When Your Faith is Shaken
I have seen it in the eyes of many as I have prayed over them in their despair...Where are you God? I too can say that there have been those moments where my world was spinning and nothing made sense and I offered up the same question.Where are you God? Some days the wanting to shake your finger assured you deserve a better lot rises up and others the sensation to flee consumes you. Despite this roller coaster of emotions I have found myself on in certain seasons of my life, I seemed to always find myself back to His feet. I need you now like never before. Help!
Could it be that pain does have purpose to bring us back to the place where we die to ourselves and our own efforts so that we can become more alive fully dependent on Him? I know for the recovering people pleasing perfectionist that I claim to be it is often hard to still grasp that perfection doesn't make me more like Jesus but rather surrendering to His work in my weakness. Perhaps we should marinate in the words of James....
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:1-4
Finding joy in trials was the way of James. He got what is so hard for us to grasp in the culture that we live in that promotes things make us complete. James got that this journey was more about an inner work that can often only be finished through standing in perseverance in the face of trials. He got the necessity of the place that most of us try to avoid and often point fingers at others when they are walking through them. This difficult season is a result of their sin, right? The truth is that the hardest seasons of my life came after I handed over my life in surrender not because of sin. Like birthing pains, always a new level of faith and joy followed the seasons of pain. I began to look with hopeful expectation of what would come as I saw those "molding" seasons approaching. Bring it on! I love how Graham Cooke says that God permits in His divine wisdom what He could prevent in His divine power if it moves you closer to to Jesus. Isn't that the intent....to move closer?
Solomon teaches us that we live life in seasons....there is a season for everything under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:2-8
The Lord has speaking to me that a season change is upon us. I'm sure many of you would desire nothing more right now than to see your season change. I believe He desires that for us. He did send His son to a cross so that we could move from morning to praise and captivity to freedom. He was an atmosphere changer. Perhaps, some of us are in seasons of Him doing a work in us. It isn't about the circumstance, but how we handle it. It isn't the person coming against you, but how you respond. It isn't about the loved one sick, but about you tending His sheep.
One of the challenges I have seen in my own life is that I have wanted to be out of a season so badly that I forced my way out. Ultimately, I ended up right back in the same season months or years later. Could we believe this holiday season that He is wanting us to move from a place of woe to our inheritance of WONDER? Could we trust His timing and surrender to the purpose of this season knowing God doesn't waste anything? Could we be filled with hope knowing that this season is making us complete so that we lack nothing? Could we live with a spirit of James considering it pure JOY because we know that even if we can't see Him, we can trust that He is at work? Perhaps Joy is what will take us into that new season?
So the questions becomes if I am in this place where my faith is shaken and I am honestly wondering where God is in the midst of my circumstances, how do I move to a place of faith and joy?
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:7 When your faith is shaken, you need not only read, but you need to let the Word of God fill your ears because it causes your faith to rise up. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to a Psalm and meditate on that one Psalm until the words become your truth.... He is my Rock, My fortress. In Him I take Refuge! I would suggest one for you, but what I desire most is that you hear from Him, so find yourself to your knees and ask Him, "Speak Father, your servant is listening."
May you find that this holiday season ushers you into a new season of growth, life, fullness and abundance. Most of all, I pray it brings you closer to the One who longs for you to return to Him.
In His Grip,