Is Faith a feeling, a thought, or an action?


I have placed my rainbow in the clouds.
It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. (Genesis 9:13 NLT)

[Jesus said] “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. (John 14: 1-3 NIV)

John and I have a covenant with one another. It’s a promise we made to each other and have kept for over fifty-four years. I felt so excited when he slipped a ring on my finger and said, “I love you!”

We waited for about six months to enjoy the pleasure of living together and being united in with our bodies, as well as our spirits.

In that time between our engagement and marriage, we lived over 150 miles from one another. We saw each other every two weeks. We had no mobile phones, no email communication, and no computers. We wrote letters and mailed them at the post office. They arrived a day or two later. We called each other once or twice a week, using the dial-up phone system. Thankfully, we were not on the old-fashioned party line, which was shared by family and neighbors!

What did we do in the moments, the days, the nights, and the weekends when we did not see one another’s face or touch one another’s hand? Even though we felt lonely, we felt joyful.

Our faith in one another’s promised words gave us the confidence to think through what we needed to do in order to prepare for our upcoming wedding. We made plans and acted on them.

In the same way, what we think and what we do in response to God’s covenant, his promise to love and not forsake us, is evidence of our faith. How nice it would be in these difficult days if we could just depend on our feelings! As it is in easier times, feelings may or may not be evidence of faith.


I never liked logic
I thought it was toxic
 
A hindrance to faith
That was a mistake
 
God is a thinker
God is a planner
 
His love and compassion
Include knowledge and wisdom
 
What looks like spontaneity
Is surprising just to me
 
God knows the end from the beginning
Yet allows for human choosing
 
This is beyond my comprehension
Yet it provides me with a lesson
 
Faith excludes the use of magic
To retain, in me, God’s holy image
 
I must think and I must plan
When I fall down, go back again
 
Learn by listening to God’s voice
How to make a better choice
 
This, I think, is faith in action
It’s not a feeling or abstraction
 
When I embrace this kind of faith
God rewards me by the action he takes.
  
3/28/2020
Jane Ault

8 thoughts on “Is Faith a feeling, a thought, or an action?

  1. My hubby & I wrote “last be letters” for
    two years & I kept them all. Treasures.
    Every once in a while, I read them. He’s been in heaven 20 years, but the memories are priceless. We didn’t have many phone calls either. Too expensive.

    • How special that you have those letters written by your husband. They must indeed be treasures! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing Jane! Enjoyed your poem. We did not know you had to have an early separation in your married days! That reminded me that many of us are now forced from our loved ones, but can use creative means to keep those relationships alive. We believe in a God that we cannot see…but Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    “Even when we can’t see it- He’s working” !!
    Love and prayers,
    Donna

    • Thank you for reading and commenting again, today. Oops, I hope it wasn’t confusing. I wasn’t speaking of a marriage ring in that first part of my story. It was an engagement ring. Marriage came six months later.

  3. Thanks Jane, After hearing we will be in isolation now at least until May 4th, words of faith into action are a good reminder…
    Especially these last few verses.

    Learn by listening to God’s voice
    How to make a better choice

    This, I think, is faith in action
    It’s not a feeling or abstraction

    When I embrace this kind of faith
    God rewards me by the action he takes.

    Waiting to see what action He takes while we listen to His voice and wait.

    • Thank you for your comment, Deborah. I don’t like isolation. It is hard. As the Spirit led me to write the words of this poem, he motivated me to take some neglected actions. I anticipate his responses with eagerness.

  4. I’m persevering through this time, in the classroom of listening to His voice. It’s one-on-one training, and it’s exhausting at times. But joyful as well. Holy Spirit is the best teacher – knows exactly what I need and when I need it. Even if what I need is a nap. Thank you for sharing your story, Jane!

    • Thank you for your comment, Marjorie. I am so glad you are listening to the Spirit. Yes, he knows exactly what we need. I’m finding that sleep sharpens my ability to hear.

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