I’ve always been a doubter of my salvation. I don’t doubt intellectually but emotionally that I’m saved this in turn leads to sin do to the anxiety I experience. I watched the video on here that explains sort of what I’m going through. The one where the girl asked Jesus into her heart 5000 times. Help.
Hi, Chad @Chad.Berry. My heart goes out to you, because I personally know the anguish of feeling this way. As I’ve walked with the Lord throughout my life, I’ve asked him into my heart many times. One thing I have learned in my 22 years of walking with the Him, and it took me a while, is that feelings and truth do not walk hand in hand. It is very difficult when we feel something emotionally in such a strong way that it threatens to overpower that which we know. It is critically important in those times to go to the Word and measure what your emotions are telling you with what God’s Word says. While my feelings sometimes serve a purpose, they cannot lead me in Truth. Romans 10:8-10:10 says, “But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (NKJV).
In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, Paul is addressing a situation in which false teachers are setting their teachings up against Paul’s, condemning Paul as an apostle in order to gain for themselves more honor. Paul was exhorting them to obedience to Christ in these matters, to cast down the teaching and philosophies these false teachers were trying to lay on his new converts. However, these verses stand true for any way in which the enemy seeks to destroy that which has been given to us in Christ. Just as deception can come through others, it can also come through our feelings, and rest assured, the enemy does love to use our feelings against us. If we have confessed Jesus Christ is Lord and we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that he is and that he died for our sins and God raised him from the dead for our justification, then when those feelings arise, telling us we are not saved, we are to “cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (NKJV). We can only have one Lord and Master of our lives, and if we allow our feelings to rule us, we will constantly be thrown to and fro on the waves of uncertainty, constantly fearful. But God has not given us a spirit of fear in the face of these deceptive condemnations, whether from false teachers or emotions trying to fray us, but he has given us a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7).
Whenever these feelings come up, run to seek God in His Word and prayer. It is in those moments that it is critical to make a decision to believe what God has to say over our feelings.
Chad, I hope this helps you in some way. We all struggle with our emotions throughout life. When you approach God, be honest about how you are feeling and ask Him to help you as you seek Him and study His Word. Jesus has gone above and beyond for us, not merely securing our salvation but also sending a Helper to help us walk out our faith. He hasn’t left us alone.
I will be praying for you, Chad.
Hi @Chad.Berry thank you for your honesty; it is incredibly brave to share something like that with anyone. I think I have a little bit of an understanding of what it is like to be confident of one thing in your head, but disconnected in the heart. It reminds me of something that I heard back at university, “The distance between the heart and brain is the longest foot in the Universe.” Personally, I see myself as a very cerebral person, particularly in my faith, which has led to me not feeling as I “ought” to on several occasions. When looking back at my life, I probably have had far more deeply felt moments watching movies, than in a worship service or listening to a sermon. It is so weird for me to hear people talk about their conversion stories and about the great moment, and how everything changed, and that they remember the exact day. I could not confidently give you the year.
I don’t think this is the same, but there have been times when I am bothered by the lack of sensation of the experience. I have wondered why others get to “feel the Lord moving them,” when I know that He loves me and I love Him, just as much as anyone else. I am dedicated to Him and see the fruits of the Spirit in my life, but I have never spoken in tongues. I have been honest with the Lord with my frustrations and waited for an answer. There are two that He has given to me: first, things like speaking in tongues is a gift and He usually chooses to give those gifts to people who need them, and second, "The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.” Jer 17:9-10, NIV
So, I have told myself, “Apparently, I don’t need to speak in tongues. And all of the wonderful feelings that I have, or anyone else, really cannot be trusted.” I think the runner analogy that pops up throughout the New Testament, speaks to me in this. I don’t ever feel like running, but I know I must and so I push on. In a distance race, most people need to mentally convince themselves to keep moving forward, not because they feel like it but because they know the end will come. This has been sufficient for my mind, but I don’t know what you need. I hope I have been helpful and will be praying for you, Chad. If you want to talk more about any of this, feel free to message me. I can listen, pray, and try to help.
Thank You both! I appreciate the Spirit Led input! Hearing/seeing others quote scripture on this board let’s me know that believers our on this board! Hallelujah! I need the constant reminder of scripture as we all do. Hallelujah for brothers and sisters in The Lord!
I posted some other stuff and scripture was used. Thinking of Ephesians sing songs, psalms making melody in Your hearts to the Lord. Colossians… let the Word of Christ dwell in You richly! God bless!
@Chad.Berry, thank you for sharing the inner struggles of being able to walk in faith. Much of what I have to say is similar to what @psalm151ls has shared. I didn’t realize the overlap until I finished typing.
I too am very familiar with doubt and anxiety and the spiritual dryness we feel as a result, causing us to doubt God even more. When feeling anxious and struggling with doubt, our rationality takes a back seat and sometimes we can feel suicidal very quickly. I think its really important to identify the triggers for those feelings which is often associated with a false belief. Then we can furnish God’s truth in place of the false belief so that the right feelings follow. Sometimes, it may be necessary to study God’s word extensively to understand that truth. There can be so many triggers - our expectations on how God must be, our expectations on how we must be to experience Him, the expectations others put on us, our view of our circumstances, spiritual attack of the enemy on our minds, etc. Once we identify where our train of thoughts are not lining up with God’s word, we can confess that, resist the thought pattern and choose to believe in truth. But believing in truth doesn’t always produce an instantaneous change in our feelings and it could be both due to physiological and spiritual reasons. With continued practice though, we will start feeling the change whether others affirm it or not.
When I am down, I go back to the moments that I had a sense of God’s existence and love. It may be intellectual too but we need to hang on to those moments of revelation. I believe He does reveal Himself to everyone who seeks Him as He promised in His word. Much of our Christian life may be a walk by faith but there will be at least a few moments when He reveals Himself more tangibly. A word from the Bible may come to life, He may speak through our circumstances, through His protection and direction, through the love of some people, a spiritual experience, through His creation, etc. Part our ability to see His work in our life will come from our choice to trust in Him even when all our doubts are not fully answered. I would just encourage you to continue asking God to make Himself known in a way you can perceive Him. In the member testimonies here on Connect, we can see God at work in people’s lives. Everyone is special in the eyes of God and He does not show favoritism. What He did for others He can do for you! May God fill you with His Holy Spirit in increasing measure to know and understand His deep love.
Hi there @Chad.Berry! So glad you reached out so openly with your struggle. Thanks for sharing, Chad! Hope this helps -
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” Rom 10:17 NASB. It took 3 yrs for me to come upon the true Gospel of Grace, after I was saved. And
when that happened I spent 18 months listening multiple times a day, 7 days a week, to nothing but grace-filled messages, while studying to see if those things were so. Since then there’s hardly been a day when I didn’t read, hear or study the Good News. You see, we’re not just saved by Paul’s gospel, (as he claimed it) but he tells us repeatedly to “grow in grace”. If I may, I’d suggest you pray for guidance, seek out good teaching and preaching that unveils the beauty of Jesus and the perfection of His Finished Work for us, search out the Scriptures for yourself, and seriously guard your faith by what you expose yourself to seeing and hearing. The Spirit of Truth Himself dwells in every Believer.
Best to you Chad on your journey! I know you are in for an exciting time and will never look back. God bless you with abundance of grace!