If there’s one thing that always trips up my faith in the Lord, it’s adversity. I know that as a child of God, practicing my faith for decades now, I should have got the hang of trusting God through the myriad struggles of life. But every difficulty that comes my way causes me to scowl at God and question everything I believe about Him.
I pride myself on having a good understanding of the Bible and can recite dozens of verses by heart. But my head knowledge does not deliver me from the doubts that plague my soul when I’m plunged into the darkness of despair.
Every new struggle brings up scores of questions, many of them as old as time.
Why is this happening to me?
What did I do to deserve this?
Why would You let this happen, Lord?
How are we supposed to get through this?
When is this going to end?
God, where are You in all this?
I realise I’m not the first person who has asked all these questions, and I definitely won’t be the last. The Bible is filled with people who asked hard questions and vocally expressed their doubts. But they also proclaimed the truth about who God is, and remembered what He had done for them.
Remembering who God is, who we are in Him, and how He’s helped us through the years is good for our faith. It’s a simple practice that can sustain us when doubts, fear, and anxiety plague our minds and threaten to steal our peace.
With a raging pandemic causing worldwide distress, what we thought might last a few weeks has dragged on for months on end. Many simple things we took for granted have become a whole lot more complicated now. Sure, we might occasionally be grateful for the change of pace but we can’t ignore the fact that each of us is experiencing some form of grief at the loss of life as we knew it.
So how do we survive with our faith intact? How do we calm our minds in the midst of this chaos?
We turn back to God’s Word and find rest in Him. If you, like me, are searching for God’s presence in the midst of this pandemic, if you’re looking for a promise that will help you persevere, here are two eternal truths to hold on to.
God is with you.
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
My grandmother introduced me to this verse before my board exams 20+ years back. The exam anxiety I felt at that time is nothing compared to the worries that plague me on a daily basis now. Constant thoughts about the health and welfare of my loved ones can turn into paranoia if I’m not careful.
But I’m learning to take God at His Word, and so can you. You need not fear because God is with you.
Don’t be dismayed. The One who breathed life into the first man is still breathing life into your soul.
When you feel overwhelmed with life and everything you have to do, remember He will strengthen you and help you.
God is for you.
“This I know, that God is for me.” Psalm 56:9b
There are few people we can turn to for practical help and moral support in our lives. We know they have our best interests at heart, and will do their best to help us succeed. But the closest bond you share with a friend or family member is merely a shadow of the intimacy you can have with Christ.
Rest in the knowledge that God is for you, not against you. He is on your side. He takes no pleasure when His children are suffering. He will lead you through. You might have to walk through a storm that’s out of your control, but you have the assurance that God is always in complete control.
You might not be able to make sense of your calamity, but you can find rest in God’s presence, knowing He’s with you the whole time. You can rely on God’s wisdom, grace, and strength to help you overcome your daily battles.
As for this pandemic, I believe we will come out with our faith reinforced, engrossed in a deeper, more meaningful relationship with our Lord. In the meantime, let’s hold on to the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Our faith in Him will not be in vain.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10