As a Christian, my faith is so important to me. My faith helps me, comforts me and gives me peace and joy during tough times. Today’s post is in collaboration with Rebecca and Benny and is all about the 5 ways faith keeps us strong during those tough times.
Always remember that God is with you. He loves you and wants to help you. Any problem big or small, God is there for you.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.
5 Ways Faith keeps Us Strong
How Faith Keeps Me Strong During Tough Times
Reading the Bible helps and comforts me.
During tough times, one thing that I find really helps is the Bible. Reading the good news of the gospel and the Lord’s word is very comforting, reassuring and encouraging. I recently wrote a post on 22 Life-Changing Bible Verses To Help And Inspire. One of my most favourite Bible verses is Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. This verse is a reminder that, even when those anxious feelings creep up on me and I start to doubt myself, It’s a reminder that I’ve got this! I can do this and through Christ all things are possible. I have this verse on a necklace, on my phone and iPad as my background and I also have it on my notebook! It’s a constant daily reminder of how much I am strengthened through Christ.
Reading the Bible helps me to focus on what is truly important and shows me just how much God loves me and wants to help me and that He is with me. The Bible helps me to feel closer to God and to connect with Him.
I always keep a Bible near me. I keep one next to my bed, I keep a small zip-up one in my bag, which I take everywhere with me, even to work and I also have the Bible app on my phone.
Prayer keeps me strong.
When going through a tough time, prayer is something that is very important to me. Not only is prayer a way for me to let God know what is on my mind, but through prayer, I can also ask God for help. I find that when I am praying, I start to see things a lot more clearly, and sometimes those worries just melt away completely and I forget all about them.
Prayer allows me to connect with God on a much more personal level. No matter what time of day it is or where I am or what I am doing, I pray. Even at work if something is on my mind, I pray. As soon as I get up in the morning, I like to take a few moments to pray and let God know of any concerns that I may have and what I am feeling anxious about, and I ask God to help me and to help me throughout the day. This helps me to feel so much better and a lot more confident and ready to start my day.
Prayer is such a powerful thing. Whether you like to pray out loud, pray quietly or pray inside your heart, God is always listening.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6.
Knowing that God is always with me.
Throughout the Bible, God tells us that he will never leave us and will always be with us. As a Christian, this is something that brings me so much comfort. It was never promised that our day to day lives would be easy, but God did promise that he will always be with us and will never leave us.
Even before the birth of Jesus, about 700 years before, Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 7:14) spoke about Jesus and that the son of God will be called Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” Isaiah 43:2.
I find the Bible verse above to be so powerful. God tells us that ‘when’ we pass through the waters, He is with us, not ‘if’ we pass through the waters. God is with us at all times, no matter what the circumstance may be.
Knowing that God is with me, during those tough times that I have faced and may face in the future, I don’t feel alone. I may not be able to see God physically, but I can feel his presence with me and I know he is there.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6.
Trusting God fills me with love, peace, and reassurance. It’s knowing that He is always there with me, no matter what I may be going through, and knowing that He is there to help me. It’s about making sure that when I’m trying hard to get something done or when I’m going through a tough time, I’m making sure that I’m not leaving God out. I’m putting my full trust in Him and I’m including Him in everything, no matter how big or small.
“Trusting God is simply believing that He loves you and knowing He’s good, He has the power to help you, and He wants to help you.” Joyce Meyer.
It’s comforting to know that God is there for me. By trusting God, it really does change the perspective of things, especially through times of worry and concern and during setbacks. I know that God has a plan for me, and through any tough times that I may be experiencing, I see them as moments where maybe something needs to change, or I may need to look at something differently, or it’s a learning curve and it wasn’t meant to be, but I know that God has good plans. They may not happen straight away, but I trust God. And it brings so much peace to me knowing that.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
Being thankful every day brings joy.
During tough times, it’s so easy to think that everything and everyone is against you. I know that full well because I myself have felt like that many times. But during that moment, it’s also so easy to forget about everything else in our lives. We have so much to be thankful for. Even if it’s just the things in life that we consider to be small. Because there are so many people in the world who very sadly don’t have those things. We need to remember what we do have and to be thankful for what we have and for the people we have in our lives.
My faith helps me and reminds me every day to be thankful. Jesus went through many tough times whilst he was walking on this earth. Times that are so awful to even think about. But throughout all of those tough times, Jesus remained strong, he continued to put others first and help those around Him and to show them how much God loves and cares for them. And because Jesus loves us so much, he died on the cross for us. I am incredibly thankful every single day for everything that Jesus did and continues to do.
Why not take just a few minutes to think about the things you are thankful for! Today I am thankful for the birds singing outside my window, I am thankful for my family and friends, I am thankful for my little space on the internet and I am especially thankful for how much God loves me and believes in me. Thinking about the things that I am thankful for, definitely outweighs the things that I may have been anxious about. Being thankful brings so much joy into my life.
Let me know in the comments a few of the things you are thankful for.
5 Reasons How Faith Keeps Me Strong
Hope – God has our situations in his hands, He hears our prayers, our calls to Him.
Strength – His strength makes us strong in the areas we are vulnerable.
Support – God has provided us with a family – the Church
Love – God loves us more than we can even imagine, even when we royally screw things up!.
Timing – God’s timing is perfect, the more we trust in it, the less we have to fear the struggle and the storms ahead, meaning they affect us less.
Finding Faith in Tough Times
The year was 2016, and the lifestyle that I had built around myself was caving in on itself. Truthfully, I always had an inclination that it would, since instead of building my house on a strong foundation of rock, I had been living on a foundation of sand (Matthew 7:24-27 NIV) but I hoped that my surroundings would hold themselves together for the long haul despite my knowledge to the contrary. There was nothing I could do to stop the impending chaos and tumult that I was feeling as a result of being stuck in the wrong job, finding out that the people I had willingly allowed myself to become a part of did not, in fact, have my best interests in mind and were only out to hurt me, and dealing with the sudden end to a relationship that had completely blindsided me. While I now look back upon that time in my life with thanks that, in reality, my situation was not as bad as I perceived it to be in the moment, at the time I was struggling mightily; my mental health was deteriorating, and I was in need of a saving grace. My wonderful family, who held me in their love during my time of trial, suggested that I perhaps look for a way to connect with God, to pray for His serenity to enter my life and to light the way for the next steps on my path. When my knees hit the floor with tears streaming down my face, I cried out for help, and my plea was answered by the voice and the strength of the God who loves me above all things.
I had been raised in a Christian household, and always had a belief in God, but in my late teens and early adulthood, I allowed that relationship to weaken, choosing the allure of earthly things above my spiritual connection. In those days following the great breakdown of 2016, I slowly opened my heart and my soul to Him, allowing His calming presence to flood over me and fill me not only with His love, but with a shift in my very life force, supported by Him as He called me to a different life. I found faith in that tough time by choosing to believe in the following five truths:
GOD IS LIKE A FAITHFUL FRIEND, READY TO EMBRACE US WITH OPEN ARMS
The story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) is on that I think each one of us can identify with in some capacity. While we may not intentionally separate ourselves from the love of God in our pursuit of earthly pleasures, we undoubtedly do, as we chase the promise of the dreams and aspirations that are of this world. For some, the realization that we have strayed beyond the scope of God’s desire for us never comes, but for others, like the Prodigal Son, when the acknowledgement of our wrongdoing becomes evident, we are filled with such shame and doubt that we question whether or not God will ever welcome us back into His grace. The good news is that turning to our faith in this tough time of self-doubt and feelings of insignificance is always an option. Our God is a patient Father, rejoicing in our return to His love, no matter how long it has been since we started to roam. Upon our choosing to return to Him, He stands, ready to receive us, with His arms outstretched and with light in His eyes. Our sins, no matter how many we have amassed or how frequently we have made poor decisions, are forgiven by Him, immediately upon our repenting, and bygones truly do become bygones with our Lord.
CHANGE IS INEVITABLE, BUT CHANGE WITH GOD IS ASSUREDLY GOOD
When we are walking through tough seasons of life, we pray for change; we desire for things to shift and return us to a happy, sunny dispositions in a celebration of joyfulness. But how do we respond in tough times when we are apprehensive about the process of change? What happens in our hearts when we are navigating a time of darkness, and we are afraid that one false move in our faith life will only work to make things worse? In those times, our faith calls us to rely on the goodness of our God, who desires nothing more than to bless us with abundance in His name. There are so many verses of scripture that assure us that God only has our best priorities in His gaze at all times, and will lead us to change that is meant to bless us (Deuteronomy 31:6, Ecclesiastes 3:1, James 1:17, Hebrews 13:8). My favorite verse about change is Hebrews 6:19, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” because it affirms the steadfast nature of God’s love, heavy as an anchor keeping us grounded – meant to guide us to the places of fruition in our lives, where we will be most blessed and kept. Our faith life encourages us to believe in the promise of His change, knowing that no matter where we are led, we are being held in the palm of His hand, and His plan is far greater than our comprehension.
FAITH IS ACTIVE, ESPECIALLY IN TOUGH TIMES
We have been assured by the Word of God that our faith is something to be lived and breathed in all times, “For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Our hope lies in that which we cannot see – the belief in something stronger than our own power. But we are called to understand that even though we cannot see the work of God as a result of our faith, He is always working on our behalf. Our faith is active, ever changing, and evolving, meaning that we must rely on that activity both in times of abundance and tough times in our lives. When we are journeying through a season of darkness, we must hold on to the truth of God’s Word as a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105) even if we cannot see where His route is leading us.
VULNERABIILTY IS BEAUTIFUL
A common misconception of faith is that in order to be considered a spiritually upstanding, faithful follower of the Lord, we must be strong and resolved in everything. The truth of the matter is that God rejoices in our vulnerability, because it is in our imperfect perfection that God created us to live this life. We have been assured by the very voice of God that, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God encourages us to celebrate our vulnerability, to stand in the power of our weakness during tough times, because it is through our transparency with the Lord that His grace works through us. A healthy faith life is not one that is always perfectly presented or beautifully curated – rather, the faith life that is most prone to thriving is the one that is broken, where we share all of the pieces of our hearts with the Lord, and ask Him to make them lovely.
GOD BLESSES OUR LIVES WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE RIGHT TIME
In my season of uncertainty and struggle, I felt lost. But, in His goodness, God made sure that I was supported during that time of shadow by the people who truly love and care about me; I did not have to walk alone. While I was so intimidated by the idea of sharing my experience with others for fear of being judged or ridiculed, I had my family by my side to listen to my story, to provide the physical manifestation of God’s love through hugs and shoulders to cry on, and to hold my hand (both figuratively and literally) as I took those first steps into my full communion with the spiritual life. Even though at that time God was removing the people in my life who were no longer good for my growth in a major and, at times, hurtful way, He made sure that my connection to my family remained strong. He works just the same way in all of our lives – the people that He places around us are there to serve a purpose at that point in our journey. Some will remain with us forever and some will fall away with time, but all are meaningful. God calls us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). When we place our trust in Him, we can rely on the purpose of His design, knowing that whomever He brings into our life, whether in a season of prosperity or a season of lack, has been sent by the One who loves us, and will help to guide us.
Faith in all times is a gift from God, but faith in the tough times of our life takes on a unique meaning. Maintaining faith when it feels like everything is turning to shambles is not easy, but as followers of Christ – believers in His Word – it is a responsibility to which we have been called. If you are currently experience a season of shadow, rest assured that your time will not last forever, and you can find hope in the God who loves you, trusting your faith as you move with Him, and following the way that He has illuminated before you.
I really hope you enjoyed reading the ways that faith keeps us strong. How does faith keep you strong during tough times?
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