Acting in Faith When Your Heart Isn’t Filled With Faith

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This probably sounds really strange coming from a Missionary, but I have very weak faith.

For those who aren’t sure what faith is, it’s a belief or trust in the goodness of God (especially in times of hardship).

My faith isn’t always weak of course [1] but recently I’ve been reminded the circumstances of life can take a persons eyes off the goodness of God. Often when this happens our first response is to ask the Lord for His presence or blessing so faith can be strengthened.

While asking the Lord for help is not a bad thing this views faith as a “feeling” and taken to the extreme won’t obey God until we “feel confident.”

The point is Faith isn’t an emotion that we feel…it’s an action that flows out of conviction and belief that God is Loving even when He feels miles away.

A few weeks ago I flew home after teaching Theology at a Bible College in Bangladesh with a great desire to disciple Believers in foreign Countries with the Gospel of Christ. My heart was filled with faith (emotional confidence) that the Lord would open doors for me to do this almost immediately.

Yesterday ended up being pretty rough for me (got back into running this week which means my body is pretty sore, Satan enjoys attacking me with discouragement since I’m already in a weakened state) and around 4:00 in the afternoon I took a walk asking God to restore my faith…but the word “faith” could have been easily replaced by the word “emotion” since I wanted the Lord to bring back that emotional high from Bangladesh.

Instead of giving a feeling the Lord challenged me to act in the faith that I didn’t have [4].

So this morning I began writing out notes for evangelism and leadership classes in notebooks (much easier to carry in a foreign Country than a laptop) and edited my Bangladesh notes into material that would be used to share the Gospel with people all around the world.

While at the same time a part of me FEELS like I’ll never leave Pfafftown NC.

Did you notice the emphasis on feels?

I’m not saying that God never fills our hearts with confidence and faith (there are spiritual mountaintops as well as valleys) but if we wait till the emotion of faith comes before acting in faith our will accomplish very little for the cause of Christ.

It’s much better for us to do the work God has given while focusing on His nature….and not be surprised when our heart is filled with peace.


  1. Faith was definitely involved in leaving friends and family to serve the Lord in Australia  ↩
  2. God will take care of me even though He feels miles away right now  ↩
  3. I’m referring here to the emotional feeling God is going to help me  ↩

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