I remember well hearing, during my tenure as a fundamentalist, that how I felt or what emotional state I experienced had nothing at all to do with my salvation. Right knowledge, right faith, and right response was what mattered. The salvation issue was escaping God’s wrath, not in feeling good about committing to Christ.
Feeling good or bad supposedly meant nothing at all. In fact, much that I heard from the pulpit instilled the idea that the truly saved were not going to be emotionally satisfied; far from it. The prospect set forth for the redeemed was one of persecution, isolation, and endless warfare with Satan and his minions, human and otherwise. It was not a message design to make a teenager, like I was, feel the least bit emotionally secure. Escaping eternal punishment might seem a great boost to the psychological well being, but all the associated negativism just left me exhausted and perpetually insecure.
I just couldn’t understand how meaningful salvation could be so disconnected from emotion when life is all about emotional experience. Devoid of feeling good and whole, spiritual life felt more like death to me.
As I aged and paid closer attention to the Bible I noted how Jesus assured the disciples that his yoke was easy, his burden light. I recalled the angels announcement of peace and good will at the birth of Jesus. Then in Philippians Paul spoke of a peace which passeth understanding and in Galatians he listed peace as a fruit of the spirit. A peaceful, joyful spirit, that is what I have always needed from my religious experience. Anything less is just another way to miss the mark as far as I am concerned.
I suspect many would echo my longing for an emotionally uplifting and non-confrontational concept of salvation. Lord, grant me the unimaginable peace and joy promised in Christ. That is my fervent prayer for us all.