Trusting God to guide you through the storms of your life…
Where is God when everything falls apart?
If you’re human, then you’ve already been through a storm or two in your life.
A very wise pastor once said that we are either in the middle of one, just getting out of one or about to enter one.
None of us are immune to the storms of life.
They are guaranteed to come and you may even be in one right now.
Storms can come in many different forms such as the thunder and lighting of struggling to parent, to the sheets of rain in a really difficult partnership, to the tornado that ensues when you’ve lost a loved one.
Storms can happen at work, in relationships or even in ministry.
It is possible for ANY area of life to bring stress, frustration and emotional chaos at times.
I think we can all agree that it’s easier to praise God in the good times.
But what about the bad times — when the storm comes or the unexpected strikes, leaving you in a place of hurt, frustration, despair, and vulnerability?
We all struggle at times and I would guess that almost 100% of us have wondered a few things in the middle of the chaos.
When we are in the midst of a struggle we have a lot of questions…
We ask what the purpose is and why we have to go through it.
We wonder why we need to experience the pain.
We question how God can bring good out of this and, if so, when that will actually happen.
Perhaps the following devotion will give you some guidance and help you to navigate through the storms you’re currently going through.
Saturday, April 23
7 WAYS TO WEATHER A CRISIS OF FAITH
Taking God at His word will transform your life.
By Lesli White
One of the biggest challenges we face on our spiritual journey is completely trusting in God’s Will, especially when our faith is being tested.
The Bible repeatedly tells us that God has promised to meet our needs:
“And my God will meet your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
But this Bible promise comes with a condition.
We have to trust Him. The more we trust Him, the more God is able to meet needs in our life.
Given we communicate with God through prayer, it’s essential that we have great faith.
However, this can be difficult when we get sabotaged by our situations or our circumstances.
Many of us struggle with having faith when it comes to our walk with the Lord.
Fortunately, God does not leave any of us alone in our weakness. He has given us tools to help increase our faith – all we need to do is honor them with practice.
If your faith life is struggling, here are seven ways to weather a crisis of faith.
CAST YOUR CARES ON GOD
It is virtually impossible to not experience anxiety to some degree.
Even faithful Christians cope with daily anxieties triggered by old age, poor health, economic pressures, family strife and other issues.
While the Bible doesn’t teach that lack of faith is the cause of all anxiety, when our anxieties become our main focus and block us from being able to trust God, we’re in trouble.
The Bible tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication and with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Cast your cares on God, for He cares for you.
When you completely trust in God, it will help build and increase your reliance on God.
There’s nothing you can’t get through or accomplish if you trust that God has it handled.
REMEMBER WHO GOD IS
Blaming God is a big sign that you’re dealing with a faith crisis.
We are no longer trusting in God’s ability to get us through our situation and are accusing Him of harm over good.
Though it may be hard to understand the purpose of your situation or circumstance, know that God is mindful of all that is on your heart and all He wants to do in our lives is to bring about His desired purposes.
Whether you’re dealing with a great loss, sickness, or poor health, God is there.
God knows every detail of your life. He hears every single prayer you lift up.
He sees every tear you shed.
It’s important that we remember that God sees our tears, and His word collects them in a bottle (Psalm 56:8).
God is present.
FOCUS ON GOD
One telltale sign your faith life is suffering is burnout.
Jesus has called us to enter His rest:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest in my souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Burnout occurs when we feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands.
It is also a sign that we are not walking in faith.
Burnout can keep us from communicating with God because we don’t feel like we have any energy left to do so.
We are so caught up in our own emotional, mental and physical exhaustion that we don’t focus on God and what He’s providing us.
READ THE WORD
One of the biggest reasons people struggle in their faith lives is because of a weak Scriptural foundation.
Read God’s Word or at least hear it.
Romans 10:17 says,
“So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
If no one had ever told you about Jesus and about God’s plan for your life, or you never read about Him yourself, you would be clueless about the need for faith.
Reading or hearing God’s Word is like planting a garden.
If you want to grow or “build” a garden, you must first plant the seeds, or the actual plant or flower.
God’s Word is the seed that grows the faith.
Knowing His promises, what God says about you, about life, and about Jesus’ plan for eternal life won’t transplant themselves in your brain by osmosis.
Become familiar with the Bible and what faith is all about by meditating on its contents.
This will give you the basis for growing and increasing your faith.
DON’T COMPARE YOUR PRAYER LIFE TO OTHERS
If you’re immersed in a community of people who pray, it’s easy to begin to take notes on how others pray and even question how you pray.
However, we can hurt our own prayer life when we are constantly immersed in the prayer life of others.
Our relationship with God is unique, so it’s not surprising that our prayer styles would be unique.
Don’t compare your prayer life to others.
Just because someone is praying longer or more frequently than you are doesn’t mean that God takes your concerns less seriously or that He loves you any less.
Sometimes, we may not have the words, but God knows what is on our hearts.
Let the prayers of others challenge you to pray more effectively and get closer to God.
TRUST YOUR PRAYERS WILL GET ANSWERED
When we’re trying to weather a faith crisis, we often lose hope.
We forget that God is the number one healer and has the power to change our situations.
We want God to answer our prayers when we ask them in the way we want them to play out.
Unanswered prayer can be disheartening.
It can make us doubt our relationship with God, even separate us from Him.
If we constantly believe that God isn’t answering our prayers, it reflects a lack of patience, trust and faith in God and His will.
It’s important to remember that just because a prayer hasn’t been answered doesn’t mean that God won’t answer it or that the answer is what we expect it to be.
Pastor Bill Johnson once said,
“Delayed answers to prayer are gaining interest.
But when God says ‘no’ it’s because a bigger ‘yes’ is to follow.”
His yes is in His time, not ours.
Be patient. God isn’t ignoring you.
SEEK GOD IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
Too often when things are going well in someone’s life, they turn away from God but when things are going wrong, they turn to God.
It’s important that we don’t only seek God during emergencies, but seek Him in all circumstances.
Prayer is an ongoing dialogue with God.
When we pray, we are practicing the presence of God.
It is the space where we abandon our pride, lift up our hopes and glorify God.
It is also the time where we admit our need and claim dependence on God.
Too often, when our prayer lives are weak, we only seek God when we have specific requests or needs.
But prayer is more than a wish list of requests.
We should be speaking to God often throughout our day, not only because you need Him to meet your needs.
If your faith life is struggling, you are not alone.
Many Christians are struggling with their faith and even though they know God has the power to make all things new, they doubt that God can bring them out of it.
But the truth is, there is hope with God.
You can take back control and access God.
Psalm 34:8 says,
“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him”.
Prayer has power and great things come when we take refuge in our Lord.
Taking God at His word will transform your life.
Come join the Adventure!