Christians can sometimes find faith difficult to sustain. It's easy enough to celebrate your faith when things go well, but what about when they don't? What about when you don't feel you're getting through to God?
As a Christian with a very strong faith, I believe that if things go wrong it's my fault, and if things go right, God has a hand. Some would say that is naive - certainly non-believers would. As a Christian you should know that God is only walking beside you when you are on the right path. But what about when it is difficult to know which path to take?
Just consider this for a moment. Put yourself in the place of a loving father (or mother, if you prefer). Your child has grown to an age where they understand right from wrong and need to make it a bit in the world on their own. You have given them guidance through their formative years, and they are venturing out in the big wide world. Do you believe that giving them advice on what to do at every step is the right way forward? Or do you think it might be better to encourage them to make their own decisions?
Now if God was visible next to you, telling you what to do all the time, would you be leading a life of your own? If he spoke to you so clearly you had 100% certainty he was telling you precisely what to do all the time? At first you might think that would be cool, but would it? How would you develop as a person - as a soul - if you did not have to work out anything for yourself? As a parent you want to see your child making decisions and celebrate when they are right, and your teaching has paid off, or perhaps give them a hint at your displeasure if you see them straying from the right path. That is what God is doing with his children: with all believers. He gives us guidance through the Bible. As believers, his ways are in our hearts.
In Old Testament times God was more proactive. People like Moses knew precisely what he wanted. Today God has stepped back. That does not mean he is aloof. It means he wants to see what you're made of. (Doubting) Thomas didn't believe what he heard from his close friends, the other disciples, about Jesus having appeared to them. He wanted to see for himself before he would believe. When he later saw Jesus, lo-and-behold, he did believe. He only believed when he saw the wounds in the resurrected body of Jesus. So Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me you believe; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:26-30). John 20 ends by saying that 'by believing you may have life in his name.'
By retaining your faith you signal your belief to God. And when you retain it through difficult times you all the more strongly show it and get God's blessing as a result. God will be there to advise you when your faith is strong, your questions right and not just self-serving, and when you are wanting to walk along his path - although you might have to wait for him to be your guide if he does not think conditions are quite right for the journey. If he is not responding to you, ask yourself whether he is waiting for you to show a bit of initiative - while retaining your faith.
If there was 100% certainty in God there would be no such thing as faith. Everyone would believe in a visible God and do as he directed - mostly out of fear of repercussions if they did not - and you, a believer, would no longer be unique to him. If you are able, think back to the pride you have when your children do well, make good decisions and set great examples - especially to their own children.
Now that God requires faith as evidence of believe, he knows his sheep: the ones who follow, in faith. So do believe in Faith itself.
My novel Flying a Kite is entertaining fiction that is aimed at providing insight into faith for Christians who may sometimes wonder how belief in God can be upheld against the findings of modern science. It is also an easy-access read for non-believers, gently leading them to a position where they consider the concept of God and make their own decision as to whether the case presented by its protagonist makes logical sense in the modern world. Please read it. If, as a result, you think it would help others to develop their faith, then please write an Amazon review to attract more readers whom it may also help - and tell your friends.
Please click the image below for more information, including a video trailer. Thank you!