We all have been given a calling to fulfill, and God doesn’t say it will be easy. He never said that every day would be carefree, that life would be a bouquet. But when it isn’t, God has given us a how-to manual, the Bible, on how to navigate challenging times. Through these times, we should remember that God promised to be with us “all the way.” This means that no matter what curve balls life throws at us, we will never be alone.
These last few years have been a challenge that has resulted in strengthened faith for many. But far too many believers struggle to maintain trust and faith in God during difficult times. Todd Bolsinger, in his book, Canoeing the Mountains, says, “Trust is vital for change. Without trust, there is no ‘travel.’ When trust is lost, the journey is over.”1 When tough times come, and they will, how does one continue to grow stronger in faith in God and His Word, and in doing so, how does it make a difference? Here are three ways you can grow stronger in your faith and walk with God so that you can face difficult days triumphantly.
Read the Word
The Bible is full of instructions about godly living. When you read the Word, the revelation of God’s character and His intent for humanity is revealed. Other truths in His Word are also highlighted such as truths about the power that lives within us through the Spirit and of course the measure of faith we have received as believers. One of the ways this faith grows is through the reading of God’s Word, which empowers us to face difficult challenges in our life and in our culture. Furthermore, the apostle Paul in Romans 12:1-2 instructed the church at Rome to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.” This is faith lived out, and we can do this through the diligent reading of the Word of God.
Do the Word
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock” (Matt. 7:24-25). These verses helps us to see that a believer who practices what is studied and learned in the Word is a genuine believer. That person can withstand any onslaught of diverse circumstances because a strong faith in God has developed. Therefore, we should put the truths of God’s Word into practice. Don’t just be a hearer only; by doing the Word, your faith will grow.
Trust the Word
When we experience trials, our faith is stretched. It’s what we go through that teaches us whether our faith in God works. Through personal experience, God used difficulties and pain to stretch and grow my faith. These experiences raised my trust in God to a higher level, so that new challenges are met with an increasingly greater resolve to trust God. We must always acknowledge His presence in our lives, keeping our focus on Him through the Spirit and through His Word. The songwriter helps us to understand this is the only way to live: “Trust and Obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”2
When you read, do, and trust the Word, your faith is fortified. But there are other benefits: first, you will be able to “count it all joy” (James 1:2) even when faced with hard times. Second, you can be a blessing to others while strengthening your faith. Finally, your confidence that God is guiding your faith journey will grow stronger. Faith in God is what helps us to navigate through life’s challenges. Use the Word to help your faith to grow.
1. Bolsinger, T. E. (2018). Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory. IVP Books, an imprint of InterVarsity Press.
2. Sammis, John, (1887). Trust and Obey. United Methodist Hymnal
Ron Parham is Customer Care Rep for Lifeway Christian Resources and Pastor of the Edmondson Chapel Church, Antioch, TN.