Sometimes people have the mistaken notion that grace plus faith equals a happy lifestyle at every moment. That's a dangerous doctrine because it forces those held captive by it to fake it even when life seems to be crumbling around them. To feel and act normally in devastating circumstances isn't an option for them because they have wrongly thought that faith means any situation we face can never knock us down and we certainly can't let ourselves admit negative feelings. That view stands in sharp contrast to the Apostle Paul's words about the way he felt during great times of trial. (See 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 and 4:8-9)
Melanie and I recently endured one week of time in which we faced six different situations that threatened to forever change our lives in very painful ways. In fact, three of the situations involved health issues among family members that could lead to death. It was a week in which we felt like we were in living hell. It seemed like God had moved and forgot to leave a forwarding address with us. My prayers seemed to fall back on my head and I didn't want to talk to anybody.
Have you ever felt like that? Maybe you feel that way now. The climate of our world is certainly conducive to widespread personal problems in people's lives. Financial threats, health scares, and a general sense of instability in the world make these trying days for all of us at times.
If you find yourself in a situation like that right now, you can be assured of a few things that can help you if you'll believe them. First, know that you aren't abnormal. When we face our own trials, sometimes it seems like things are going well for everybody else and we wonder why it can't be that way for us. The reality is that you may not know what others are going through. You can be sure of one thing - you aren't unique in the fact that you're facing the troubles you have. God hasn't singled you out to bring down disaster on you. The rest of us are there at times too.
Secondly, you can know that your Father hasn't abandoned you. Even when heaven seems silent, God is with you. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have placed you squarely in the center of their divine group hug and nothing can move you from that place. So when you don't feel it, at least choose to know it, because it's true.
Finally, know that your problem will ultimately pass. Things will change, either now or later. So, until they do, cling to Jesus and know that He is clinging to you and will not abandon you.
It's okay to feel emotionally low. Job did. (See Job 23:1-10) Paul did. (See the verses referenced above.) Even Jesus did. (See Luke 22:40-44) Just because you feel low doesn't mean your faith is low. Jesus is your Faith. So lean on Him and rest in His faith until the storm passes.
(This article is taken from this month's issue of The Grace Vine, my monthly ministry newsletter. If you'd like to receive my newsletter by either ground mail or email every month, you can subscribe by clicking this link: http://www.gracewalk.org/web/pageid/49197/pages.asp