1. Read the two passages below, both written by David. What do these passages show us about faith versus feeling?
Psalm 13:1: How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
David was a man whom God often used as an example of godliness. Yet, there were times when his struggles didn't make sense to him and he questioned whether God had abandoned him. But before completing the Psalm, David always came back around and saw the faithfulness of God.
Psalm 139:7-12: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
And some Psalms David wrote, like 139, were fully devoted to God's omnipresence and faithfulness.
God knows we'll have questions, but He expects us to see His faithfulness despite our questions. Even when we can't feel His presence, we can trust that He is always present and always concerned about us.
2. What additional insights does the passage below give about faith versus feeling?
2 Corinthians 1:8-11: We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
This passage brings this concept into the New Testament and shows us that even saints as faithful and strong as the Apostle Paul sometimes felt abandoned. He felt so terrible that he wished he was dead. But he explains this happened so he would trust God and not himself. Paul had many occasions to "feel" God abandoned him, but God never did. And God will never abandon us either.
copyright 2013,Gail Burton Purath, Bite Size Bible Study
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted