Every now and again, someone will ask me how I can have faith in this day and age when there is so much ugliness going on in the world. That question is usually followed by this next question: if your God exists and he’s all-loving, why do all these bad things keep happening?
First off, He is not my God, He is our God. I don’t have any insider connections that merit me more graces than anyone else is entitled too. Grace is achieved through faith. It is attained by anyone who is willing to turn to God in trust. All I have, is a desire to rely on God in good times and in bad.
What I find to be most helpful in maintaining my faith during tumultuous times is the simple truth that was written long before we were born. Suffering occurs, bad things happen to good people, illnesses jeopardize our lives, and evil seeks power. Those are realities we face every day. Faith teaches us how to handle such realities of life. It’s how being a realist and having faith entwine themselves with one another. Knowing this, in some odd way, enhances my faith. It helps me to understand why life is full of peaks and valleys and how important faith is during our ups and downs. It is our ladder of survival. Without it, we may find there is no way out of life’s unpredictabilities.
Some may argue the fact simply by saying they tried having faith and it didn’t work. Their prayers were not answered. They have every right to feel that way but I would question if they understood what faith really is. Faith is not only about having prayers answered in the way we expect. It is about developing a personal and trusting relationship with God. That means trusting even if things don’t go according to our will. Many people lose sight of that especially when reality sets in and it becomes too difficult to bear. They turn from, rather than toward faith.
The realities of life are tough. They throw some hard, unexpected, and unwelcome blows our way. We’d all like to bypass the traumas of life but learning to survive those blows through faith is what will one day bring us to that peaceful existence we all desire. None of us are immune to experiencing some form of suffering in our life. Nor are any of us exempt from having evil pay us a visit. That’s reality. Does that mean we should lose faith because bad and evil things occur? Does it mean we stop believing because life didn’t go as we planned? No, it means we continue on by trusting in God’s plan wherever it may lead.
I’ve had the majority of my prayers answered. Some better than I could have expected. I have also had a few prayers not go as I would have liked. Still, I trusted, and even in unanswered prayers, I received gifts. I have also found myself (not often, but enough) doubting the possibility of seemingly impossible scenarios.
It’s important that in moments like this that we hang on tight to the rungs of the ladder of Faith so we can be lifted away from the pitfalls of realities despair. It’s not easy to pull ourselves up when our heart is weighed down with burdens. It’s in times of hopelessness that we may want to just pack it all in. Believe me, I know this feeling all too well. We all know that life can really suck sometimes, especially in these trying times. We also know that it is in moments of despair such as this, that hope has a way of showing up. At first, we may be hesitant to invite hope in after all it may seem too good to be true. Especially to a realist. But hope has a persistent and honest approach which allows us to give it a chance to work its magic.
Does inviting hope in prevent bad things from occurring? Of course not. Bad things happen because evil thrives on pain, suffering, and discord. God allows it to do so in hope that we will turn toward Him so evil can lose its hold on us. Like it or not, that’s a reality we all face. We have seen throughout history that when evil feels threatened, it will come at us in full force. We’ve also seen that In the midst of chaos hope has a way of showing up despite the mayhem. We might be too wrapped up in other emotions to recognize it but hope is always willing to show us its handiwork. Hope is God’s way of saying, I’ve got this. He has ways of healing that are only known to Him. It’s hard for us to understand how God can make the seemingly impossible possible. That’s because we are constantly let down by man’s broken promises so we somehow equate it to God.
No one ever said life would be easy. Reality is it’s not. If it were easy we’d all be living in heaven with no need to prove ourselves through faith. There would be no need for hope because we would have all that we’d need.
Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Since the beginning of the year when I dedicated 2020 as my year of surrender, my faith has been put to the test. From being in a car that lost control and nearly turned over to having live wires dangle out of control feet away from my home and everything in between I kept my faith. Even in the onset of COVID, I held on to faith. But the thing I am having the hardest time getting through is the political warfare we are in the midst of. I turn to faith in my personal trials but I’m not sure my faith will sustain me as I watch politics reach an all-time low. It’s extremely difficult for me to get past all the ugliness and evil intent that is plaguing this country. I know evil runs rampant through its quest for control, but I’ve never witnessed its blatant callousness as much as now. It terrifies me that people are so lost in getting their way that they don’t see that they are only feeding evils hungry appetite. Watching and listening to decent people turning on one another has become too much for any of us to bear. We are letting fear replace hope and that is a danger sign. Red flags are popping up all over the place and we refuse to acknowledge them. Oh, we see them alright, we’re just blaming one another for their placement. We’re not willing to admit that we might have a hand in their existence.
We are in the midst of a wake up call and we’re not picking up on it. And what’s even worse is we might be seeing hope as our enemy. We’re afraid to let it in. Afraid that we’ll be let down. Hope is evils enemy and evil will do everything in its power to make sure hope doesn’t win. We all know evil will have its day but hope will prevail. Yet we’re.not quite prepared to let hope win. Somewhere we may not believe it’s possible. That is where we most cling on to faith that hope will work its miracles.
Now I know those on the left are blaming the right and those on the right are blaming the left but no one is willing to admit that there is evil lurking on both sides. We want to believe what we want to believe and because of it, we show no mercy. That quite honestly, terrifies me to the point where I’m afraid to let hope in, which terrifies me even more. I’m afraid I’m going to lose sight of all God has done for me by allowing fear to claim my soul as evil’s victory over me.
I know better than this and my reality is that when my faith’s been tested, I have always been strengthened. I need to remind myself what is needed to maneuver through life’s darkest moments. I must stay on the course in front of me with no turns to the right or left where pitfalls await me. If I do have to veer in another direction it should be by God’s hands not man’s words.
As I continue to surrender, let me never surrender hope. And as I accept that I am prone to be a realist let me be it in faith. Faith leads us from here to there. May I always be willing to let hope do the job I can’t.
Married 44 years to my hubby whose purpose in life is to prevent me from getting through the “Pearly Gates”. Mother of two, Nanna of four loving granddaughters and retired secretary aka administrative assistant. I went to the University of Hard Knocks where I received my Doctorate. My thesis is titled: How To Survive Life’s Trials Without Killing Yourself or Someone Else. I live by the belief that when life throws you a curve, learn from it rather than use it against yourself. Faith and humor are my survival kit. Appreciate the simple things for they are the true treasures of life.