Faith Is Not A Feeling

Faith Is Not A Feeling

Have you ever read the book Faith is not a Feeling by Ney Bailey?  Don’t feel bad; I haven’t either. I have, however, been thinking a lot about the title and how it applies to me in my everyday life and circumstances.

Growing up in church, I heard a lot about faith; in fact, all of Christianity is based on faith. But as Christians, do we really base our faith FULLY and COMPLETELY on Jesus, His death, and resurrection? Or do we believe only in our minds and base our faith on what we feel or can see?

Many versions of Hebrew 11:1 and the one I learned in church say, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things NOT seen.”  That is great and all, but if it does not make sense to me, I do not know how to apply it to my life, my walk, or my relationship with Jesus, and that’s the point, is it not? To grow closer to our Savior and Lord, be so full of His Word that it spills out of every pore, and walk out what He says in His Word?

As I was studying and pondering, trying to understand exactly what Hebrews 11:1 meant, I came across that verse in the Amplified Bible. The whole chapter is so worth reading, by the way, as it adds substance and understanding to what real faith is and how to walk it out in everyday life.

Here is the Amplified version of Hebrews 11:1 with a little Rheyma thrown in.

“Faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed) and the evidence of things not seen, [the conviction of their reality–faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by physical senses.”].  

Hebrews 11:1  AMP 

Now, this version was definitely more understandable to me. So, as I often do, I wrote it out in “Rheyma” as I understood it.

“Faith is full and complete confidence in Who God is, what He has said in His Word, and in His promises given. Now, even though I may never experience anything through my physical senses, I still embrace God’s Word and His promises as fact because of Who He is, and because of Who He is, I can place all my eggs in His basket.”                                                                                                            Hebrews 11:1 RRV (Rheyma Revised Version)

Now, believing and then trusting that God is worth putting all my eggs in His basket happens only and I mean only when I spend one-on-one time with Him and get in His Word. Not when I “feel” like it or when time allows. Nope, then that time will never happen. Been there, done that. It is a disciple, a life journey. That is the only way I can get to know Him and His heart. As my relationship with God deepens, so does my faith.

The following poem is the real deal–my life in real-time. It is where this all started. It’s my “faith journey,” me processing what faith is, how it works, and how to live it out. Which I am still walking out, btw. 


Faith is not a feeling It is something that you do 

But if you want to live by your feelings

It will be like riding a roller coaster, continuously going through the loopty-loop


Now, the Bible says,

Faith is the substance of things that are divinely guaranteed,

And the evidence 

Of things that I cannot see


So, choosing to stand in that faith

When my emotions are swirling all around me

I’m not sure I know what to do,

At least in reality


Oh, I can say I trust Jesus

I can say, “He has it all in control”

But there is a huge difference between saying it with my mouth

And truly believing it deep down in my soul


Maybe if I just had a bit more faith

Or a little more trust

Then everything would go just right

And I wouldn’t feel like I was about to bust


Now Jesus is moving me over the threshold

Moving me up the maturity scale

He is putting a plate of meat in front of me

And taking away my bottle, shovel, and pail


I am just beginning this journey, and I must say,

It is easier to talk the talk

Then, to actually grow up

And walk the walk


If I “add my faith” to it

But only with my words, and no action to be found

Nothin’s goin’ happen

Cuz’ faith without roots lies dead on the ground


But Jesus said it’s not about the amount of faith 

You only need a seed

It’s WHO you put it in that makes it faith

The One, Who for us, did die and bleed


So when at the altar I gave my “stuff” to You

Thinking I was laying it all down

Only my hand let it go

The rest of me was still trying to wrestle it to the ground


Now that is where I missed it

I just didn’t  understand

That I must release it from all of me (mind, will, heart, and emotions) 

And not just from my hand


So, I’m handing my seed to You, Jesus

Even though I can’t see, touch or do

It will be hard for me not to be in charge

And leave it up to You


When the seed is in Your hand

You cause my faith to grow

But when it is in my hand

It’s all about control


So, instead of trying to fix it all myself

I will sit quietly with You 

Open, without an agenda 

Just listening, not a peep or boo


No, faith isn’t a feeling at all

It’s a tiny seed in Your hand that You make grow

Doesn’t Your Word say something about that?

Like you reap what you sow?


Yes, you may think it easier to “roll” with your emotions

You may even think they are true

But I can tell you from experience

You will end up in a rolling boil continually in a stew.



Rheyma Oosterman


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