By George Card
If a person said "I will only go to work when I feel like it". I assure you that person would be out of work pretty soon, But how many persons have said "I don't feel like praying" or "I don't feel like praising the Lord" or "I don't feel like witnessing today". My friend the only reason those people are still in the church is because of the mercy of God. How many of us would keep a player in the team who would only play when he felt like it?
Feelings are treacherous and unreliable. You can be feeling fine and be dying of cancer. You can be feeling guilty and yet be innocent. An atheist may feel no fear of God, when he should be really afraid. Feelings go up and down, one day you feel great the next day you feel miserable.
Some diseases also affect our feelings, things like diabetes or depression can make people moody. The chemical balance in our brain and body can be off balance and that really messes up with our feelings, those who are diabetic sometimes have difficulty controlling feelings of anger.
Depression is a normal feeling that many people have, but there are some people who suffer from excessive depression. Prozac and other modern drugs are prescribed to those suffering acute depression. The problem is that most people end up hooked on those drugs, because they hate to feel even a little depressed, they want to be in a constant feeling of euphoria.
How did people dealt with depression before medical drugs were prescribed? They read the Bible, usually the psalms. They found comfort in the word of God. It is still a good remedy. Yes those who suffer from severe depression can become suicidal and need medical help.
Drug users get ecstatic feelings of wellness from those drugs; but those feelings are fictitious for as soon as the drug effects wear out they feel miserable and the cycle just continues. Eventually the body builds a tolerance for the drugs and then people need bigger drug dosages just to keep up to the same level of feeling well. People use drugs because they make them feel good and escape the painful feelings they have.
Jesus did not want to go and die in the cross, his feelings rebelled against such destiny and injustice, but he willingly submitted to the cross despite his personal feelings. When he was in the cross I am quite sure he did not felt like singing, yet Jesus was singing. What did he sang? He sang that portion from psalms 22:1 "My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?".
Jesus said to pray without ceasing, the Psalmist said let everything that had breath praise the Lord. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to do what God commands us only when we feel like it. Is a person being hypocritical, Because they are praising God or praying without feeling it? Of course not. We conquer our feelings thru prayer, we must overcome our own personal feelings.
Should a person always have a plastic smile on them? No, that is not what I am saying, for there is a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:4) I know that we are carnal and that we have problems in this life. What I trying to say is, that you can praise God with gladness like in psalm 149 or praise him in sorrow like in psalm 51. You can pray with tears like Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane or you can pray in gladness like Isaiah did in chapter 12. The main thing is that regardless of how we are feeling we are to serve him.