Unshakeable Faith for Shaky Times
by Kathy Howard
Small troubles, big troubles
It had been a bad day. Nothing really big, just a series of little things, but I was pretty determined to be in a bad mood. I had one quick errand before I could go home and wallow in self-pity for the rest of the evening.
Storming around Wal Mart with my “poor me” attitude, I found the fabric dye on the aisle with the laundry detergent. Dark brown was only available in the liquid version. I started pulling bottles off the little shelf over my head. Each time I grabbed one, the others were pushed forward by a spring-loaded mechanism on the shelf.
As I lifted the next to last bottle, the one behind it shot up and out. There was no time to take cover. When the bottle hit the tile floor, the cap popped off and dark liquid squirted across the aisle splattering everything in its path, including me. As I surveyed the damage, God spoke quietly to my heart. “Okay, you’ve been whining all day. How are you going to respond to this?”
While I sponged myself off with the paper towels hung on a nearby post, I considered my options. I could let this dark mess be the last straw that pushed me over the edge to a full blown, self-absorbed tantrum. Or, I could remember that God is in control. He is not only aware of all the problems and worries in my life, He also cares about each one.
In that moment of decision, God brought a Scripture passage to mind. “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).” Rest in Jesus or throw a fit on the detergent aisle in Wal Mart?
Life is full of trials, big and small. Most days, the troubles are nothing more than a messy nuisance. Sometimes, though, we encounter difficulties that aren’t so easy to clean up. Many believers I love and admire are facing significant trials like life-threatening illness, divorce, death of a child, and financial hardship. These kinds of situations would knock many people flat. But these Christians are standing firm by leaning on our rock-solid God.
“In this world, you will have trouble”
Christians will have trouble and pain in this world. Jesus said it and our life experiences prove it. Difficulties and trials bombard us constantly. Everything—from the normal stresses of daily life to the grief of loss—threatens to shake our faith, leaving us and our families resembling a pile of rubble. But an unshakeable faith in our Creator God can keep us standing firm through all the storms of life.
Many of us may feel our troubles loom much larger than our faith. Thankfully, weathering these trials does not depend on the size and strength of our faith, but rather on the size and strength of the Object of our faith. We may be weak, but God is strong. We may not know how to navigate the road ahead, but our God knows every twist and turn.
God knows and cares
But if God is in control, why do His children still suffer? If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t He protect us from the pain of this world? Mankind has attempted to answer these questions since the world began. Although there are no simple answers, God’s Word gives us solid truths we can stand on even we don’t fully understand God’s ways:
- God is all-powerful and in control of every situation (Psalm 77:4; Jeremiah 32:17; Ephesians 1:18-21).
- God knows and cares about every aspect of our lives (Matthew 6:25-34; Hebrews 4:15; Philippians 4:19).
- God is good, loving, and faithful (Psalm 145:17; 1 John 4:8; Lamentations 3:22-23).
- We are not alone in our trials; God is always with us (Isaiah 43:2; Psalm 23:4; John 14:16; Matthew 28:20).
- God will strengthen and comfort us in the middle of troubles (Psalm 147:3; Isaiah 40:27-31; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Philippians 4:13).
- God works through difficulties in our lives to accomplish His eternal purposes (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3-5; 1 Peter 1:6-7; Romans 8:28-29).
Unshakeable God for shaky times
My friend Janet has been clinging to these truths since she was diagnosed four years ago with Myelofibrosis. Although there is no cure for this rare bone marrow disorder, Janet has participated in several clinical trials in an attempt to slow its progress. Through this physical battle, she has experienced spiritual highs and lows. Some days she is exhausted. Sometimes she is discouraged. But she continues to lean on the character and sovereignty of God. “While I know that the Lord is the great physician and will do as He chooses, my spirit is weak. But, I remind myself of His great love. God is good—all the time. Feelings ebb and flow, but His power doesn’t depend on my feelings. I can trust Him in all situations.”
Janet has learned to take her pain and questions to God. She regularly reflects on His truths and praises Him for His love and power. She works to keep an eternal perspective and chooses to trust God even when she doesn’t understand what He’s doing.
Shaky times like Janet’s—and ours—demand an unshakeable faith. Faith that stubbornly clings to God no matter the circumstances. As we lean on God and experience His faithfulness, we learn to trust and depend on Him even more. We witness His power and dependability, and our faith in Him is strengthened.
That day in Wal Mart, I choose to give my frustration to Jesus and receive His rest. God knew I was discouraged and met my need right in the middle of the superstore. You may be facing a trial much larger than a routine bad day. God knows and He cares. Give it all to our unshakeable God and let Him meet your need today.
Kathy Howard helps women live an unshakeable faith for life by encouraging them to stand firm on our rock-solid God no matter the circumstances of life. Kathy, who has a Masters in Christian Education, has been teaching the Bible for over 25 years. She is the author of five books, including “Unshakeable Faith: 8 Traits for Rock-Solid Living.” This 8-session Bible study explores the life and teachings of Peter to help readers experience a faith that will weather every storm of life. Kathy and her husband have three children, a son-in-law, and one precious grandbaby. www.kathyhoward.org