Restrictions are getting tighter now with hopes of containing the rapid spread of this aggressive virus. As pressures mount, many may struggle emotionally and spiritually. In these trying times, some may find their faith waning. But others may find their faith soaring!
What could cause your faith to be infected? I can think of at least four factors that could infect your faith. 1) The Unknown - not sure what is going to happen next; 2) Lack of Control - and the helplessness associated with it; 3) Anxiety - when we don’t know and feel out of control, we get anxious and stressed; 4) Worry - fears about the future! When our faith is infected, our joy and peace dwindle. When we look at these four factors from a different perspective, our faith is inspired, joy and peace abound!
What is the antidote to a “faith infection”? The antidote to a faith infection is hope! When faith is waining, you need an injection of hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13. We can overflow with hope when we trust in God and receive the power of the Holy Spirit!
This is Biblical hope, which contains “no doubt!” This hope from God yields the joy and peace we all need, especially when we are wrestling with factors that can cause faith to wane. In these tough times, trust in God and lean on His power! Our God is in control and He directs our paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
How can we remain faithful, hopeful, filled with joy and peace?
1) Remember God’s promises to you!
Faith wanes when we forget what God has promised us. His promises fill us with hope. They inspire our faith! 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7. Christ cares for you! He is ready to carry your burdens and stresses. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6. When you are anxious, pray! You are never alone when you pray.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34. 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. Luke 12:29
Your faith can be inspired when you remember these wonderful promises that provide assurances and Biblical hope in the face of factors that might otherwise infect our faith and rob us of joy and peace!
2) Recount your many blessings!
In the New Testament there are two primary Greek words for “blessing” - “happiness from finding our purpose in Christ” or “good words about another.”
There is an old hymn I remember singing often growing up in church, with a refrain, “Count our blessings, name them one by one!” What are your blessings? You can find blessings even in the midst of trials.
I can think of many… Being home more with family; spending more quality time together; distractions being removed; time to focus on God’s Word; warm weather to enjoy the outdoors; internet that is keeping us connected; plenty of provisions; wonderful, selfless healthcare workers and all who are making sure we have necessities. We are blessed! Recount your blessings.
Be a blessing to others! Let someone say something good about you and our God we serve! Make an impression and leave a mark for Jesus Christ! 16 …let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16. What does that look like for you?
3) Rely on God Who does not change!
6 “I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6. Our circumstances may change, but God never will! You can rely on Him and His unchanging character. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:7
The idea here is that planets rotate, shadows shift, day becomes night. But God does not change! When things around you seem to be changing daily and you become unsettled or uncertain, it can cause your faith to wane. So come back to this truth that God does not change. Rely on Him - His love, His grace, His care for you!
My prayer is that your faith will not be infected, but that it will be inspired in the days and weeks ahead, that you will overflow with the hope of our Lord and the joy and peace it produces in our lives! For much more, click here to listen: Finding Peace Part 4 - When My Faith Is Waning.