Christian Cop Out #3 - "I just didn't feel peace about it."

Welcome to a series highlighting one of the most offensive trends in modern Christianity. My purpose is not to make us all doubt the sincerity of the people around us, but to encourage us to examine ourselves and ensure that we're not the offenders. Psalm 139:23.

Christian Cop Out #3 - "I just didn't feel peace about it."

Often our will conflicts with God's.

This Scriptural truth is easily demonstrated in our own personal experiences. Even Jesus, who was sinless, found on the night before his crucifixion that his emotional will conflicted with the express will of the Father. 

Given the general unruliness of human emotions, not to mention the blinding qualities of the sin nature, to claim that we need "peace" before we can act is a tricky business.

Our emotions lie to us, and because they lie, peace alone cannot be the guide for divining God's will.

There is a feeling of peace that accompanies following God's will, but there are also times during which we must act against our feelings in order to accomplish that will.

Interestingly, the scriptural phrase "the peace that passes all understanding" does not stand alone. It's given in the specific context of surrendering to God through prayer: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

This is the same spiritual path through which Jesus reached peace in Gethsemane. You'll note that for Jesus, peace did not come through changed circumstances (he still went to the cross the next day) nor through added guidance (nothing new was revealed) but as a result of his own willingness in prayer to surrender his emotional will to match the Father's.

The sort of overmastering peace we long to experience often comes not as a spotlight to guide us to the right choice but as the warm confirmation of a difficult step taken in faith.

The righteous live by faith, not feelings, and although faith can affect our feelings, faith is not only a feeling. When our feelings line up with God's explicit will, it's a beautiful thing. When they don't, we can still let our actions bring God the glory that our feelings could not.


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