Have you ever felt worse instead of better after praying? I have. In fact, I have a lot lately. It’s unsettling. It’s uncomfortable. It’s the exact opposite of how I want to feel after praying.
After amen, I want to feel peace, comfort, and encouragement. But when those feelings fail to appear, people like me (melancholies with perfectionistic tendencies – you know who you are) tend to rely upon a simple three-step plan:
- Blame yourself — even when the Holy Spirit doesn’t.
- Conclude that you must be praying wrong – you’re not doing it right.
- Commit to trying harder next time.
Melancholies. We are very hard on ourselves. Much harder, I believe, than God is. And because He has so patiently shown me that, I am ever so grateful to report that the three-step plan is no longer my go-to position. This is HUGE — a true testament to God’s perfect love and grace.
So, where do you go when you give up your three-step plan? And what do you do when you feel worse instead of better after amen?
After having faced both of these questions many, many times, this is what the Lord has taught me me (and trust me, this is NOT just another melancholy-induced three-step plan):
- You accept the fact that faith and feelings don’t always go together.
- You choose faith over feelings.
- You move forward by faith without the feelings.
By “moving forward by faith,” I mean that you keep doing what you’ve been doing: praying, spending time in God’s Word, walking in obedience, and clinging to the answers you already have. Like, for instance:
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
Even on my most melancholy day, God says – no, promises – that He is with me. And this remains true whether I feel anything or not.
Feelings are unreliable and untrustworthy. God, on the other hand, is faithful. Forever. And unlike feelings, He never changes.
So, precious sister, only one question remains:
What will you do after amen?
Praying that you will choose faith,