It is one of the ironies of life that change is constant. Our reaction to change can cause emotional change within ourselves. How does this relate to our experience of God where, as we grow in faith, we experience changes in our understanding of his love and goodness?
As I write this, I am aware that I write about what is driving my inner self. Over the past few weeks I have in different ways been asking myself the above questions.
How do I answer.
In the old testament God would instruct his prophets that if he gave them instructions to deliver the message, that was what they were responsible for. They were not responsible for outcomes.
Taking that and applying it to personal encounters with people, the other person is responsible for their part, but I am responsible for my reaction.
Regarding my faith the bible is clear that ‘Jesus Christ is the same today and forever’. (Hebrews 13:8). My emotions cannot change Christ’s love for me.
What of my emotional reaction to my own failings? The bible is clear that God knows our frailties. With the Apostle Paul he states that ‘His strength is made perfect in weakness’. Paul goes on to write in the Book of Romans ‘I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love’ (Romans 8:38). Elsewhere we are taught that God has foreseen all things. There is nothing we can do to change God’s love for us in Christ.
We know that Christ is always the same. We know that God foresaw all that we would do in our life before redeeming us through Christ’s life, death and resurrection. And we know from Paul that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Whatever drives our change of feelings it is not about a change in God’s relationship towards us.
Knowing this and having this security of God’s love and fore knowledge, we can begin to understand that what is driving our emotions comes from within. Our faith is built on the foundation that is Christ, we are grafted into the Fathers vine which is love itself. Out of that over time grow the fruits of the spirit which are love, joy, peace, kindness. Over time our emotions move and change from being a way we understand our faith to being an expression of our faith.
Our changes in emotion may be changes in how we see, experience, or understand ourselves, others, or God. We can deal securely with this emotional change knowing the foundation of God’s love towards us is unchangeable.