Faith is believing in what you cannot see or feel.
It is having confidence in God when your logic and emotions are telling you there is no hope.
Even when things don’t appear to be going our way, when it seems that God is ignoring us, we must believe and have faith.
God loves us. He wouldn’t ignore us. His ways are just much higher than ours.
He has wisdom and knowledge about our situations that far exceed what we see and feel. He is working it all out for our greater good.
Having Faith in Trying Times
We all face trying times in our lives.
In fact, you are likely up against something right now. You have some issue you are dealing with. If it isn’t you, then it is someone you care about.
You’ve prayed, possibly even fervently, about this and nothing seems to be happening. The struggle continues.
Do not give up. We are told in Hebrews 10:35-36:
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (NLT)
Do not let your confident trust – your faith – in the Lord crumble. There is a good reason for the delay. One that you cannot see. He will answer when the time is right.
I know waiting patiently is hard especially when you or your loved one is suffering.
But know, this is exactly when Satan will step in to send fiery arrows of doubt and fear your way. He will try to weaken and destroy your faith.
Why? Why does Satan attack our faith?
I believe there is a strong hint for us in this verse:
And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Mark 6:5-6 NLT
This scripture is talking about Jesus when he visited His hometown. He was unable to do miracles because of their unbelief, their lack of faith.
Somehow, a lack of faith weakens what God can do in our lives.
Satan attacks our faith from every angle possible to keep God from acting. He especially likes to use our expectations against us.
When things are taking longer than we expect, then Satan tells us God doesn’t care and isn’t listening.
When things aren’t going the way we expect, then Satan tells us God is indifferent and insensitive to our situation.
These things are lies. GOD KNOWS BEST.
He doesn’t always do exactly what we want, the way we want because often He knows better.
Our job is to simply keep the faith and trust in Him.
How to Keep the Faith
Fortunately, God has provided us guidance on how to deal with Satan and maintain our faith.
First, do not lean on your own understanding. We are told:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
We must trust wholly in God even when it hurts. Remember Mary and Martha? Their brother Lazarus was dead and buried. The situation seemed completely hopeless, but Jesus was able to bring him back to life. Nothing is impossible for God. That’s not to say that God is going to resurrect your loved ones, but He can restore your peace and joy in ways that you can’t even imagine if you have faith. Don’t lean on your own understanding because that leaves you vulnerable to Satan, instead trust wholeheartedly that Jesus will work it all out for you and that His timing will be perfect.
Second, express your faith outwardly.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. Acts 16:25-26 ESV
I believe that when we publicly and unashamedly declare to others our faith and trust in God even when things seem bleak, we unleash the power of God. Look at the scripture above. Paul and Silas are in jail and had just been beaten. Yet, they sing hymns declaring God’s goodness in the presence of others and a great earthquake comes that releases them from their prison. There is something supernatural that occurs when we express our faith outwardly.
Third, never stop praying.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 ESV
Prayer is powerful. Continue to lift up your requests to God. He hears you just like you hear your children when they ask for something. There is no need to worry and be anxious. While you pray, recount to God all the times He’s come through for you in the past. This will help build your faith and your thanksgiving will dispatch God’s power into your life.
Faith Is Our Shield
I’ll be the first to admit that holding on to faith and believing God knows best isn’t always easy.
However, I’ve seen God come through time and again. I believe earnestly that God loves us and wants what’s best for us.
Unfortunately, we have an enemy that wants just the opposite. Therefore, I encourage you to do as Paul urges:
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; Ephesians 6:16 ESV
Keep believing in what you cannot see or feel and God will deliver. Maintain a strong shield of faith by:
- Leaning not on your own understanding – God knows best
- Expressing your faith outwardly by declaring it to others
- Continuing to pray and giving thanks for all God has done in your life
This will keep the enemy at bay and enable God’s plan to unfold.
How’s your faith been holding up? What have you found to be an effective way to maintain your faith?