Chapter 7 Your emotions do not make you a hypocrite.
Hannah hammered on this concept twice in “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life,” so here’s the second round.
Once I started to live a life of trust, I hesitated to say, “I am completely the Lord’s,” because I feared it wasn’t true. I won’t always feel that my surrender is true, but God doesn’t seek my feelings. He wants my will. I have surrendered all of life to Christ, committing to trust in him. This will not always show in my emotions but can persist in my will.
When you consider your emotions to be the test of what is true, you’ll often feel like a hypocrite in declaring things to be real that only your will has decided. Your emotions, though, do not define who you are. Your will decides this.
Say “I will believe; I do believe! I choose to believe!” Make up your mind to believe what God says simply because he says it, disregarding any feelings to the contrary. Don’t be troubled about your emotions. They will, sooner or later, come into harmony with your will.
You can’t always control your emotions, but you can control your will. Only your will needs to be surrendered to God. In the past, your will has been under the control of sin and self. Now, though, God has called you to yield your will up to him so that he may take control of it. How do you do that?
When faced with sin, pray, “I will never again consent in my will to yield to this sin. Take possession of my will, Dear Lord, and work in me.” You may find deliverance immediately. You may have to ask repeatedly. Either way, keep your will surrendered to him, and you will be freed.
Two questions determine whether or not you are living a live hidden with Christ.
- Have you decided in your will to believe him?
- Do you choose to obey?
If the answer is “Yes,” then you are in the Lord’s hands. This transaction with God is just as real in his sight when your will acts alone as when every emotion agrees.
We don’t need to be concerned about our feelings, but only the state of our will. Then all the scriptural commands to yield ourselves to God, to present ourselves a living sacrifice to Him, to abide in Christ, to walk in the light, and to die to self become possible for us.
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.