Praying boy, looking out of the window
Words of Encouragement

Against all hope: Having faith in hard times

The past few months has been one of the most challenging times of my life. I had been at worse places and in more hopeless situations. But this time, my faith and my confidence in God were really shaken. First, I had a few mountaintop experiences, where I thought I heard God’s voice clearly, where I felt empowered and so reassured He was with me. Then, night fell.

Faith in times of darkness

During the night, when discouragement and fear are screaming at you, it is hard to discern God’s soft whisper. Every single day I had to choose to keep going, even though I was not sure anymore whether I really had heard from God. I had to learn not to give up despite anxious thoughts flooding my mind. I had to learn to believe the Scriptures more than what I thought the voice of reason was telling me (now I believe it was the enemy).

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Man standing in a cave. Faith in times of darkness

Hard times is when faith matters most

I am a firm believer that faith matters most when we have no reason to believe. In difficult times, when it seems God has abandoned and left us to our own devices. In those times when we actually cannot see “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”.

What is the purpose of having faith when we feel the wind blowing in our sails? When we see the sun shining on us, and we find goodness and blessings along our way? Can we actually speak of “faith” in those seasons?

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed” Romans 4:18 (NIV)

Isn’t rather that faith when we “against all hope, in hope believe”? When the tide is against us, when darkness surrounds us, when we experience setback after setback and prolonged seasons of frustration, and it seems even God has forgotten about us – it is then, we can choose to believe that God wants to give us a future and a hope.

Faith beyond the here and now

I am not talking about the “I decree and declare” kind of faith. God’s promises are Yes and Amen in Christ, but remember: God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.

Faith goes beyond the here and now, beyond material and earthly blessings. (I find it interesting that most “decree and declare” or “name it, claim it” prayers I hear, concern material blessings. Hardly ever have I heard anyone “decree and declare” getting a broken heart for the lost.)

Faith is walking in the will of God. It is cooperating with in building His kingdom here on earth, although it may be hard and painful.

Faith is being obedient even when God’s will goes against our own and even when we don’t hear from Him anymore.

Faith is embracing the stigma of looking like a fool, when those supposed to walk alongside you turn their back on you.

Faith is, when we pour our fears out before God and then – instead of dwelling on them – arise once more and go back to do His work.

Faith is believing that weeping lasts through the night, but joy comes in the morning.

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