Facts First, Faith Second, and Feelings Last of All

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‘Heading back to Hannah W. Smith’s work for a few weeks…

Chapter 5  Get the facts first.

Most of us live life ruled by a roller coaster of feelings, with our faith lagging behind in second place and all facts about God coming to mind last of all. God’s way is just the opposite: facts first, faith second, and feeling last. We need to live this way, learning the facts about him, then accepting by faith what we don’t yet feel.

In Bible times, the Jewish people brought their offerings to the altar and left them there. If anyone had set down a gift then, feeling uncertain, had turned around and grabbed it back, those looking on would have gasped in dismay. There was no going back. Yet, day after day, many of us, with no thought of the sacrilege we are committing, do something very similar. We give ourselves and all our concerns to the Lord in solemn consecration and then, through unbelief, take back all we have given him. The Bible tells us salvation and our daily walk are to be by faith. Therefore, we must believe before we feel, and often even against our feelings.

Are you wondering if you really belong to the Lord? Maybe, because you don’t feel any different, you doubt. The Bible tells us that if we ask anything according to God’s will, he hears us, and gives us what we ask of him.[1] Is it his will that we be entirely surrendered to him, that he use us according to his plans? Of course. So, according to God’s word, when we ask God to take over our lives, he hears us and says “yes” to our request. And when we ask God to take control of a particular issue in our lives, fearful feelings do not mean that we have failed to give the matter over to him.  

If you’re still uncertain as to your place with the Lord, ask the Holy Spirit to show you all that is contrary to him in your heart or in your life. If he brings anything to mind, give it to the Lord immediately and say, “Your will be done.” If he shows you nothing, then believe that there is nothing and conclude that you have given him all. Try praying this, “Lord, I am yours; I give you my all, and I believe you accept me. Do your will in me, and I will trust you.” Don’t wait to feel that you have surrendered your life—and every detail it entails—to God. Believe it to be true. If you are steadfast in this belief, sooner or later the feeling will come.

[1] “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5: 14b-15).

This work is a revised and condensed version of Smith, Hannah Whitall.  The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life. Boston: Willard Tract Repository, 1875.


2 thoughts on “Facts First, Faith Second, and Feelings Last of All

    • And of course, they are Hannah Smith’s insights. I’m just passing them along. She was a woman of great wisdom. Her writings have been used by God to change my life.

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