Having Faith When
Times Get Tough
It was a perfect storm.
It started on a high – I was about to graduate from an internship that had changed and transformed my faith, deepening my relationship with God in ways I didn’t know were possible. There was some anxiety in not knowing what was next for me, but I was sure that I was ready to take it on. I stood tall and confident, feeling prepared for whatever I’d face.
I really believed that nothing would – or could – shake my trust in God.
And then, in the span of a few months, it seemed as if everything in my life fell apart.
Between financial uncertainty, family tension, health issues, moving, and a breakup that left my head spinning, it felt like the floor had completely dropped out from under me.
I was overwhelmed, angry, and confused. Mentally, I knew that somehow, God was in it—but emotionally? Spiritually? I didn’t understand how He could be. For months, I felt like I was silently screaming “Where are you?”
The hits kept coming, and as they did, I felt more and more isolated. I didn’t feel loved, cared for, or even seen by God. Faith was hard to find in the hurt and chaos, and I craved peace.
If this sounds anything like where you’re at, or where 2020 has brought you, I’d like to offer you some encouragement.
First of all, you need to know that what you’re going through won’t last forever. It sounds cliche, but I promise you, it’s true. Let yourself hear it, feel it, and trust it. No matter how dark things seem right now, the sun will rise again.
Secondly, you are not helpless. It’s way too easy to get sucked into the hard stuff, and if you’re not intentional, you may find that before long, you’ll end up actually looking for evidence that the world is against you.
Don’t condemn yourself to misery or miss the potential you have to grow and learn from this season. It’s true, a lot of moving pieces are beyond your control, but your attitude, mindset, and heart stance are entirely up to you. When life gets loud, don’t just give up! Here are some actual, tangible things you can do to stay grounded and find faith.
Draw Near to God
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
// James 4:8 ESV
Girl, read your bible. Press into the word and let the love and truth of Jesus wash over you. Ground yourself on the gospel daily, and make it a key part of your routine. If you’re feeling burned out and having a hard time staying focused while reading scripture (we’ve all been there), try beginning your day with a podcast like the Bridgetown Daily, a brief and Christ-centred listen that will recenter your focus.
Join a community group (The Well Practice is launching this fall!) and make sure church is a priority for you each week – even online. Get some friends together to watch the sermon on Sunday. No matter what your capacity is, keep showing up. Just keep coming to meet God exactly as you are. You don’t have to have it all together. Ask the Lord to fill you with His presence and to help you see yourself and your situation through what He says about it.
Whatever you’re going through, you don’t need to go through it alone. We were made for community and to do life together. If you’re struggling in any area of your life, particularly spiritually, find someone you can trust to be a mentor or a guide. Bottling things up won’t help you at all, so even if you just find a safe space to vent or process, you’ll be much better off for it.
It’s easy to spiral when you only listen to your own perspective on things. You’re not an objective observer of your own life. Getting an outside perspective to speak truth and wisdom into your life will be clarifying and extremely helpful.
Choose to Trust Jesus
Odds are, this isn’t the first time you’re in a tough season, and it probably won’t be the last. The good news, however, is that as followers of Jesus, we’re not going in blind. As hard as things can get, we know how this ends. The One who created you is the One who holds your future, and He is worth trusting.
Whatever you’re going through, no matter how overwhelming, frustrating, or isolating it may feel — you’re not alone. You are so loved. So precious. And you matter, deeply and personally to the King of Kings. With everything in you, choose to believe this and know that you are a chosen child of the Most High. His plan for you is bigger than a relationship. It’s more than your career. It’s greater than what you know, and it won’t be stopped by something as simple as human interference.
Having faith in the storm isn’t an easy thing to do, and I don’t know of anyone who does it perfectly. But nothing in our walk with Jesus is about doing things perfectly. Take heart. Keep showing up. Ask for help, prayer, and support, and reach out to your community. Continue choosing to trust.
This isn’t the end of your story.
The sun will rise again.
To read more from Anika, visit her website.