VIDEO How To Stay In Faith – Keep Faith in Tough Times


In good times it’s easy to talk about faith. It’s easy to see why we believe and encourage others to “keep the faith” when they’re feeling down. But what about periods of prolonged suffering or surprise attacks?

How do we keep the faith in tough times?

I pondered this question just yesterday. After a long stint of peace and tranquility, yesterday proved challenging with flaring emotions, less-than-graceful communication and the temptation to — yet again — go over details.

Even with all the reading, all the praying and all the practice of trying to stay peaceful, yesterday was overwhelming, and I found myself begging God to drop me a line.

Nothing happened.

I prayed over and over for Him to bring relief and change the scene. Nothing. I felt discouraged, depressed… and impatient. Why wasn’t He answering my prayers? Why wasn’t He showing Himself? And then I remembered something: We grow in our faith, and it takes time. The struggle strengthens us.


Our faith isn’t always tested in the good times; our faith is tested during trials and times of challenge.

When we ask, “Where are you, God?” and hear crickets chirping, that’s when we’re left to decide. Will we believe anyway–cultivating a more mature faith? Or will we decide He’s not there, falling back on all the voices we’ve heard in the past?

Sometimes we can see the temptation at work in these moments; sometimes we can’t. We take forward steps and backward steps (and side steps and missteps), but we’re growing when our number of forward steps become greater.

Taking that forward step is your faith in action.


1. Lean Into the Faith You Have
Choose to remain faithful when there is no visible finish line and no feeling of relief. Lean into it and bear through the discomfort that comes from trusting in what you cannot see. It’s not taking a risk–it’s strengthening your faith. Are you struggling with trusting God?

Think of a stretch or new skill; getting to the next level requires a time of discomfort while pushing forward. You will feel (and eventually see) the difference. “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12)

2. Pray for Strength and Guidance
During the discomfort, pray that God guides your steps and keeps you strong. Temptation will sway in and out to mislead and falsely appease you, but pray right through it. “Watch and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

And if you fall for it… which we all do at times… start again. Keep choosing God over and over and over.

3. Remain Planted in Good Soil
When you feel the struggle heavy on your back, bury yourself in more good soil. Surround yourself with loving friends, pop into a church before starting the day, read the Bible, put some encouraging messages where you can see them, attend a service, watch an online sermon, ask someone you love to pray with you or meditate on positive thoughts. As my husband tells me, stay in the Word. The tough times will hit us, but we are living for something bigger.

“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:15)

Blessings to you this week!

What’s the hardest part about keeping faith in tough times for you?

by Jenn

How to Keep Faith in Tough Times

Rick Renner — How To Stay In Faith





We Are Dust

He remembers that we are dust.  Psalm 103:14

The young father was at the end of his rope. “Ice cream! Ice cream!” his toddler screamed. The meltdown in the middle of the crowded mall began drawing the attention of shoppers nearby. “Fine, but we just need to do something for mommy first, okay?” the father said. “Nooooo! Ice cream!” And then she approached them: a small, well-dressed woman with shoes that matched her handbag. “He’s having a big fit,” the father said. The woman smiled and responded, “Actually, it looks like a big fit is having your little boy. Don’t forget he’s so small. He needs you to be patient and stay close.” The situation didn’t magically resolve itself, but it was just the kind of pause the father and son needed in the moment.

Echoes of the wise woman’s words are heard in Psalm 103. David writes of our God who is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (v. 8). He then continues by invoking the image of an earthly father who “has compassion on his children,” and even more so “the Lord has compassion on those who fear him” (v. 13). God our Father “knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (v. 14). He knows we’re small and fragile.

We often fail and are overwhelmed by what this big world hands us. What an amazing assurance to know of our Father’s patient, ever-present, abounding love.

By:  John Blase

Reflect & Pray

When have you felt overwhelmed like a little child? How do you believe God the Father responded to you in that moment?

Thank You for being our patient, present Father who remembers who and what we are.

Sunday Reflection: The Blessing of Repentance

It may seem odd to think of repentance as a blessing, because it’s not something anyone looks forward to. But repentance isn’t supposed to feel good. In fact, if it does, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Repentance is a blessing because it allows us to grasp the depth and love of God. And it’s an essential part of our life as Christians because Jesus calls us to it—and He is faithful and just to forgive us when we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). In repenting, confessing, and humbling ourselves before God, we are not merely turning away from our wrongs. We are embracing the Father’s love.

Think About It 
• Repentance frequently leads to some outward behavior, but the Lord wants us to experience a change in the direction of our heart as well. Think about your own experience with confession and repentance—have you felt more aware of or closer to the Father’s love?

• John the Baptist calls for followers of God to “bear fruits in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8). What do you think it means for our actions to be the fruit of repentance?

Is it Wages or a Gift

“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

This wonderful verse has been used by the Holy Spirit countless times to bring a person to the point of salvation, and rightly so. Seldom did the author of Scripture pack so much into so few words, and seldom is the gospel of salvation more clearly and succinctly presented.

Perhaps the key to this verse and its teaching is the little word but, for marvelous contrasts hinge on it. In fact, pointing out the parallel but contrasting statements has proven to be an effective witnessing tool. Let us consider these individual contrasts.

First, wages versus gift: Wages are something that must be earned, while a gift cannot be earned; it is free. The wages of employment follow directly from having done the work, just as the wages of sin follow directly from having done the sin. Similarly, the gift of God follows directly from God’s own character. He is a loving, gracious God who freely showers His gifts on those who will accept them.

Second, sin versus God, or sin versus the sinless one: We might even define sin as the opposite of godliness. Sin is the deed that merits the wages, while God is the being who gives the gift. Sin is a wrong action, attitude, or thought, while God is a person, active and loving. Sin takes; God gives.

Third, death eternal versus life eternal: Conscious existence in separation from God versus conscious existence in communion with God. Sin brings death, surely and permanently; God gives eternal life.

This gift of eternal life is not given capriciously, however; it is based on the work of Jesus Christ, the one who Himself collected the wages of our sin. The sinner who accepts God’s gift, through Jesus Christ, can hardly fail to recognize Him as Lord. JDM

Maybe Some Other Time

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works man these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

—John 14:12



“Ye shall receive power” (Acts 1:8). “But covet earnestly the best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31). Anything that God has ever done for a soul He will do for anyone else, if the conditions are met….

Unbelief says: Some other time, but not now; some other place, but not here; some other people, but not us. Faith says: Anything He did anywhere else He will do here; anything He did any other time He is willing to do now; anything He ever did for other people He is willing to do for us! With our feet on the ground, and our head cool, but with our heart ablaze with the love of God, we walk out in this fullness of the Spirit, if we will yield and obey. God wants to work through you!

The Counselor has come, and He doesn’t care about the limits of locality, geography, time or nationality. The Body of Christ is bigger than all of these. The question is: Will you open your heart?   COU121

This thought is very convicting, Lord. I know I’ve been guilty of praising You for Your power and goodness, while secretly doubting that You were really going to work in my present situation. Forgive me that duplicity, Lord, and give me faith to believe You for now, for here, for me. Amen.


On His Terms

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

—John 1:12



I…believe…that if someone should come along who could make himself heard to thousands instead of to a few hundred, someone with as much oil as intellect and as much power as penetration, we could yet save evangelical Christianity from the dead-end street where it finds itself. I warn you: do not for one second let the crowds, the bustle of religious activity, the surge of religious thinking fool you into supposing that there is a vast amount of spirituality. It is not so.

That is why the meaning of the word received is so important here. “As many as received him”—actively and aggressively took Him. This means a determined exercise of the will. It means to not deny any condition that the Lord lays down. That is something quite different from what we are hearing. They did not come to the Lord and try to make terms, but they came to the Lord and actively took Him on His terms. FBR012-013

A sanctified life is a life conformed to the Scriptures in every particular. It commences with our hearts; it next reaches to our ears, and then it is accomplished in our feet. CTBC, Vol. 2/025



Mark 6:3

The New Testament word for carpenter, tekton, denotes an artisan, a craftsman, one who is a builder.

The Scriptures reveal Christ as Carpenter of the universe: “Through Him all things were made” (John 1:3). The hands that held the hammer and worked the saw here on earth were hands that carpentered the fathomless galaxies and the infinite depths of creation. Those hands that shaved and smoothed the wood at the carpenter’s bench in Nazareth also created the stars and the planets with their perfect design and precision.

The Cosmic Carpenter by the miracle of the Incarnation became the Carpenter of Nazareth. The question of our text asked by the disaffected Nazarenes is the only window in the Scriptures through which we may look on the years of His young manhood. These few words speak volumes to us about the silent years. This portrait of our Lord as a Carpenter suggests many things that would characterize His daily round of toil.

The absence of Joseph from the later gospel narratives suggest that the wise and humble father of that family had been laid to rest, and Jesus, as the elder brother, took over the support of the family by the trade He had mastered in His father’s shop. Then finally, when the other brothers and sisters were old enough, He made His last yoke. After shaking the wood shavings from His tunic for the last time, He went out to build the eternal kingdom of God in the hearts of men.

This portrait of Christ as a Carpenter identifies Him with mankind. How reassuring it is to know that He who now holds a scepter in His hand once held a hammer and a saw. Often His hands were bruised and torn by the grain. As He worked day after day, making the wood obedient to His skill, His hands became as strong as a vise. They became roughened and calloused, the kind of hands strong fishermen would look at and know that they could follow Him with confidence. He knew the meaning of toil. He understands our burdens, our weariness, our tasks.

As the Carpenter, Christ forever sanctified human toil. Our tasks are given dignity by the One who worked amid the wood shavings at the carpenter’s bench for the greater part of His life.

Today, the Carpenter of Nazareth who once smoothed yokes in His skillful hands, would take a life that is yielded to Him, smooth the coarseness of its grain, work out its flaws and imperfections, and fashion it into a beautiful and useful instrument of God’s eternal kingdom.

Henry Gariepy, Portraits of Christ