We will acknowledge the death and resurrection of Jesus in a few weeks. Therefore, I thought it appropriate to talk about this now. For years, something just did not “add up” to what I had been taught. Finally, I came to understand. I hope you find comfort in this.

Emotions can cause us to feel things that are not real. Those things seem real at the time. The feelings are real; there is no question about that. But what we feel is not always reality. Karen and I went through this over the weekend in dealing with a family conflict. I assure you that what I just said is very real!

Does God understand this? Of course He does. He understands our emotional struggles better than we think. How? Because He experienced them. Consider this:

Jesus was fully human (as though He was not God) as well as fully God (as though He was not human). As such, He was subject to the same things we experience (Hebrews 4:15). Human emotion is one of those.

As He hung on the cross, Jesus uttered something I did not understand for a long time. I heard erroneous teaching on this and it troubled me until I realized what was happening. I bring this to you now because you may hear some of those same things in a few weeks.

My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me? Why do you remain so distant? Why do you ignore my cries for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. Yet you are holy. The praises of Israel surround your throne. Our ancestors trusted in you, and you rescued them. You heard their cries for help and saved them. They put their trust in you and were never disappointed. (Psa 22:1-5 NLT)

When Jesus cried out, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?” in Matthew 27:46, He quoted Psalm 22. Was He only quoting a Scripture passage? No. Did He feel abandoned by God? I believe He did. Did God, in fact, abandon Him? Not for a moment!

If God had forsaken (abandoned, turned away from) Jesus on the cross, everything God is would have been compromised, and what we believe would therefore be worthless. Jesus’ feelings were real. What He felt, however, was not reality because He was experiencing human emotion. How else could He understand us if He did not share in our struggles?

Through my own struggles, I began to understand the difference between my emotions and my spirit. I feel things emotionally that are not reality. I can stand strong in faith in something in my spirit while my mind experiences all kinds of conflicting emotions. While my feelings are real, what my feelings imply is not necessarily real.

I heard it taught that God had to turn away from Jesus because He could not look on Him when He became sin for us. This is rubbish! God looks at sin every day in us humans, and He does not leave us for a moment. The Holy Spirit is in us when we sin, and He does not leave us. And because God is Omnipresent (which means that there is nowhere He is not), He is even present in hell. Therefore, Father did not abandon Jesus even when He went to hell on our behalf.

Did Jesus lie to us then? No, He expressed what He felt. Did His feelings reflect reality? No, because God did not leave Him. All this was foreknown because David wrote it a thousand years before Jesus quoted it on the cross.

And we should be mindful that it works the same for us. He will never leave us. Ever!

Just as David poured out his emotions to God in today’s Scripture passage and Jesus quoted his words on the cross, we should not be afraid to express our feelings to God–even when they are conflicted. I promise you that He understands more than you know. And He is always present to help regardless of circumstances or our feelings.

When things don’t seem to add up–especially in spiritual things–be mindful that there may be some numbers missing. Sometimes, you have to dig deep to find them.

From ministry friend Randall Vaughn.
Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org