NOTE: I have received numerous questions via Facebook and email lately as it relates to students struggling in placing confidence in their relationship with God. This post is an actual response to a recent email I received from a girl struggling with her faith.
I am sorry to hear that you are having a rough go of things right now with your faith. I understand! I have been there too. I know that my walk with God is constantly under attack, and it sounds like this is what is going on with you too. Satan works hard to confuse us and to try and convince us that God is wrong, isn’t interested in us, or doesn’t even exist. He wants you to be confused and depressed. He wants you to feel hopeless and alone. He knows if he can get you there, then he might have a good chance of keeping you there. If he keeps you there, odds are in his favor that eventually you’ll just give up on it all with God. This is the worse decision you can make!
God does love you, even though your circumstance may not show it in the way you desire at this moment. What you have to work hard at right now is not confusing how you feel about who God is with what the bible says about who God is. That’s why I say it all the time: God is NOT a feeling. God is a choice! When you feel like God is not responding, or doesn’t even take the time to receive your call, you have to make the choice in these moments to trust that He is still in it with you, and that He is still intimately concerned with your concerns.
As Christ followers, we have to push through the tough times and BELIEVE (Hebrews 11:1) that God is who He says He is, even when we feel lost and confused. Satan wants you to turn from God in the middle of your confusion. God wants you to turn to Him in the middle of your confusion. He wants to prove to you that He is who He says He is. He can do this is a plethora of ways. It may very well be that He chooses to do this as YOU choose to do your part in pursuing Him like you never have before.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 says, “Then you will call upon me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” The key here are the action words “seek” and “call.” These words are proof that we have to do our part to know God more and to grow in Him more. I encourage you to begin making it a daily action of yours to put the “seek” and “call” to action.
Colossians 4:2 says, “Devote yourself to pray.” This word devote means to commit, to make it a priority! Here are some suggestions to help you make the “seek” and the “call” a priority in your life:
1. Power off your mobile, laptop, iPad, etc. and focus on the “silence.”
2. Once in a quite place, spend time getting your heart and head focused on approaching God.
3. Make a list of things you want to talk to God about. I.e., things that bother you, upset you or frustrate you about your relationship w/Him. Don’t forget to also take time to thank Him for the good things in your life, because all the good is from Him.
4. Write down questions you would like to ask Him, and then talk to Him like you would talk to your closest friend.
5. Make a promise with yourself that you will commit time each day, if even just a few minutes, repeating “Seek” steps 1-4.
1. Google in search of specific scriptures to help with specific struggles. For example, when I Google the phrase: “Scriptures to help me trust who God says He is.”, I found these scriptures:
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)
“That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!” “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.” – Romans 10:10-13 (MSG)
2. Once you find scriptures such as these, write them down in your journal. Hang them on your mirror in your bathroom. Place them in a high traffic area of your home. (We do this at our house, often on the refrigerator, as a reminder to our family of God’s truths.)
3. Memorize scriptures that will help you develop confidence in who God says He is. (HINT: The key to memorizing them is reading them every day.)
4. Read and pray these scriptures out loud. Romans 10:17 says that, “Faith increases when we hear God’s word.” Hearing His truths helps them stick in your head.
5. Find a friend and/or family member who can “seek” and “call” with you!
Knowing Christ, and growing in Christ more, is a life-long process of ups and downs and twists and turns, full of intrigue, frustration, anticipation, excitement and more! But I promise you, the more you put into action the “seek” and “call,” the more you begin to place confidence in Him and not your circumstances or feelings. As you do, you will begin to see that even if God chooses not to remove the challenges in your life, you will able to walk through these challenges more confidently, knowing you do not walk through them alone!