Have you ever wondered why we need good feelings?
Have you ever felt guilty for asking God for good feelings?
“God gave us emotions to experience life, not destroy it.” This line from Unglued, by Lysa Terkheurst, made me stop and think. If I need emotions to experience life, why do I feel guilty when I ask God for good feelings? Do I not want to experience the good in my life?
I came to the conclusion that I have subconsciously believed, to some degree, that good feelings are meaningless extras. Unnecessary, but fun.
This brought to mind The Pursuit of God, by A. W. Tozer. Tozer leaves no doubt about our need to feel in order to experience God, and, therefore, desire to pursue Him further.
That made my brain spin. What about the deceitful heart and all that? I wasn’t sure I agreed with Tozer, for a while. But I as I considered my own journey, I realized that every time I’ve felt peace or joy from being with God, my faith in His goodness has grown. If I had never felt those things, can know I have them when I don’t feel anything?
Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t think I can.
I don’t always feel peace or even love toward God. I know I love Him. But how do I know that? Because I have already experienced Him. I have felt the joy, love, and peace of His presence deeply and often enough in the past. So today, when I feel dry and empty, I still know He is a good God. This trust will only deepen as I experience more of Him.
That is why we need good feelings.
I challenge you, dear readers, to remember a good experience you’ve had with God and keep that memory near when you’re struggling. Don’t be afraid to ask for more good feelings. Not just to fulfill your desires, but to deepen your faith in God and His goodness.
What experience comes to mind as you ponder His goodness to you personally?
I love this, Sheri. I also struggled with the idea that emotions were somehow frivolous and unnecessary. Then I figured out that they are the filter through which we experience reality and can actually be a great boon to our faith when our emotions are reflecting the truth: that God is great and worthy of our praise. The Psalms are a beautiful example of all the emotions available to us as humans—some good and some bad—and I love how David often tells his emotions to get in line (“why are you cast down, oh my soul?” For example). So there’s nothing wrong with enjoying and asking for good emotions in my opinion!
Thanks, Jeb! I like how you described them as a filter. I love that God uses both good and bad feelings to teach us about His greatness. And the Psalms help with that so much!