How do you keep the faith in a world that is full of troubles and challenges?
We live in a fallen world that is full of troubles. Jesus already prepared us in advance when He said we will go through times and season of troubles.
John 16:33 RSV33 I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
When things are going well it's easy to praise and sing of the goodness of God. This though proves to be difficult when one is going through challenges. In times of loss, pain, heartache, it is easy to lose sight of who God is. We may often find ourselves harboring feelings of bitterness or anger. However, we are admonished to give thanks in all circumstances. (1Thessalonians 5:18).
I was in a stressful state a few weeks back as I was going through a difficult season in my life financially. I prayed for God to change my circumstance but it seemed as my prayers were not being answered. On a whim, I lost a huge amount of my savings. It became increasingly difficult to see the goodness of God as all I could see were the low numbers in my account. I wondered, ''Lord in your sovereignty, Can't you just change my circumstance?'' I had such a heaviness in me. I hated this feeling.
On Sunday which was the next day, The Lord ministered to me with a scripture that really strengthened me.
Philippians 4:6-8 (RSV)6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
The result of meditating on this scripture and practicing it for a week or so, (In every circumstance, pray, make your requests known, give thanks and you will have peace. Think of the goodness of God.) It led to my faith in God increasing and to lifting God above my circumstances.
I chose to praise him with the understanding that His goodness is not dependant on the things I have or He gives me but that the Lord is good at all times.
Another way that I've found helpful in keeping the faith is Fixing my eyes on Him.
Hebrews 12:2 Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to the end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, He thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross and is now seated at the right side of God's throne.
Peter was focusing on the miracle when he walked on water instead of focusing on Jesus and when the strong winds came, he started to sink (Matthew 14:22-31). While waiting, if we fix our focus on the miracle waiting to happen and not on God, we will find ourselves sinking in doubt when we start perceiving that God is taking too long or when we are met with difficult issues that are out of our control. But when we choose to fix our eyes on God, He will carry us through the difficult situation.
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