I have noticed with myself and others that it seems as if our faith is unshakable when things are running smoothly, when there is enough money to pay the bills and maintain a household, when our health is good and when everything seems to be blue skies and sunshine. We can be God’s biggest fans when things are going the way we think they should be. What happens then when the applecart is upset?
There have been periods in my life when hardships and anguish have made me feel like throwing my hands up and saying what’s the use, or I quit, or I just can’t do this anymore. (If we were in the same room I would ask for a show of hands to see if any of you have ever felt like this). I believe losing confidence comes from a combination of discouragement, a faith that isn’t as strong as we thought it was, or unbelief. It can strike all ages and all levels of faith; to the new babe in Christ or the weathered mature soldier; and when those times come, I can imagine Satan standing off to the side doing a victory dance waiting for us to throw in the towel. Why do we suddenly shrink back from God when we should be drawing near? Satan knows our weak areas, he watches for that crack in our armor and he doesn’t waste anytime moving in and fueling our fears.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us against this act of giving up under hardships and trials. Heb 10:35-39 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
How do we keep from shrinking back? We exercise endurance (Heb 12:1) by practicing God’s will and trusting his promises.
When thoughts are consumed by the heaviness of our troubles, when it seems difficult to even draw our breath, we can be in danger of losing our focus, yet that is when we need to turn to God, lean on him and to draw on his strength, and that is exactly what he wants us to do.
Remember this when we fight our battles…Rom 8:31-32 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?