Jeanne Takenaka

How do we keep our faith in hard times?

We’ve all endured difficult seasons. And, if we’re honest, most of us have struggled with God during some of them. Have you experienced a time when you thought God was going to “come through” for you, only to be disappointed when He seemed silent? How easy was it to keep faith in that hard time?

I’ve shared before about our walk in the valley of infertility. I believed God instilled in me a desire for motherhood. I knew He could give Hubs and me children . . . but He didn’t. 

Rocks on a dirt path, a reminder that sometimes we face obstacles in life that can make it challenging to keep faith in hard times

The emotional pain, the sense that God was withholding good things from me, and the thought that He didn’t love me as much as He loved others nosedived my faith for a while. 

For some, a stumble in faith comes when God could have healed a loved one, but didn’t. Or perhaps it was a cancer or other serious health diagnosis. God could have removed the cancer, but instead, He allowed us to walk through the chemo, the illness, the weakness, the wondering if we would die. 

Lichen growing around a tree's base with rocks all around. The rocks can remind us of how hard it can be to keep faith during painful times

When we’re bitterly disappointed by what God allows/doesn’t allow, we may have deep emotions. We may grapple with angry thoughts and a sense of being betrayed by Him. We had a certain understanding of who we thought God is, but He didn’t live up to it. 

Does struggling with how God has permitted things to happen in our lives mean we’ve lost our faith? No

A large boulder in the middle of a dirt path in the woods...symbolic of how things come up in life that make faith in hard times difficult to live out

A Lesson in Faith

In Luke  8:22-25, Jesus instructed His disciples to get into the boat. He said, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” They climbed into their boat and set sail across the Sea of Galilee. Jesus fell asleep. A huge storm churned across the water. Their wind-tossed boat took on water as waves crashed over the deck, filling the vessel. These experienced fishermen were scared

They awakened Jesus. “Master, Master, we are perishing!” They despaired of ever making it to the other side. Jesus calmed the wind and waves, and the disciples were amazed. 

Here’s the thing: before they ever entered the boat, Jesus said, “Let us go over to the other side.” He knew they would make it across the lake in spite of the storm. The disciples knew only that Jesus was asleep while they struggled to stay afloat. They focused on what they saw and experienced, which was a storm with the ability to capsize them.

The disciples believed they could call on Jesus when the storm felt too big. And, they did. But, they didn’t trust they would make it to the other side. Jesus was silent in their storm, and they may have struggled with the idea that He didn’t care. 

A waterfall flowing over rocks with fall-colored leaves around and above the rocks

Jesus’ statement implied “when we get there,” not “if.” How often do I live as though God is saying “If . . . ?” This mindset sinks our faith. 

We must know what we believe about God and His word. Because when life’s storms toss our hearts and souls (and they will), our beliefs will impact how we live out faith. Is He God? Or isn’t He? Does He love us? Or doesn’t He? 

How to Keep Faith in Hard Times—5 Thoughts—How to Keep Faith in Hard Times—6 Thoughts—when life’s storms toss our hearts and souls (and they will), our beliefs will impact how we live out faith #tellhisstory #walkinginfaith #linkup Click To Tweet

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and always. If we believe this, where does faith fit in? When God seems silent, standing firm on what we believe impacts how we walk out our faith. 

A meme with the words, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." ~Hebrews 11:1 on a backdrop of rocks and a small waterfall.

How to walk in faith in hard times when God seems silent

Believing God is God is a first step, but the next step toward walking in faith is trusting Him when He allows pain to become reality in our lives. When we choose to trust God, we give up the “‘right” to demand answers. When we trust that God truly loves us, even though He’s allowing painful circumstances, that’s walking in faith. 

How to Keep Faith in Hard Times—5 Thoughts—When we choose to trust God, we give up the “‘right” to demand answers. When we trust that God truly loves us, even though He’s allowing painful circumstances, that’s walking in faith… Click To Tweet
A large boulder on a dirt path, the boulder a reminder that sometimes things come across our life path that make faith in hard times a deliberate choice.

Beliefs

Honesty about our thoughts and feelings is crucial. Especially when it seems like God has stepped back from us in our trial, we need to lay out our thoughts and emotions before Him. We should acknowledge and feel the emotions rather than stuffing them. Our loving Father is big enough to handle our emotions, even our cold shoulder. And, after we throw that tantrum after we scream or cry or raise a fist at Him, we still long for His comfort. His love is big enough that He wraps His arms around us, reassuring us.

Acceptance of our circumstances is not giving up. We must choose: will we fight God about our situation, or will we accept where He has us? When we accept that, for whatever reason, God has allowed us to be in the hard place, our spirits can, in time, find peace. It’s not easy to abide in that headspace. Often, it’s a day-by-day, even a moment-by-moment choosing to stay in a place of acceptance. 

Practical Steps to help our faith in hard times

Spend time in God’s word daily. God speaks to us through His word. When we seek Him through His word, He equips us and reorients our thoughts and our hearts.

Ask others to pray with and for us in our difficult season. Inviting those who care about us to walk through our painful season strengthens us and encourages them. 

A path that runs under yellow-leaved branches.

Confide in those we trust who can redirect our eyes toward Jesus. It’s humbling to admit our doubts, fears, and weaknesses. But having a safe person to share with alleviates the internal pressure and strengthens us to walk forward like Aaron and Hur supported Moses’ arms when he needed it. 

Possibly, the most important way we keep our faith in hard times is to trust God in spite of what we’re going through. Choosing to trust Him regardless of what we see in our lives is walking in faith that He will be with us. Our Father will bring us through. 

Aspen trees reaching toward blue skies and sunshine . . . a reminder that God shows us beauty when we keep faith in hard times

God doesn’t promise us a life with no scars. When we walk through hard seasons, we will be changed. The decision to put feet to our belief in God is what enables the changes to mold us more into the image of Jesus. And when we are vulnerable before Him, our pain can become our ministry.

What about you?  What helps you hold onto faith when you go through difficult seasons? How do you keep your faith growing during hard times?

*****Remember to head over to Lisa Jordan’s place for the link up on October 12th!

Come share your story at the Tell His Story linkup. Connect and be encouraged by like-minded friends! #tellhisstory #linkup Click To Tweet

Most weeks, I link up with Grace and Truth, Anita Ojeda, Instaencouragements, and sometimes Let’s Have Coffee. Come join and read more encouraging posts!

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