10 Things to Remember When Your Faith Starts to Fail in Difficult Times
Where is God when I cry out in pain?
1. It is not God who willed sin and pain into this world
If God ever allows evil, it is to accomplish a greater good.
Heroism, perseverance, courage, compassion, mercy, faith – these are the things that shine brighter in the darkness, the greater good that arises out of evil and pain.
That greater good is what I must focus on. If God ever allows pain and misfortune or any kind of injustice to touch me, it is not with malice that He does so, nor with indifference.
He is very much aware of my suffering. His is the kind of love that will not forget me even if a mother should forget her child. It is that same love that has willed a greater good for me to last for eternity.
“…because God didn’t make death; neither does he delight when the living perish. For he created all things that they might have being. The generative powers of the world are wholesome, and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor has Hades royal dominion upon earth; for righteousness is immortal… but death entered into the world by the envy of the devil, and those who belong to him experience it.…” (Wisdom 1:13-15;2:24, WEB-BE)
2. The most important thing that God desires for me as a result of His love is to save my soul
This may or may not include providing me with material wealth. This may even include a lot of sorrow. But whatever His plans may be, it is to keep me from falling into sin.
God loves me and is not waiting for me to fall but to rise again. His goal is not to inflict me with pain but to heal me and give me life.
I may not be aware of it, but He is there supporting me, defending me from evil and accomplishing my healing. He will never allow me to be tested beyond the capacity He gave me to bear it. And should I ever feel all is lost and hopeless, God will provide a way out to save me.
“No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor. 10:13, WEB-BE)
3. God blesses us all and provides for our needs differently
To some, He gives material blessings, to others, spiritual strength. When we need some form of support, God sometimes sends us people who would be channels of His grace.
Sometimes, it is God Himself who directly gives it to us. During such times, should I ever think I have received less? Or do I praise God for giving me Himself and personally taking care of me?
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall lack nothing.” (Psalm 23:1, WEB-BE)
4. God loves me even in my imperfections, even when I’m weak in the midst of trials
His love for me is beyond all my mistakes for He has loved me even before I tried to be good, and even after I tried to be good and failed.
“Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, and in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10, WEB-BE)
5. There comes a time when I must take a leap of faith
Sometimes, I may never truly understand everything that is happening, especially all the unfairness and cruelties in this world.
But if I truly believe that there is a God (which I have previously processed with my intellect, heart, and spirit), then I must hold on to that belief.
“Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” — C.S. Lewis
“The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves those who have a crushed spirit.” (Psalm 34:17-18, WEB-BE)
6. Everyone’s got a wound, a hurt and a deprivation of some sort, but I can’t continue to live life by always clinging to that hurt that holds me back
I’ve got to accept things as they are and just do the things that are still within my power to change.
Complaining will never do me good. It will only take away my peace. What can help me is the will to surrender to Him who loves me and who can do all things for my sake.
7. God often closes the wrong doors for us so that we may enter the right one
Rejections hurt. Doing my best only to find that the way has been blocked has often been a source of stress and frustration for me. But I must remember that sometimes, it is God Himself who closes the door. He blocks the way because it may be the wrong way. In this perspective, I can be thankful for rejections because they can be blessings in disguise.
“ I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go. I will counsel you with my eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8, WEB-BE)
8. I should remember to detach myself from the outcome of my labors
We plant the seeds, but it is God who blesses the harvest. We do our very best, but we must wait in patience for God’s plans to unfold at the right time.
“God does not require that we be successful only that we be faithful.” — Mother Teresa
9. In times when I really feel tired, I must rest
God does not expect us to be strong all the time. He knows our frailty and He understands when we need to rest. Times like that, may I learn to rest in Him.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10, WEB-BE)
10. The greatest sufferings on earth could never match the joys God has prepared for us in heaven
Why must I live as though this is the only life God has prepared for me? Why must I expect every good to be accomplished here? God has prepared so much more for us, infinitely more!
Even if we are deprived of all the good things people see in this world, we can still be happy. We can still hope for an ending that far surpasses all our greatest imaginings and desires.
God knows what our souls are thirsting for. He knows our innate desire to be happy. But we often look at the wrong things; we look at places where we could never find our joy. Where is our joy? Our joy is in God, and heaven is to see Him face to face!
“But as it is written, ‘Things which an eye didn’t see, and an ear didn’t hear, which didn’t enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.’” (1 Cor. 2:9, WEB-BE)