
  • redoing your resume,
  • starting supper on time when you really just want to follow your dream,
  • cleaning that problem spot in the corner or the basement,
  • doing housework,
  • seeking God’s help to overcome emotional trauma…

I wonder how many people have made decisions based on feelings that have kept them in serious bondage or even wrecked their lives.

I wonder how many of us have married because of feelings and divorced for the same reason.

How many have faced financial ruin because of making financial decisions based on feelings?

How many have fallen to substance abuse because they live for their feelings instead of by faith in God’s truth about them?

How many are living way below the poverty level because they don’t feel like getting a job or because they are afraid of the process that is involved in getting a job or they are afraid to move out into a new area of training or expertise?

I remember reading some literature by Bill Bright when I was just a youth.  One of the lessons he taught about was this faith vs. feeling issue.

I learned then and have come to totally agree with his illustration, namely, that

Fact (God’s Word) is to be the engine of the train,

Faith is the fuel car, and

Feelings are the caboose.

In other words, we are to learn and believe what God commands and go out in faith that that is exactly what we are supposed to be doing whether we feel like it or not.  It has been my experience that when I followed this model, the feelings eventually do follow along behind, sometimes at the end of a verrry long train and sometimes behind a shorter one, but they do follow along behind at some point.

Fact (God’s Word) is to be the engine of the train, faith is the fuel car, and feelings are the caboose.  (Bill Bright)

Feelings or Faith?

Which feelings are keeping you from doing what you should?


  • Fear of rejection?
  • Fear of inadequacy?
  • Fear of failure?
  • Fear of success?
  • Weariness?
  • Lethargy?
  • Boredom?
  • Anger?
  • Bitterness?
  • The perceived inability to forgive?
  • Feelings of worthlessness or of failure and guilt?
  • Feelings of shame?

What does God say about you?  You don’t know?

Search the Scripture and find out.  I’ve written about some of this in previous blog posts:

You are of great value

and:  Healing through God’s Word

and:  The Best Father in the World

Once you do know what God says about you and your situation, it is time to move forward in faith.

Faith is the victory that overcomes all the obstacles, including our feelings that weigh us down and hold us in what amounts to (for those who are saved by the blood of Jesus) voluntary bondage, a bondage from which Christ came to set us free, and we have but to let Him do it.

“for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
“[ Freedom in Christ ] It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  (NIV)

Building one’s life on a foundation of feelings is like building a skyscraper on shifting sand.  It’s only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down.  Luke 6:49100_1130

But building one’s life on a foundation of faith in God’s Word is like building on solid rock.  The winds of change may blow and the torrents of opposition may flow, but that life is not destroyed or moved from its place.  Luke 6:48

7 thoughts on “Living by feelings vs. Living by faith

  1. Thank you for sharing this very edifying post! As I went through the list of reasons we procrastinate, and what that looks like in my life, the Holy Spirit quickly brought a verse to my mind which countered every single reason! Great exercise!

    I had never heard the train analogy regarding faith.

    I’m so glad I stopped by here today! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Choosing feelings over faith leads to more feelings, doesn’t it? But to choose faith is to let the Lord begin to shape your emotions to line up with His will. Thank you so much for linking up with #FridayFive!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Andrea. Being in denial of what our feelings are certainly does not help us deal with them. We won’t even think to ask God for help to overcome negative feelings if we don’t acknowledge that we have them. And the best way to deal with them once we recognize them is to humbly bring them before the throne of our loving God, confessing the sinful ones for what they are, asking for healing of the broken ones and for reassurance of His love for the insecure ones. He invites us there to His throne of grace “that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NASB
      You are a precious sister. I sincerely thank you for adding to the discussion. I’m sorry it took me so long to get my act together to respond here.
      Have a blessed weekend; may the Lord bless you in your coming adventures. 🙂


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