The Faith Struggle

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“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 NKJV

Lately, I’ve been evaluating my faith. I don’t question God’s ability to do anything. As a matter of fact, I sincerely believe that there’s nothing He can’t do or any person He can’t reach. My concern has more to do with His desire. I know He can, but will He?

I don’t think I’m the only one who’s ever wondered if God would do something? Many people struggle in their faith for one reason or another — the wife who has seen God save her friends’ husbands, but her husband still resists Him; the mother who’s witnessed God heal people of cancer wonders if He’ll heal her as well so she doesn’t leave her children prematurely; the father who’s been encouraged by stories of miraculous provision wonders if new job opportunities will open for him so their home doesn’t go into foreclosure. All of these scenarios have something in common — they are people who know God has the ability to change their situations and yet struggle with understanding why He has not.

It can be encouraging to hear about the wonderful things God is doing and has done in the lives of others. If we aren’t careful, hearing such testimonies can create feelings of inferiority or despair and cause us to wonder what’s wrong with us since God hasn’t worked this particular miracle in our situation. The enemy loves to see us discouraged. Discouragement opens the door for him to speak loudly to us. He’ll begin to say things like, “Why isn’t God doing this for you?” Or, “There’s no need of praying about this any longer, God obviously does not intend for this to change.” Statements like these can erode our hope.

I wish I had an answer as to why God moves quicker in some situations than He does in others. I would love to tell you that He will work out a circumstance in a specific way. The truth is, I can’t. No one can. What I can say is that giving up on Him to work cannot be an option. We must trust His sovereignty even though His ways don’t always make sense to us. Furthermore, we must place our faith in Him, not a particular outcome.

In the Bible, Jesus healed some by speaking (paralyzed man in Mark 2:11), others had to jump through what seemed like hoops before healing came (blind man in John 9). The end result was the same — the people were healed despite varying methods.

In my own life and from what I’ve learned from others, I believe misplaced faith is where we often go wrong. We’re so convinced that God will do it our way (or the way so-and-so said He did for her), that we are disappointed when He doesn’t. It is true that God is no respector of persons (Romans 2:11). It’s equally true that He is sovereign (Psalm 135:6). Where ever you find yourself struggling in your faith, ask God to help you to re-focus on Him and what He’s doing in you in the midst of your situation. In the end, you will be “perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Let’s talk. In what areas of your life has your faith wavered?

 

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2 thoughts on “The Faith Struggle

  1. My faith wavered a few years ago when my best guy friend (who was also a minister) and I decided to start a romantic relationship. We talked about maintaining our friendship even if the romantic relationship didn’t work. However, barely a month in, I found out his ex-fiance was still very much his current fiance. I was really hurt because I couldn’t believe that he would do that to me. It was a 14 year friendship down the drain. It’s been 7 years since I’ve seen or heard from him. I went through depression and mistrust of people in general. I built this wall up but I only limited myself from experiencing other positive friendships with others and allowed my pain to hold me back from being all that I could be in Christ. Today, I pray for him with no ill feelings at all. I forgave him and my heart is open.

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    • Hey, Latoya. Somehow this comment didn’t make it to my in box. I’m so sorry for my late reply. That’s sad how things worked out with your friend. I can imagine how deeply you were hurt. Thank God for teaching us how to forgive. It is so freeing!

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