Billy Graham Tribune Content Agency

Can you feel God’s presence without Jesus?

May 8, 2018

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: My friend says she doesn’t believe in Jesus, but that she feels God’s presence when she does something good for people in need. Is she right? I’m not sure what she means by this, but I admire her for her concern for others. — Mrs. J.J.

A: Yes, your friend’s concern for others is admirable, and we should be thankful for anyone who seeks to help those in need. Even people who don’t believe in God can be used by Him to bring comfort and healing to our hurting world.

Like you, I’m not sure exactly what your friend means when she says she feels God’s presence when she helps someone; you might ask her. Perhaps helping others makes her feel good inside, and she thinks those feelings must be from God. Or perhaps she’s had people express their gratitude to her by saying that God must have sent her, and that makes her feel God must be with her.

But our emotions can mislead us; they can even deceive us into thinking God is with us when He actually isn’t. True faith isn’t just a warm feeling. True faith is focused on God, and on His Son, Jesus Christ. Warm feelings won’t save us, nor will they cleanse us of our sins — which is our greatest need. Only Christ can do that — and He will, as we open our hearts and lives to Him and trust Him as our Savior and Lord.

Pray for your friend, that she will see her need to repent of her sins and turn her life over to Jesus Christ. Then she’ll truly want to help others, not just because of the good feelings she gets, but out of Christ’s love. The Bible says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God” (1 John 4:7).


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)


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