One recent morning I was kneeling down in my prayer closet (literally my closet), and Holy Spirit gave me revelation that has really shifted my perspective. The day before I was challenged to start my prayer with praise, so I did that. But I was not “feeling” thankful, and I knew I had to be real with God about how I was feeling. The situation reminded me of David’s transparent prayers in the book of Psalms:
- “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Ps. 43:5
- “From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety,” – Ps. 61:2
I just decided to be real with God and proceeded to explain to Him that I was truly feeling “overwhelmed”, “downcast” (I do not think I even knew what that word meant as it came out) and just downright sad, for what seemed to be for no apparent reason. Like David, I also reminded God and myself, that He is faithful, that I can trust him, that He is my provider, that my hope is in Him, and that I can always find joy in Him. I confessed to God, “I know that this is all true. I know that your word is true, but accepting joy when I don’t feel joyful just feels so fake.”
Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever felt fake telling someone, “I’m doing great!” even though you have so much going on and you feel so overwhelmed? Have you ever felt fake telling someone “I’m good,” with a smile on your face when on the inside you feel like an emotional wreck? That is how I felt.
As I was confessing to God that accepting joy when I feel joyful feels so fake, the Holy Spirit chimed in and said “Why? I am not fake. I am REAL, Ellae. It’s not faking it if you believe that I am REAL and that joy really can be found in me. It’s not faking it if you believe that I am REAL and that hope really can be found in me. It’s not faking it if you believe that I am REAL and that I have the answers to EVERYTHING.”
What a revelation! Let that settle for a minute. God is REALLY REAL!
God is REALLY REAL, therefore, I REALLY CAN BE JOYFUL and flip on that joy switch even when I am feeling sad. God is REALLY REAL, therefore, when a situation seems hopeless I can have CONFIDENCE and HOPE because He is sovereign in EVERY situation. God is REALLY REAL, therefore, when I do not know the answer to a question, He who is in me knows ALL THE ANSWERS and I have direct access to Him because of Jesus.
It is not that God does not care about us feeling sad, or overwhelmed, or hurt. He does care! He cares somuch that He is there for us to turn to IMMEDIATELY in those situations! HE can comfort us and HE can give us true joy that our bank accounts, jobs, significant others, friends, cannot bring.
Confessing God’s truth in our lives even though we don’t “feel” it in the moment is not faking it. Confessing God’s truth when we don’t feel like it is making a choice to believe in and trust a REAL and LIVING God! The God we serve is not fake. He is REAL! You do not have to “fake it ‘til you make it” because God is not a fake source, but the only REAL source there is.