How to Have Faith in God . . . Even When Life is Hard
I broke down in tears as the falling water from the shower hid the sound of my sobs.
It was all just too much.
My health was fading. Which meant I couldn’t work as much. Which meant expenses and bills had been piling up. And then to top it all off when we were two hours away from home the engine on my van broke down.
I didn’t know what to do. My fears and worries were overwhelming.
I wanted to trust God. I wanted to believe He had a plan.
But I also didn’t know how to have faith in a God that would allow my family to go through something like this.
How to Build Faith and Trust in God
The word “faith” is very similar to the word “trust”. It means to have confidence in God. Having a personal faith in God means you believe:
- He is who He says He is.
- And He will do what He says He will do.
The Hebrew word for faith “Emunah” can be translated as “faith”, “believe”, and even “faithfulness”. It implies a life of full reliance on God.
Faith isn’t just belief. It moves beyond belief. It is belief in action.
BELIEF is when I say I trust the chair will hold me up if I sit down on it. FAITH is acting out of that trust and sitting in the chair.
In the same way, BELIEF is when I say I trust God. FAITH is when I choose to act out of that trust and do what He has asked me to do.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”-Hebrews 11:1 ESV
It all starts with my knowledge of the thing I am placing my faith in. If I know the chair has been made by a reputable company. And I determine that its size and shape are adequate to hold my weight, then my confidence in its ability to hold me up grows.
In the same way, I can learn how to learn to have faith in God, as my knowledge of Him grows.
Because you can’t trust someone you don’t know.
And the best way to get to know someone is to spend time with them.
The following three practices (which all start with “P” so they are easy to remember) are great ways to start spending more time with God so we can get to know Him better.
Prioritize time with God.
Studies have shown within the first five minutes of the day your brain is the most susceptible to absorbing information. They have also shown that what we experience in those first five minutes tends to affect the rest of our day.
Perhaps this is why Jesus said we should seek His Kingdom first. (Matthew 6:33)
When we make spending time with God a priority. And do whatever we can in order to ensure those first crucial five minutes are spent with Him, we get to know Him more.
The more we spend time in God’s Word . . . the more our faith grows. Because in it’s pages we are reminded of His promise to us. We see how He came through for others. And we realize He really can be trusted.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”-Romans 10:17 ESV
Pray. A lot.
One of the best ways to get to know someone is to just spend time talking with them. And prayer is how we talk with God.
While there are many different ways to pray, it doesn’t really matter which prayer method you use. The point is to spend time talking with God and then spend time listening to Him.
We can also pray and ask God to increase our faith. Just like the disciples did. (Luke 17:5)
God loves honoring prayer requests like this.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”-Hebrews 11:6 ESV
Pay attention to your environment.
We need to be careful about what we are surrounding ourselves with especially when we are facing hard times. Because our environment affects our mood, thoughts, feelings, and even our actions.
This is why taking the time to make a few small changes in our environment can make a huge difference in our faith.
Here are some ideas for changing your environment:
- Put up Scripture verses around your home to remind you of who God is and His many promises.
- Turn on Christian music as you get ready to add a positive start to your day.
- Listen to a Christian podcast or Audio Bible on your commute.
- Spend five minutes of your lunch hour in prayer so you can reconnect with the One who gives you the strength to make it through the day.
How to Have Faith in God and Not Worry
All of the above practices are great for helping us build our faith in God. But what about when life gets hard?
How do we have faith in God when everything is going wrong? When we can’t see what He is doing? When we look at our current circumstances and can’t understand how they could possibly be a part of God’s plan?
The best way to have faith in God and not worry is to take our focus off of our circumstances. And place our focus on Christ.
Think of it this way.
Take your finger and place it in front of you. Now, look at your finger. As you look at it, you will notice that everything around you, in your peripheral vision, becomes blurry.
Now take your gaze off your finger and look around you. All of a sudden, your surroundings come into clear view while your finger becomes blurry.
In the same way, if we choose to focus on our scary circumstances, our fears and worries will overwhelm us. And our view of Christ will get a little blurry.
But if we choose to fix our focus on Christ suddenly the hard things we are going through will fade into the background.
We may still be aware of them. But our focus is on Christ.
Who reminds us that He loves us and He is with us even in this.
We can learn how to have faith in God completely and not worry when we stay focused on Him.
The rising and setting sun attest to God’s faithfulness.
If His hands are big enough to hold the entire universe in place. Then He is big enough to help us through the difficult moments we must face.
“So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”-1 Corinthians 2:5 ESV
How to Have Faith in God for Healing
This is a personal one for me. Because I have spent over 10 years battling a debilitating chronic illness and praying for healing.
And God has yet to heal me.
For many years, I struggled with thinking I just needed to have more faith. Or say the right prayers. Or do the right things.
But the key to having faith in God for healing is simply to believe He can.
However, believing He CAN doesn’t mean He WILL. Sometimes God chooses to heal us in this life. And sometimes He chooses to heal us in the next.
Either way . . . we can have faith.
We also can remember that healing doesn’t just have to be physical. When God chooses not to heal us physically, we often find that He is healing us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
By healing our hearts of sins like pride, selfishness, and greed. To save us from our endless striving and show us what it means to live a life of faith.
A life that is fully reliant on Him.
How to Have Faith in God Again
We all have moments where we doubt. Or question God. Or wonder if He really knows what He is doing.
(Although we might be a bit embarrassed to admit that out loud.)
The problem is we expect God to act a certain way. And then we get upset when He doesn’t do what we think He should.
But God’s ways are beyond our ways. His thoughts are greater than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8)
He can see all of our past, present, and future simultaneously. He knows how everything intersects and interacts with everything else.
We see the tree.
He sees every single tree, in every single forest. From the dawn of creation. Into all of eternity.
God knows so much more than we do.
“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’”-Mark 9:24 ESV
How to Have Faith in God During Hard Times
I didn’t get answers right away as to why God allowed my health to fade. And He never revealed why He allowed all those unexpected expenses to come our way.
But in that hard season, I learned what it meant to live a life of faith. To live a life fully reliant on Him.
Because, quite frankly, I had no other choice.
And yet that is exactly what my faith needed in order to grow.
Yes, life can be hard.
And yet, I have found the hard things we go through are exactly the things that teach us how to have faith in God.
To live a life fully reliant on the God who loves us, is for us, and will never leave us . . . even when life is hard.
If you found this encouraging, then please share!
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