Scripture reading: James 1:2-3
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
This past week has been very challenging for me and I have fallen behind in writing my blog. My mom and aunt have been very sick this week and I have made four visits to their house along with three trips to the doctor. Their health is very fragile and they are afraid as they begin to lose some of their independence. I must admit that I am afraid also as we try to figure out what comes next. Amidst the many moments of uncertainty the only certain thing that we can cling to is our faith. A faith that God is in charge and that He is present with us as we struggle.
I also have a friend that is in the hospital in Atlanta and she is facing a long, difficult road to recovery. Her faith is strong and she is a very determined person and I know that she will be able to regain her former lifestyle in the near future. I have several friends that are looking for work, some after being told in no uncertain terms, that they are no longer needed. There are people that I know that are struggling with physical and mental illness and they are worried and depressed. Others are unhappy in their marriages and with their families and they are ready to walk away and give up.
In times like these it is tempting to just give up because it can seem that God has forgotten about you and your situation. And we are not alone in that feeling as we discover when we read the book of Psalms. Psalm 42:9: I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” Psalm 38:21-22: O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O lord my Savior. Like the writer of these Psalms, there are times when it feels that God is far away, but actually He is there with us in our times of struggle.
Someone said to me the other day, I’m just tired of trying, I’m really tired of trying to do the right things and then having bad things happen to me.” That reminded me of something I once heard someone say. This person said, “Don’t ever grow tired of doing good. No matter what trouble comes your way, continue to do the right thing and persevere, continue to have faith.”
And to me that’s what faith is all about. I often need to be reminded that we all stumble and go through difficult times in our lives. Faith helps us to remember that God promises to be there with us in our heartaches and in our struggles, we are not alone. Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. God is closer than we often realize.
As I drove up to my mom’s house the other day I listened several times to the song, What Faith Can Do, by Kutless. This song always speaks to my heart when I also feel just about ready to give up. Two lines from the song really speak to me and I want to share them with you.
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing
Keep believing and have faith, a faith that can move mountains! God bless!