Feelings or Faith?

There once were two different bridges that crossed a chasm between several mountains. The first bridge was an old stone arch that was very weathered and worn. It was a rough, long, and difficult walkway to travel. The other side could not be easily seen from this bridge, and the weather conditions around it changed frequently, but it always proved to be the most secure route to travel. No one who passed over it ever failed to reach the other side.

The second bridge, located some distance away, was a modern, state-of-the-art structure with a flat and smooth surface to cross on a direct run with full visibility across the whole span.  Sheltered rest areas with free refreshments were available along the way. The total distance was actually farther than traveling on the other route, yet this one never seemed to take very long. But there was a problem—even though the pathway was free of any obstacles or holes, there was no guarantee that a traveler would make it safely to the opposite side. People would frequently make it from two-thirds to three-quarters of the way, and then some unseen force would come and drive them over the edge.

Nevertheless, since this route seemed best, most people took it—totally disregarding the great risk of being pushed off and injured, or even killed.

Likewise, when it comes to following God, we often do not want to put our faith in His way. We would much rather traverse a bridge that is easy, comfortable, and appears right, than trust one that is rugged and challenging, but also tried-and-true. We prefer something we can perceive physically, something that feels good, which the devil is always happy to oblige us with. Since he has had thousands of years to study us, he knows that we are more inclined to follow a way that appeals to our senses than to choose one we have not seen or heard or touched before. But the Bible tells us that, “… faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 emphasis added), not ‘the essence of that which is already known, the proof of something visible’.

He has told us to “Trust in the Lord with all [your] heart; and lean not unto [your] own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). The Lord wants us to trust in following Him His way, even if it does not feel right to us at the time.

We might find ourselves accepting and following some guiding principle (without regarding whether it is good or bad) simply because we are comfortable with it—because it feels good—only to find out later that we were wrong the whole time. How often have we been guilty of choosing to accept or reject an idea or belief we encounter on the path of life almost completely on how we feel about it? If it does not feel right to us, we just toss it out. If it does feel right, we eagerly embrace it.

If we trust in ourself to choose the right bridge to God, will we choose the way appearing to have the least difficulties—that may end up leading us to uncertainty, pain, or even death?

Or will we look to God instead, and follow the safer but more demanding route that will never fail to bring us safely to the other side? Let’s put our confidence in following the way of the One who never fails, not in the way chosen by our fallible personal intuition or emotions. Nowhere does the Bible say to believe in God simply with our feelings, but it does state, “There is a way that [seems] right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25). If you are walking right now on that nice, comfortable bridge based on your feelings, the one that seemed right to you at the start, then turn around while you still can. Get on the bridge of faith in God, the only crossing you can always trust to bring you safely across the precipice.