Trials knock at our heart and surround us. Temptations set in, hoping we’ll feel the pressure. Tough times come right after a moment of joy or small victory.
We toss and turn at night, wondering how these things work their way into our thoughts, into our dreams.
It starts to feel like we’re in a batting cage struggling to hit the balls being fired at us. It gets exhausting.
This is life in the world. It requires a continuous and active choice to choose God. To keep faith. To say, “I’m sorry.” To move ahead in hope rather than despair.
It’s the battle of living by faith.
Last week I had to do this over and over again. Unfortunately I allowed temptation to work on my mind and made choices based on emotions, feelings of “Who needs this?” and more, but I don’t write that to wallow in defeat.
I write that because there is so much hope ahead.
Jesus Christ is the good shepherd. When we ask Him into our heart, He showers us with His unconditional love and devotion. He does not leave us. He sees us start over again and again. He sees us struggle with the desire to grow closer to God.
We have nothing to fear.
KEEPING FAITH IN HARD TIMES
Going by faith — or, really living by faith — is about the free-will choice to trust God and choose His way over our own.
And it’s about keeping that faith, not just in times of peace, but in times when life feels grindy. In times when we want to give up or choose another path.
I’d love to say I get this right all the time, but I don’t.
I want to.
In fact, just after writing two blog posts about living by faith and genuinely desiring it in my life, I felt riddled with jabbing trials and temptations.
In each situation it seemed like I could see the problem clear enough to choose otherwise. I could see there was a way out, but then temptation blew in over and over.
It whispered all the thoughts my “self” wanted to hear. Words like “just give up,” “feel bad” or “who needs that crap.” (Sorry — that’s how temptation sounds in my ear at times.)
And why are these defeating thoughts even tempting? Maybe because it feels like “someone understands” — Yes, right, just give up; I totally should!
But who is the “someone who understands”? Would God draw near in a trying time and whisper, “Just give up”?
STAY STRONG IN THE WORD
Even — and maybe even especially — when we most desire to live God’s way, battles attempt to set up camp in our heart.
In this same week, the Bible Verse of the Day dealt with keeping faith in tough times. GoingByFaith Facebook followers saw the updates:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
And then came this one…
“[Trials and Temptations] Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)
We wonder what “out” could come our way half-heartedly. We want to believe it, but we don’t know if we can.
And right there… right in that moment… that’s where a spiritual battle begins. In that exact moment, keeping faith means everything. Can I believe God? Or should I believe what I see based on the day-to-day world.
There’s that moment to choose. And often we have to go against everything that feels natural within us to choose good.
7 BIBLE VERSES FOR KEEPING FAITH WHEN FEELING WEAK
Here’s the best part — Bible verses for keeping faith in weakness.
The LORD is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (Psalm 105:4)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. (Acts 27:25)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23)
PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF I CAN PRAY FOR YOU DURING CHALLENGING TIMES.
Rick Renner — How To Stay In Faith