One of the hardest valleys to walk through as we follow Jesus is when we don’t feel like following Jesus. We’ve all been there before. That place where the bible feels hallow, prayer feels lonely, and worship feels empty. I appreciate these words from Eugene Peterson as they speak well into the seasons of life when feelings fail.
Feelings are great liars. If Christians worshiped only when they felt like it, there would be precious little worship. Feelings are important in many areas but completely unreliable in matters of faith. Paul Scherer is laconic: “The Bible wastes very little time on the way we feel.”‘ We live in what one writer has called the “age of sensation.”‘ We think that if we don’t feel something there can be no authenticity in doing it. But the wisdom of God says something different:
that we can act ourselves into a new way of feeling much quicker than we can feel ourselves into a new way of acting.
Worship is an act that develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God that is expressed in an act of worship. When we obey the command to praise God in worship, our deep, essential need to be in relationship with God is nurtured.
(Eugene H. Peterson. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society)