Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
I’d like to offer a word of encouragement for when faith seems to be running a bit low. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes life has a way of knocking us off our feet. When we fall down to the ground, the emotions overwhelm us, and we feel like there is no way out. There is, and I’d like to offer my perspective on what you can do when faith runs low:
- Acknowledge how you feel
When life gets difficult, the best course of action is to admit that life has become difficult. Acknowledging our challenges doesn’t make us weak. Instead, we become more honest, and it’s only with a genuine level of transparency, that we can begin the healing process. Sometimes others may try to make us feel guilty for feeling down – don’t let their harsh judgment weigh on your soul. Emotions are real, and they are allowed to run through us, but not to consume us.
Take the example of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew He was soon to be crucified, and so Jesus said to his disciples “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” (Mark 14:34). Jesus went further into the garden to pray, and cried out to God saying, “Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36) Even in His sorrow, Jesus still committed to God’s will. We too, can learn a valuable lesson from Christ’s example. Allow yourself to feel, but don’t forget to continue to lean on God. He may not take you the route you want to go, but that doesn’t mean you won’t arrive exactly where you need to be.
- Devotion, devotion, and more devotion
Talking to God is fundamental to building a relationship with Him. When faith runs low, spending time with God can feel like a struggle. We’re frustrated. We’re upset and we can feel so alone. Sometimes I don’t talk to God when I need Him the most. It’s like I know He’s hearing me, but it’s as if He is doing nothing about it. In times like these, don’t stop being honest with God. Tell Him your faith is low. Tell Him you need to know He hears you.
In Job 2:10, we read his words “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” We must learn to face adversity with grace, believing that God is in our corner even when it feels like He’s not. When we look at the story of Joseph, with his brothers’ betrayal, being sold into slavery, and accused of crimes he did not commit, it seems like it couldn’t end well. And yet, it did. Joseph went on to become second to Pharaoh in Egypt (Genesis 41:39-40). Our beginnings do not indicate our endings. God has not forgotten about us. He hears us and He sees us, as He works on our hearts and minds, preparing us for the next steps in our journeys.
- Learn to see God
In order to grow faith, we must first recognize it. Whenever God shows up in unexpected ways, we have the chance to create building blocks that form our own houses of faith. Too often we miss God’s presence because we’re looking for the big miracles. God doesn’t move mountains if we aren’t thankful for the hills. If we don’t learn to show gratitude in what can seem small to us, who are we to ask God for more?
We must learn how to be grateful for all that is good, and humble ourselves before the Lord. Expressing gratitude is the key to discovering all that God can do and will do for us. Gratitude takes the focus off of self and puts it where it rightly belongs – with God. When times are rough, never stop looking for God. He is always finding ways to show up and let us know that He hears us, and He loves us. He is working towards our best interests – and we should never forget that.
- Don’t give in to accepting your current circumstances
Faith requires spiritual courage. If we want God to part the waters, we must first believe that He actually can part the waters. If we limit God because we’re afraid to be disappointed, we miss out on the opportunity to see God’s love in action. We let fear take over as we become more afraid of His no’s, and less open to His yes’s.
When faith runs low, I understand that giving into our circumstances can feel like the right choice. It may seem like we are out of options. It’s in these times that it’s critical to remember: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8) With God, there are more options than what we see with our own eyes. We should only accept our circumstances as final outcomes when God tells us to do so.
Too often, I’ve had people tell me what cannot or will not happen. It’s not that they have bad intentions; they just see the human limitations that exist. They may want to save me from disappointment or help me to ground my ideas in what they personally know to be true. That’s okay. I’m thankful for the people willing to give me guidance, but I also know that my trust must rest in God. Only He holds my future in His hands, and if God is for me, who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)
- Express more gratitude
When your faith runs low, and God renews you, it’s important that you acknowledge the source of overcoming. It feels good to break through the pain, the trauma, and the situations that way us down. The feeling of a win is contagious. Joy spreads through our souls and we seek to share that happiness with others. Make sure you take a moment to experience every emotion. Let the good run through you, but never forget the source of your success.
The scriptures tells us: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6) Be thankful and add this win to your building blocks. One day, life will knock us down again. Our faith will start to run low, and we’ll need to start all over again. We’ll need to remember the building blocks of our faith, and maybe one day, we’ll no longer get knocked down.