For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
In a recent podcast, Michelle Obama says she suffers from low-grade depression because of the pandemic, racial injustice, and the political climate in the country. The first lady said she has difficulty with her exercise routine and sleep. She wakes up in the middle of the night with worry and anxiety.
Mrs. Obama is not alone. Many believers are struggling to cope with these challenging times. Just yesterday, Daisy Coleman, a 23-year-old rape survivor who appeared on Netflix to talk about her struggle with her sexual abuse, committed suicide. Several medical doctors have also committed suicide in the past months. As the financial crisis in this country worsens, many individuals with their identity and their spirituality.
The Bible offers basic principles for keeping faith in challenging times. God in his infinite wisdom knew what we would go through as we tabernacle in the flesh. He made provisions and provides instructions to help us navigate through the vicissitudes of life.
Today’s text gives us three principles for keeping faith in challenging times. The first principle is that we have to know God. The best way to know God is through the word of God. Knowing God is not an intellectual exercise. Rather, it is an existential experience that comes from a life of surrender to his will.
One of the Holy Spirit’s ministries is to help believers grow stronger in their knowledge of God. The Holy Spirit counsels us about God and enables us to deepen our knowledge of the Father. Since the Holy Spirit makes us wise unto righteousness, he gives us the aptitude to discern the manifestation of God.
Knowing God gives us the strength to endure and the power to overcome. It amplifies our faith and gives us the aptitude to worship amid adversity. Those who do not know God are more apt to wither under the cares of this world. They are easily defeated when the storms of life arise in their lives.
The second principle for keeping faith in challenging times is to trust God. Proverbs 3:5 reminds us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, we should acknowledge God and he will direct our paths. We have to trust that God will make a way even when we are overwhelmed by our troubles. Trust gives confidence and helps us to persevere. It helps to fan the flame of our faith and gives us the audacity of hope.
The third principle for keeping faith in challenging times is rejecting the spirit of negative fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Negative fear is toxic to faith. We cannot walk by faith when we are paralyzed by fear. When times are challenging we have to activate our God-given power so we can live out a purpose-driven life.
Negative fear cannot solve any problem, or heal any disease, or pay any bill, or empower us to victory over our hardships. However, faith can move mountains. It takes faith to activate the fullness of God’s power in our circumstances. Those who believe will see the glory of God. They will have the confidence to declare things that are not as though they were.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help those who are losing their faith during these challenging times. Remind them of your promises and the victory they have through Jesus Christs.