At some point in their lives, everyone experiences difficulties, whether it's an illness, the loss of a loved one, a dramatic change in circumstances, or something else. At those times, it's normal to wonder how those events fit into God's plan, or to grapple with the question of why bad things happen to good people. More often than not, we don't get answers to these questions—at least, not in this world. Still, part of being a good Christian is keeping faith in difficult times. The key is to look at struggles as an opportunity to strengthen your faith, rather than letting it push you further away from God. Here, we'll discuss a few ways to find (or even grow) your faith after doubt.
Redefine Trust and Faith
Before you allow yourself to get too carried away with doubting God's love, take some time to pause and think about trust and faith. Sometimes, our ideas about trust and faith get a little warped. We trust that if we do good things, good things will happen to us in turn. We have faith that God won't let anything bad happen to us. But that's not the way it works. None of us are completely free from sin, and it is through God's grace—not our deservingness—that good things happen to us. On top of that, trust is not the same as insurance against bad things. Trust means that we accept God's will, even if it is not what we might have chosen for ourselves. Faith means that we continue to serve God and submit to His plan for our lives, even if we don't have all the information.
Talk to God
Hiding your emotions from God is fruitless. God knows you, inside and out, and He knows when you are struggling to balance faith and doubt. We often forget that our relationship with God is just that—a relationship. Admittedly, it's very different from the relationships we have with most of the other people in our lives, but it has one important thing in common with them. Namely: relationships are a two-way street, and they require effort, honesty, and patience on both sides. Rather than trying to suppress your feelings or act as though everything is normal, be open with God. Reach out in prayer, and tell Him about your fears, your worries, your sadness and anger. But rather than pushing Him away, ask Him for help. Pray for guidance or wisdom or whatever you need at that moment. And then, don't forget to listen and watch for His answer.
Find the Good
Gratitude is important all the time, but even more so in our darkest days. Counting your blessings (no matter how small) will help you refocus on the positive and remind yourself of the continued signs of God's love in your life. If finding specific things to be grateful for in your own life is too much, look for a more general gratitude prayer and use that. Alternatively, consider asking your pastor or a friend to pray with you.
Reframe the Situation
There's an old saying that God never gives us more than we can handle. If you find yourself questioning whether something is too much, remind yourself that God knows you better than you know yourself, and His judgment is infinitely better than yours. Perhaps it's not that the crisis you're dealing with is too challenging, but rather that you are stronger than you thought you are. Try not to think of yourself as a victim of circumstances. Instead, look at this as an opportunity to prove yourself by continuing to be loving, kind, and hopeful in spite of everything you're going through.
Allow God To Help Through Others
In times of heartache, don't forget that you have an earthly community to lean on as well. Just as we show love to God by being kind to others, God shows His love for us by acting through His other children. Although being vulnerable and sharing your struggles can be uncomfortable, it's worth it. Open up to your family, your friends, your pastor and/or church, and your wider community. Let them help, whether that's raising funds, delivering meals, providing a sympathetic ear, or offering prayers.
Word of Life Church is dedicated to making the world a better place by spreading the Word and Love of God. Our mission is to create an authentic, welcoming worship community, and to empower people to live a life of faith and service in the name of Jesus. Our offerings include a variety of worship experiences, Life Groups, youth programs, and service initiatives for individuals of all ages, all of them designed to offer community and opportunities to engage with God. Attend a sermon or contact us today to learn more about how we can serve you, or consider donating to support our work.