June 10, 2009

 

When Faith Struggles

 Susanne Scheppmann

 

“Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:3-4 (NIV)

Devotion:

My faith struggles. It occurs most often when something happens in life that is beyond my understanding. My faith plunges to below sea level depth when I witness a natural disaster, a family tragedy, or another Christian’s failure. In my humanness, I cannot comprehend the “Why?”

 

Regardless of my stinkin’ thinkin,’ God is faithful. Scripture states the following three truths explicitly throughout the Bible.

 

God is faithful.

 “He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!” (Deuteronomy 32:4, NLT)

God always works in our best interests.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11, AMP)

God’s ways are beyond our understanding. 

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV).

So what do I do when my faith plummets? I need to look to the truth that is deeper than my human reality. I need to acknowledge this fact - my faith can only grow when I have to trust God without the benefit of understanding every aspect of His divine will. I also need to realize that faith fluctuates and I am not the only one that struggles with the issue of doubt.

 

A biblical example of a person who struggled with his faith is the disciple Thomas. Thomas spent three years with Jesus. He watched the Lord perform miracles. But still his faith floundered. Jesus never gave up on Thomas but kept encouraging him to believe and to trust.

 

So when my faith struggles to stay afloat in a sea of doubt, I will look to Jesus for support. I will readily admit that I do not understand the why of the situation. And I will accept that it is part of the process of growing my faith. I will hold onto our Key Verse as a faith preserver. “Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:3-4, NIV).

 

If your faith is struggling today, join me in the journey of faith. We can walk in encouragement together knowing we are persevering and maturing and that one day our faith will be complete, not lacking in any area.    

 

Dear Lord, at times my faith struggles. Help me to hold onto the truth of your Word. Allow me to remember my faith is in a state of growth in every circumstance. Grant me strength in my faith so that it may persevere and mature. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Birds in My Mustard Tree: When Faith Struggles by Susanne Scheppmann

 

Pierced By the Word: 31 Meditations for Your Soul by John Piper

Visit Susanne's Blog

 

Application Steps: 

Copy onto note cards the following verses: Deuteronomy 32:4, Jeremiah 29:11, Isaiah 55:8-9, and James 1:3-4. The next time your faith feels shaky, read these verses to strengthen you. Ask God to reveal the truth of His faithfulness.

 

Reflections: 

Are there certain areas where my faith quakes?

 

Do I feel guilty about my lack of faith at times?

 

Power Verses:

Romans 10:17, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (NIV)
 

1 Peter 1:7, “Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.” (MSG)

 

© 2009 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.

 

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