Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Power of the Will (versus fleeting Emotions)

“Remember then that the real thing in your experience is what your Will decides & not the verdict of your emotions... If the  Will is set right, the rest of the natural must come into harmony... Since a man's Will is really the man's Self, of course, what his Will does, he does... Have you thus consented, dear reader, and is your face set as flint to Will what God wills? He wills that you should be entirely surrendered to Him and that you should trust Him perfectly... Do you Will the same? Are you submitting your Will to God? Is it given to God? Is it in His hands?" - Hannah W Smith, in A Christian's Secret to a Happy Life  (1875)

Basically what she's saying is, "If your Will wills it, it will happen." Faith is not built on feelings. The Will supersedes emotions every time. Emotions are temporary & are constantly being replaced with new (often contradictory) feelings. But a person's Will (think values, core beliefs, worldview etc) should be more grounded and is what really matters.

But it is not in our power, strength, motivation or desire that we work for change. Anything done apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ on the Cross & the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is done in vain.

There are times when God may feel far off (our feelings deceive us). This is a lie- God is always near at hand! There are times when our faith might feel empty & void (feelings are fleeting). We all go through the valleys & the mountaintops at one point in our lives or another. They are what make us stronger & give us a clearer perspective. "It's always darkest right before the dawn." (an old adage)

I'm am reminded of William Cowper's testimony (author of the "God Moves in a Mysterious Way"  hymn). Not every Saint's path to Salvation is straight & narrow... Not every Sinner is filled with Joy upon the moment of Conversion. Some must fight, wrestle & war til the very end. And not always is there a happy ending... But God is FAITHFUL none-the-less. His purposes are always accomplished. And His was are GOOD. He is WORTHY of our praise!

Do not give up hope. Continue to press on & fight the good fight. As the Word says, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9

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