I’ve learned there is danger in putting full trust in my feelings. Since I accepted Christ as the one true Savior, I’ve struggled with basing my relationship with him on my emotions. When I allow my feelings to gauge how healthy my relationship with God is, his love appears real to me only if I feel his presence through an experience. In these moments in which God feels real, I find happiness. You might call these occurrences mountaintop experiences. Reducing God’s love to temporary moments of blissfulness works surprisingly well; that is, until you aren’t feeling God’s presence, at all.
In these times I visualize myself in a muddy pit in which getting out is impossible. The slopes of the pit are much too slippery for me to climb out by my own strength. I realize I will need to begin actually trusting God to bring me out of my pits, sufferings, instead of putting full trust in my feelings. Where am I supposed to find happiness if I’m not having mountain top experiences with God? Oh, but how small my mind is to think that God’s love for us ends at what we feel in experiences with him!
The answer to this problem is joy. Peter tells those who have a place in Heaven with God that although we cannot see him, we are to still love him because we believe and trust in him (1 Peter 6). Not only this, but in our muddy pits, we are to be “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,” (1 Peter 8-9). This is one of the many places in the Bible that we are told to have joy in all situations. Hope can be found in that God will always love us (2 Corinth. 16:34). Feelings can lie, but God’s word is true. Through trusting God’s word we can find joy in every situation.
So, there must be an intellectual aspect to our relationship with God. We can certainly feel God’s presence and enjoy this, but without the understanding of God’s promises and trust in it, our relationship with him will rely solely on what we feel in the moment, which can disappear in an instant. The Truth, which is God breathed, will always pull us out of our muddy pits—now that we can trust.