“Keep the Faith”
Life can sometimes present us with more challenges, hardships and difficulties than we think we can handle. It has been said that we are either in a storm, coming out of a storm or about to go into a storm. And, while God loves us too much to allow us to constantly be in a state of struggle; the fact of the matter is that life can be hard; very hard. Yet it is through our hardships that we see most clearly our need for God; and it is after we have persevered that we are able to discern our own strength.
What we must remember during our stormy seasons is the vision, provision and supervision of our God. God see us at every moment. God always has whatever it is that we need. And, God is well aware of where we are, where we’re going and what we will need when we get there. Essentially, I’m saying that we must remember that God can be trusted. When all else seems uncertain and unreliable; our God is ready, willing and able to help us. In tough times, find peace in remembering that your hope is not build upon our government, our political leaders, our jobs or even our own strength. While all of those things are certainly important; ultimately our hope is build upon the firm, sure, unshakeable foundation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Many of us have lived through and survived illness, unemployment and other setbacks and we can proclaim with confidence that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1). It is often the storm which makes us appreciate and value peace. It is often trouble that makes us stronger and more willing to live this life based upon our faith, not our feelings; tossed and turned by our circumstances.
So, the next time you’re facing a trial or difficulty, I encourage you to draw closer to God and be determined to keep the faith. You can do this in a few simple ways:
Declare your faith: The bible is replete with faithful sayings which can encourage and strengthen us through the storms of life. Too often, we spend more time listening to the political pundits and so-called insiders, hanging on their words, thoughts and opinions; instead of searching the scriptures regarding our situation.
Don’t get caught up in the rigmarole; declare your faith in Christ Jesus. Declare your faith by confessing that “No weapon that is formed against (us) shall prosper…” (Isaiah 54:17). Declare your faith by saying in the midst of chaos that “All things work together for good to them that love God; to them who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Don’t allow the lies (or even the facts) of your circumstances to have more weight in your heart or mind than the truth of God. Declare your faith.
Display your faith: It is in times of storm and challenge that those of us, who declare our faith in Christ, must be willing to display it. We must prove that all of our praying, church-going, singing and reading wasn’t for naught. I dare say that even during your hard time, God has connected you to someone who needs to know that relief; strength; peace and salvation are available to them. We can show others the power of God by displaying a trusting attitude even when it hurts. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18). Displaying faith doesn’t mean acting like you’re not impacted or hurt by your predicament, but rather, it means trusting and praising God in the face of it.
Delight in your faith: After we have declared and displayed our faith we can take delight in knowing that our faith will produce great results. Standing in and keeping the faith makes us stronger and better. Life reminds us time and time again that even after we plan, prepare and seek to protect ourselves; we can still be caught unaware. It is true that, “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31). This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be prudent and seek to make good plans, but rather, it means that ultimately, we have to delight in and trust the strong arm of our Lord. God is all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present. God can be places we can’t be and God can do what we can’t do. Delight in knowing that your faith in Christ will get God’s attention. “Be not dismayed by reason of [insert your storm here]; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15). This that you are facing right now has come to pass. Keep the faith.