Tsunamis, earthquakes and tornadoes are no small matter in the world today. Media attention to these catastrophes bring home to our mountains the devastation that lies elsewhere. A rise in gas prices seems small in comparison to what others are facing and suffering right now.
Developing an unshakable faith is not something we can work up, but rather something that needs to be worked in.
How can one develop an unshakable faith when times are hard, loved ones die, sickness comes and chaos prevails? I don't know about you, but I will go through a difficulty and squall: "this one's gonna take me out." Drama queen much? But then, as I go to the source of strength, I find the strength to continue on. That's called "living grace." When a person dies, they receive dying grace. But, when we turn to God in trouble, we receive "living grace."
Then, the next trauma or difficulty comes, and again turn I often turn into the female version of Fred Sanford on "Sanford and Son" ... . "Oh, this time it's real, I'm a-comin' 'Lizabeth!"
But, you know, with every single difficulty, there has been an opportunity. Oh, I may not have seen it then, but it comes. The very things that I thought were going to kill me, just made me stronger. Cliche? Yes, but, oh so true! Just when I think I am going down for the count, God steps in and provides either an escape from trouble or purpose within that trouble. He makes you stronger than you ever knew you could be. Hope, during these times, is more than just knowing there is a God out there. Hope is knowing there is a God right here. That is not a feeling, however, but an act of faith.
I've had people say to me, "I just don't believe in God anymore." In my head, and occasionally out of my mouth, I say, "that's OK, I believe enough for both of us." Disillusionment comes to all of us from time to time, but when push comes to shove, you can know he lives. You can know he cares.
Dr. Charles Stanley, founder of In Touch Ministries, penned these words:
"Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." The source of unshakable faith is God and his word. The only way to stay grounded and sane when all around us is going crazy is him, his word and prayer.
Daniel had unshakable faith. His belief in the Lord sustained him when he was uprooted from his home, taken into captivity, and sent to a foreign country. It strengthened him as he served under four different kings and faced many challenges.
Knowing God and trusting him are the two key elements of deep faith. Daniel, who was part of the Israelite nobility, apparently learned about the Lord from a young age. While he was in captivity, his words and actions demonstrated that he knew the Scriptures and wanted to obey God. When offered a meal that had been sacrificed to idols, he took a great risk by requesting other food. God caused the official to show favor to him (Dan. 1:5-9). Like Daniel, we are to spend our lives learning and carrying out what pleases our heavenly Father (Col. 1:10).
Not only did this young man know what the Scriptures said, but he also trusted God to do as He had promised. Every time Daniel took a stand for godliness, he was demonstrating his confidence in the Father. And his friends-Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - had unwavering belief as well. They did not know for sure that the Lord would rescue them from the fiery furnace, but they trusted that He would do what was right (Dan. 3:16-18).
Barriers to unshakable faith include pride (I won't admit I need God's help), arrogance (I know a better way - I don't have to ask God), and self-sufficiency (I can do it myself without His help). Which of these is keeping you from becoming a person of strong faith? Confess it and turn toward the Lord."
(Kimberly Short-Wolfe, MA, is a homeschool mom and the counselor and licensed chaplain at Cornerstone Christian Counseling Center. Contact her at: email@example.com or call: 304-637-7018.)