When Faith is HARD

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This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?

John 6:60


Sometimes it’s hard in the faith. It’s hard to deny ourselves for a period of time for fasting and prayer. It’s hard to push back against the free sex and love culture to decide to wait until marriage for sex. It’s hard to forgive those who’ve hurt us in the past. It’s hard to keep living for God instead of living for ourselves.

Yet while it’s hard at times—it’s not impossible. God gives us much through His grace and mercy that not one of us will complain about the hardship when we get to heaven. Instead we will be grateful for the strength He provided for us to get through the difficult days. Paul wrote in Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

But in the meant time…how we handle ourselves when our faith gets hard matters. Learn how to keep your faith when it gets HARD:

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H – Hope in God.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.” (Psalm 42:5)
When our faith journey gets hard, we can know that our hope resides in God. Not in people. Not a career. Not in money. Our hope is that God is who He said He is—our redeemer, our Savior, our everything.

In Proverbs 13:12, we learn that “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Because of Jesus Christ, our hope in God can get us past the difficult days of disappointment, discouragement, and despair. Knowing that we have hope regardless of our life situation means that God is always working things our for our good. (Romans 8:28)
Sometimes I get into a funk—it’s when I feel like my faith isn’t producing what I want or what I believe God is saying to me right away. Yet, my hope in God won’t let me stay down. Instead it presses me to move forward whether I feel like it or not.

A – Accept difficulty as a part of living in a sinful world.
“Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1)
Sometimes I get surprised when people don’t do right. I expect people to do what I would do in certain situations. However, I’ve learned that living in a sinful world is a part of my life. I can accept this and move forward or resist it and get surprised over and over again.

We are in this world, but not of it—meaning we don’t return evil for evil that is done to us. We resist an unforgiving and bitter attitude. We seek to do good to those who live and work around us as ambassadors of Christ.

God sees us as lights in Philippians 2:15 “that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Accept that there will be difficult days, but still shine through them.

R – Remember God has shown His faithfulness in the past, present, and future.
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9)

When my faith journey gets hard, I remember God’s faithfulness in the past when He provided a way for my children to go to a Christian school when I barely had the deposit. I remember how He made a way for me to find a home that fits perfectly in this season of my life when I had only a couple of weeks to find a place to live. I remember how He protected and cared for my children when they were hurt, sick, or lonely.

I remember how He keeps me in my present job and gives me grace and favor. I remember when He gives me wisdom and discernment for writing blogs when I only saw a blank screen. I remember how He refreshes my soul when I get tired and want to give up.

I don’t know my future in this world, but He has it covered. He also has a place made just for me in the new heavens and earth that has no sorrow, sickness, nor death. When we get discouraged—we must remember our God of the past, present, and future—just remembering renews our strength.

D – Do not stop what you are doing in the faith.
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (2 Timothy 6:12)

Sometimes this Christian journey feels like the fight of our life and that of our families. We may want to throw in the towel, but His Spirit keeps presses us forward in the faith. We have choices—we can stop praying, stop reading the Bible, and stop going to church. We can choose to please ourselves in the flesh as much as we want. We can choose to go with the flow of this culture and reap the consequences.

Or we can pause, reflect, and fight the good fight of faith. We can see the potential of people coming to Christ as we pray for them. We can boldly share our faith story so that God can use us to plant seeds of hope in the hearts of men and women. We can read, meditate, and listen to God’s word until our hearts are inundated with truth and peace. We can fellowship with like minded believers to encourage and edify one another. We must continue in the faith because it’s our hope and the hope of the world around us.

Prayer

Dear Lord, it’s gets hard sometimes and I wonder if I can make it through this faith journey. My only hope is in You to grant the strength, wisdom, and grace to fight the good fight and finish my faith journey strong. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In His Service,

Crystal McDowell Signature

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