The Christian journey is rarely a straight path. Sometimes we stumble. Sometimes we fall. Sometimes we move forward, and sometimes we move backward. In a world where there is so much suffering and uncertainty, it can be easy to slip away from our faith and begin to question God. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians feel ashamed for having these doubts. In reality, sometimes we have to come face to face with the tough questions in order to grow. If you feel like you’ve fallen away from God in recent times, there are some simple steps you can take to help rekindle your faith.
First, remember God’s kindness toward you. Reflect on how good and merciful He has been to you, even at your very worst. Make a list of all the blessings He’s given you, and all the times He’s brought you through a hard time in your life. You’ll quickly realize that God has a perfect track record of faithfulness. He has never once abandoned you; so you can be confident that He never will.
Along these same lines, realize that no matter how far you stray, He will always welcome you back with open arms. Think about the heart-moving story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) for example. The son carelessly abandoned his family and squandered his inheritance on worthless things. But in the end, the father celebrated his return with open arms and abundance. He never stopped loving his son, even when the son had fallen away from him. That’s a good picture of God’s unfathomable and unwavering love towards all of us.
It’s normal to have doubts. It’s human nature to get frustrated and anxious when we don’t understand or when we don’t see something happening. What’s important though is that we get back on track and realign ourselves with God’s promises. And that all starts with a little bit of effort and a little bit of faith. Consider Jesus’ words in Luke 17:6: “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” A lot of times, we tend to compare ourselves to these larger-than-life heroes of the faith: people like C.S. Lewis, or Thomas Aquinas, or even the Apostle Paul. But the truth is that we don’t have to be anybody “special.” We don’t have to have all the answers or do anything fancy. No, all we need is a little bit of faith—faith the size of a mustard seed.
And that mustard seed will grow, so long as we keep watering it. Keep reading your Bible – even if it’s only a verse a day. Keep praying – even when it seems like no one is listening. Keep listening for God – even when you can’t hear Him. Keep obeying – even when you don’t want to. Rekindling your faith is not a one-time event; it’s a process. It takes time, perseverance and endurance. But it’s the most important thing you will ever do in your life. So go ahead, keep wrestling with those tough questions. Keep knocking, seeking, and expecting the providence of God in everyday life. Keep fighting the “good fight” until suddenly you encounter that magical and magnificent grace of God…just like you’ve done since the day you came to know Him.
Keep going… it will all be worth it.
–Your sister in Christ, Meisha