Faith as an Act of Will: 3 Ways to Keep the Faith When Life Gets Rough
Faith takes work. It is not spelled out for you, nor is it handed to you on a silver platter. It’s not just about proclaiming faith but living it. This is easier said than done because life is not always straightforward, easy, or fun. Sometimes we wrestle with faith, other times it feels distant, mute, or a little incomprehensible. When things take a turn for the worse or when we deal with internal strife, faith can be shaken. God knows this and he understands that as humans we are liable to make mistakes and turn our backs on our faith, thinking that it has abandoned us. So how do we keep the faith?” What does it mean to maintain faith regardless of the circumstances? We look into this question and the wise words of one believer who understood faith in a unique way.
A Quick Note (and interesting aside) on the Phrase: Keep the Faith
Language says a lot about our culture and how we interact with it. Language too is fluid and has its unique ebbs and flows. The phrase “keep the faith” has become a commonly uttered phrase in our lexicon. It simply refers to maintaining the power of your faith even when there is a rough patch. The phrase has become so common that it is also used to mean faith in a non-religious sense. The phrase “Keep the faith, baby!” grew in popularity during the 1960s, as it referred to the work of civil rights activists. Slowly, the phrase morphed into something a lot more secular and said even outside of religious context. And yet, the kernel of the phrase remains an encouragement that someone holds on to optimism, to belief, or to the devotion to the idea that things will work out for the best. For those that believe in the power of Christ, keeping the faith has an entirely added layer.
Develop Your Faith Always and it Will Not Leave you in Times of Darkness
We turn to God during moments of affliction. We run to Him for refuge, advice, and light. And while God never abandons us, living your Christian faith is about doing so year-round, when times are good and when times are bad. When we lose our relationship or conversation with God, it makes it difficult sometimes to hear him clearly when things have been shaken. Part of living your faith means to live it constantly. This means connecting with God daily and establishing a strong relationship and bond. This strengthens with time and sustains us when our paths become unstable.
Keeping the Faith with J.R.R. Tolkien
The famous author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy —later turned into a series of films that captivated worldwide audiences— has a word or two on maintaining faith when life gets difficult. Many fans of the author are not aware that he was a devout Catholic. Tolkien’s faith played a big role in his work and in his personal life. The author has discussed just how important taking the Sacraments was to getting him through moments of personal strife and two world wars.
Tolkien wrote a letter to his son, talking about and discussing faith. In it, Tolkien wrote:
“Faith is an act of the will, inspired by love.” In other words, faith requires action. It is not passive. We must be open to the Word of God and ready to commit to it. People that have the ability to love in the worst of circumstances are able to do so thanks to their faith. And as their love grows, their faith grows. Look around to the people that you admire, to leaders in your life, and you will find a person that always decides to love no matter the circumstances.
How Do You Keep the Faith?
The phrase is cliche, but it points to something important. The idea is that you maintain your faith no matter what. Remaining steadfast in your foundation of God does not make you impervious to pain or free of difficulty, but it provides the necessary armor to survive it intact and come out the other side.
- #1 Prayer is the phone line to God. If you don’t call Him often, communication with Him gets more and more difficult. Even when it seems impossible, make the connection. Sit with Him in silence. Say what is in your heart. This unrelenting communication strengthens the fibers of your beliefs.
- #2 Love and uplift others, no matter how hard it seems. If faith is an act of love, then practicing love every day towards others, will help you build your faith. Focus on helping others and it will strengthen you and your faith.
- #3 Look for inspiration in the Word and the stories of others. Listening to what others have lived through can often serve as great inspiration for our own tribulations. Surround yourself with people that you admire and that inspire strength in you. Reading about how others have coped with challenges is also a useful way to understand faith.
Join a Community of People that Understand the Complexities of Life and Faith
Having faith is a commitment. It takes action, awareness, and humility. Faith Miracle Sanctuary Christian Worship Center helps people to find their faith through understanding the Word of God and the story of Jesus.
Ready to build an unshakable faith? Need support in a time of difficulties. Connect with Faith Miracle today and learn the power of faith and love!