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Spiritual Growth

The Humanity in Following God

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

To know faith is to know that even in pain, we recognize that maintaining faith is a choice and not just an emotion. That choice is difficult. I have learned not to underestimate the strength required to choose faith. Too often we are led to believe that by knowing God, faith will come easy. It will not. Instead, it’s our resolve that grows deeper.

Faith vs. Doubt

Faith requires an investment into someone whose ways are beyond our comprehension (Isaiah 55:8). That seems palatable when the emotional investment in the circumstances is low. Yet, placing validity aside, there are people and dreams that matter to me so much so that when my faith is tested against these circumstances, I struggle. The disappointment seems too much to bear. It touches the deepest parts of my wants and desires, and I cannot help but wonder why God would let it be so.

It’s in these moments, that I begin to wish my journey came with an answer key. I’m not always sure I’m cut out for trusting when I don’t understand. There are times that I ask God if He knows what it means when He calls us to place our hand in His. We cannot see it. We cannot physically touch it. We can try to high five it, but we’re going to be feeling empty air. I ask God if He knows the emotional toll of excepting empty air in faith. It leaves me angry. How can we possibly be consistently strong when there is so much room for doubt?

Managing Our Emotional Fluctuations

How many times have I have cried out unto God to only be met with disappointing answers? How many times have I been spared from my own shortcomings? Way more times than I’d like to admit. It’s easy in the disappointment to forget all that God has done for us because we’ve become fixated on what He hasn’t done. And that is the humanity in following God. Our present emotions seem like the most powerful ones. They are the realest because they are the ones that are penetrating to the depths of our souls shaking the foundation upon which we stand.

We try to find ways to numb the pain. We fervently search for layers of happiness to cover the sorrow, but that doesn’t stop the pain. If anything, it makes the ways in which you find happiness to be detrimental to your well-being. It may not be apparent at first, or not for a while, but eventually you wake up wondering how you got where you are. The obvious answer would be one decision at a time. The honest answer would be one unsolved problem at a time. We don’t stop the cycles of manufactured happiness until we make peace we the fact that trusting God is the choice we need to make, even when it’s not the simplest solution.

The Role of Faith in Emotions

Faith isn’t a permanent solution to our temporary emotions. It can’t be. Sadly, nothing can be. We are going to experience joy just as we are going to experience pain. Disappointment will find us no matter how much we say we’re indifferent to its effects. We are human, and therefore we feel. Faith doesn’t change that. Knowing God doesn’t change that. Rejecting God… that doesn’t change that either.

Trusting God is what allows us to walk through the storms without drowning. I wish I had something more inspirational to say, but I have no interest in setting you up for failure. We’re not always going to get through the storms gracefully. We won’t always be on a yacht with a full crew to assist us. Sometimes, we are in the middle of an ocean, feeling alone and in the dark.

To Feel Alone isn’t to Be Alone

We’re going to have some lows that we can’t rationalize to ourselves or others.  Life will throw us some curveballs and I believe that the only way to get through those moments in a productive manner, is to place your hand out and know that God is on the other end holding it. It’s not logical. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary. It’s the gift of unspeakable sanity.

I know that every time God’s grace manifests itself in my life, my faith grows. I also pray that every time God’s choices and my own aren’t in alignment, my faith still grows. That’s going to take courage, and it’s going to take time, but it’s a necessary part of my spiritual development. I can’t let the fear of disappointment, hurt, or the future rule me. Though we cannot see it, God’s hand gives us the strength to face now, and if you keep giving Him your now, you will cement your forever. There is power in trusting God. I encourage you to try it.

Thank you for reading. Please leave your thoughts below!

Love’s an action
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