Five Ways to Fight for Faith in the Ugly
Have you experienced seasons where the trouble, the pain, just seems to keep coming and coming—piling up, suffocating, and consuming every thought? As you search for hope in the darkness, you remember the time when you thought if you just followed Jesus, life would go well, easy. But that was long ago, and your very-real trouble seems to far outweigh the blessings.
What do you do? What do you say? In those seasons, others look to you, and you want to show joy despite your circumstances, but life just feels so hard. You notice those who seem to give Jesus no thought at all but who are living a much easier life than you. Deep down you secretly wonder if the God who sees still cares. Does He care about me? Does He see what I am going through?
Is the overcoming power of the One you trust for eternity really enough for this day, for your pain?
Faith That Keeps on Going
Somewhere in the midst of those tears, in the midst of that pain, a small, faint ray of hope comes from somewhere deep in your soul. At first, that is all the faith you have. Yet, you continuously feel the Father sheltering you in His Presence, beckoning you to hold onto Him. Your mustard seed of faith helps you to trust God once more—more than you trust what you can see and more than you trust yourself. That is keep-on-going faith.
But that keep-on-going faith is a fight, isn't it? As you've grown in your walk with God, you know all too well He didn't promise us an easy life. Instead, He said we would have trouble (John 16:33), and you have had your share. You also know He is with you in the midst of it. Despite the trouble you've had around you, you hear His faint voice above the often gut-wrenching noise.
Instead of only seeing your troubles and depending on your ability to handle things, you have learned to fix your eyes on the powerful Savior. Despite your doubt, your worry, even your sin, you have found Him to be faithful. Again and again you go to Him and say, "I believe. Help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24) until peace and hope and faith loudly flood your soul.
Years ago, I felt like God enabled me to develop the acronym below to help me to remember how to FIGHT in the middle of the pain when my heart is aching the most. It helps me turn my eyes on Jesus and remember that I don't fight alone. I hope it will help you as well:
F—First things first, remain faithful because He is faithful.
"God is a faithful God keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands" (Deut. 7:9).
I—Insulate yourself with praise and truth.
"As a man thinks so he is" (Prov. 23:7).
G—Grab hold of your thoughts.
"Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5).
H—Hand it over to God. Compare your problem to God's ability to handle it.
"Nothing is impossible for God" (Luke 1:37).
T—Take one day at a time.
As much as we all wish it could be, this "faith fight" is not a one-time thing for those of us still on this side of heaven. No, it is almost a daily fight but one we do not face alone. You've heard your Savior say it before, and you will hear Him say it again, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deut. 31:8). Full of unfathomable grace, knowing your doubt and even your anger, He says, "When you are faithless, He is faithful" (2 Tim. 2:13). He is the Mighty One who can and does bring beauty from ashes.
Long ago, you believed and put your faith in Him as Savior, and now you know He is asking you to believe Him—not only for eternity, but for this very day and very thing you are going through. The more you walk with Him, the more you know you desperately need Him for every fighting moment of faith in this life and the more you find Him to be all that He says He is. And it's because of Him that you keep going.
How are you fighting for faith in this season?
Written by Kim Jaggers