My feelings and emotions come and go
Like ocean waves, with no stability.
Distracting, blinding, leading to and fro,
Their end is doubt, despair, despondency.
But faith and truth will constantly abide,
Unchangeable and steady like a rock.
When made my focus, they’re a trusty guide,
Stability and hope on which to dock.
Emotion tells me truth’s not true at all,
But truth persists in spite of how I feel.
Repeatedly my feelings make me fall,
But truth-based faith provides an even keel.
Though feelings linger which my heart disdains,
My faith rests firm in truth that e’er remains.
I’m not much of a basketball fan, though I can follow a game if I want to. I don’t know all of the terminology, but I remember one phrase that, at least in my world, was popularized by a commercial several years ago. In a contest to win food from McDonalds, two NBA players kept making increasingly more difficult shots. The phrase I remember describing one of the shots is “nothin’ but net.”
The meaning is a bit different, but recently I’ve been considering the phrase “nothin’ but faith.” There are times when faith is the only thing that keeps us going. Circumstances may oppose us. Human reasoning may call us foolish. Friends may give contradictory advice. Our emotions may rebel against everything we know to be right. In fact, there may be nothing to support our continuing to follow God and His path for us – nothing, that is, except faith.
But isn’t that what faith is? It is the assurance and conviction that helps us maintain our course when reality consists only of “things hoped for” and “things not seen.” If we had to have evidence to support our faith before we were willing to believe or obey, then we would be operating on proof rather than on faith. Is it easy to live by faith when all other supports seem to abandon us? No, it is not easy, but it is possible because faith is enough to keep us firm even when all other aspects fall short.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)