I went to the early service at church this morning so that I would have most of the day to get things done around the house and in my classroom. Our pastor wasn't there today so someone else delivered the message. Our pastor has been focusing on doubt in this series of sermons so the guest pastor also focused on doubt. He quoted CS Lewis during the message and it really struck me... Here is the quote(and please take the time to read it b/c it really is interesting! I know CS Lewis can be difficult to understand and he often speaks way over my head, but this is good!):
"Now Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why Faith is such a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods “where they get off,” you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion. Consequently one must train the habit of Faith.
The first step is to recognise the fact that your moods change. The next is to make sure that, if you have once accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time every day. That is why daily prayers and religious reading and church-going are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?"
The point that I am taking from all of this is that faith isn't an emotion and often our emotions/moods get equated with our faith. When we go through tough times in life we doubt our faith in God... but CS Lewis is saying that we need to learn the difference between our emotions (ie. sadness, depression, etc) and our faith in God. Christianity is my belief in God, my faith. My faith should not be equated with my emotions. But isn't it easy to equate emotions/moods with our faith? I hope I'm making sense. CS Lewis put it much more eloquently than I did! It's also a reminder (a much needed reminder) that I need to spend more time with God every day. Actually Melissa's post got me thinking about how much time I spend online everyday and (as much as I am ashamed to admit it) it is much more time than I spend with God everyday..... So those are things that I am working on right now... Spending more time with God and learning to differentiate between my moods and my faith.
Hope everyone is having a blessed weekend!