Hope For When Your Faith is on Life Support
A devotional by Sarah Cole
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” –Mark 11:22-24 (NIV)
Skyrocketing gas prices, empty shelves in stores, a border in chaos. These are just a few examples of what the media tells us is occurring in the United States each day.
We're certainly a nation desperate for good news.
Like many Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, I live from paycheck to paycheck, and the pain at the pump—and everywhere else—makes me wonder if there's hope on the horizon. Maybe you've had your doubts, too.
Sometimes, the cares of this world consume us, and when the Good News (The Gospel of Jesus Christ) takes a backseat to bad news, we often allow fear to hijack our faith. This results in spiritual amnesia, because we forget about God’s sovereignty, His promises, and His power.
In times like these, we need reminders of who God is and what He’s done. In other words, we need a faith reset. In Romans 10:17 (NKJV), Paul writes that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” This verse tells us that when life throws us one curveball after another, God's promises are the anchor that keeps our faith strong. Strong faith is worth the time and effort it takes to build it.
For the past several months I've been working out with my personal trainer, and thanks to my partnership with Carrie, I’m stronger than ever. But it took a lot of patience, discipline, and hard work to get there. Faith, like a muscle, won’t grow without resistance, so unless adversity tests our belief system, we will remain spiritual infants, at the mercy of one crisis after another.
I am grateful that God is never taken by surprise, and that He—not the government, or the economy—is my “ever-present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1 in the Berean Study Bible). He is an immovable anchor during the storm, and He is the same “yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 ESV). If God can raise Jesus from the grave, supply manna to the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4), and part the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21), He will do the miraculous in your life, too—even when the bottom falls out and your faith is on life support.
Friend, whatever bad news is keeping you up at night, Jesus knows all about it, He is in control, and He cares deeply for you. I encourage you to take a deep breath, lay your burdens at his feet, and consider taking these steps:
Step #1: Take an inventory of all the ways God provided for you this year, especially when you least expected it. I think you will see His fingerprints all over your life.
Step #2: Make a faith declaration. Tell yourself in your own words that whatever crisis is threatening to take you under, God keeps His promises, and He will take care of you, regardless of what you hear on the news.
Step #3: Find promises in the Bible that address your challenges and start committing them to memory. Develop a library of truth in your mind, so the next time fear rears its ugly head, your faith will be in the driver’s seat.
Someone once said that fear appears instantly in the dark, but faith, like a photo, takes time to develop. As you step out in faith today, remember that Jesus walks with you, He sees the twists and turns ahead, and He will take you safely to your next destination.
That’s good news you can count on.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for taking such wonderful care of me in every season, both lean and plentiful. When the news goes from bad to worse, help me remember the good news that You are in control, and You will equip me to handle whatever comes my way. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Song of Reflection: “In Times Like These” by the Cadet Sisters. Listen here.
Sarah Cole’s interest in writing began in grade school when her poem was published in the local paper. As she got older, her mother’s chronic illness inspired her to design a line of greeting cards.
Since then, she has written for her college newspaper and two community newspapers where she wrote restaurant reviews and articles for their “Best of” spread.
Her experience as an administrator in the marketing field gave her the opportunity to write ads for a local business journal.
After a 20-year detour and a three-year season of adversity, God reignited her passion to write. Two divine appointments later, the short story she wrote about her father appeared in the St. Paul Almanac, and a short story about her cocker spaniel Gigi was published in Guideposts (magazine) Mysterious Ways. She believes her adversity was worth the lessons God taught her.
During this year (2022) and the next (2023), Sarah’s devotionals will be published in The Secret Place by Judson Press, as well as David C. Cook’s Devotions and The Quiet Hour. To this day, she smiles, pinches herself and gives God all the glory.
When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watching cooking shows, designing cards and mugs, and taking day trips.
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