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Faith

Jim Langley: Losing Faith in Tough Times

There was a time in my life when I felt very distant from God. I actually gave little thought to His existence and simply went about living life as I pleased.

I imagine many of you can relate to this to some degree in your journey. You may even be in the midst of this dilemma right now.

In tough times, we have a natural tendency to distance ourselves from those who care most for our well-being. We can easily feel smothered and want freedom from those things that we dislike in our lives. A certain darkness comes over us and we may even consider ending it all.

Losing faith in tough times has been prevalent in the world since the beginning of time. It’s easy to get despondent when we know we are distant from God.

In Genesis 3, we find Adam and Eve hiding from God among the trees in the Garden of Eden. Just like the first couple, we willingly walk away from our Heavenly Father and we know we are out of His favor.

That doesn’t necessarily make us bad, but it does show our disobedience to His desires for us.

Disobedience can take many shapes and forms. To put it in simplest terms, we want things to go our way and we want to get away with as much as we possibly can. We simply hope that we won’t have to pay the consequences for our disobedience and self-centered motives.

God’s Word can give us the impression that we’re in a hopeless predicament when we only look at His commandments. After all, it’s quite obvious that His laws cannot possibly be kept. Why would God set standards that He knows we cannot meet? How can we possibly live a sinless life as His Son, Jesus, demonstrated during His short time here on earth?

Many of us have parents who also set the bar awfully high for our lives. They do it for our well-being, and I’m certain God does the same because He loves us and wants what’s best for us.

Why can’t we admit that we desire a close relationship with our Heavenly Father? He wants to remove all the darkness that surrounds us and to trust Him and all His Ways.

In Psalm 37:4-5, King David exhorts “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

He truly wants us to have unshakeable faith, and that requires our obedience and seeking God’s will for our lives.

So, just how do we go about seeking God’s will for our lives? I can only share what’s worked for me all these years since submitting to His will for my life.

Every morning I talk to Him and ask Him to show me what He has planned for me that day. That’s all I can handle — one day at a time. It does no good to concern myself with yesterday, and I’ll deal with tomorrow when it’s here.

God continually shines enough light in front of me that I know where He’s leading me, and I trust Him totally in the darkness that’s all around me. He’s my light. He’s my hope. He’s my strength.

So, if you find yourself losing faith, I recommend you draw near to God and you’ll find that He has been near you all along. He has simply been waiting for your willing return into His arms. Let Him be your light and hope and strength!

Passages to Ponder

» Genesis 3:8-13

» Psalm 37:7-11

» Proverbs 3:5-6

» Jeremiah 29:11

» 1 John 1:5-7

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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