Why You Should Keep Faith . . . When Life Throws Its Worst At You.

Why You Should Keep Faith . . . When Life Throws Its Worst At You.
March 30, 2016 Matthew L. Jacobson

His feet thumped across the lawn and pounded up the steps as I instinctively glanced at the time. 5:50 am. (we’re early risers!) Why is he making such a racket? He’s sure to wake Lisa. A split second passed before Dauntless, our 12 yr. old, crashed through the front door on his race from Grandpa’s place across the driveway, but I was ready. A half-second was all the time I needed to prepare a stern lecture on respecting Mommy by being quiet early in the morning.

But Dauntless didn’t wait for me to draw a breath to begin.

“Daddy!” he gasped, a wild look in his eye, “Grandpa fell!”

He turned to race back, knowing I was hot on his heels. Yes, Dad had fallen, laying unconscious as I arrived – a heart attack – the nurse later explained.

Good Friday hadn’t started out so good. And about 24 hours ago, I stroked my mother’s hair, whispered into her ear that she was deeply loved, and kissed her cheek as she gasped for her final breaths, passing into eternity a few hours later.

And my truck slouches in the driveway with the flat tire our daughter got driving home a day and a half ago – haven’t even looked at it.

Whether its the big or small stuff, for most of us, life comes fast and hard – I like to say . . . with the speed of a fighter jet and the chaos of a riot. Can you identify with that? In the morning, we get things headed in the right direction but before noon there are five left turns in the road ahead. What’s next, Lord?

Have you ever felt like Phillip when Jesus looked over the crowd of 5,000 (not counting women and children) and asked, “Okay, Philip, where are we going to buy food to feed these people?” (MLJV).

Philip knew it was impossible.The disciples had only a little money between them. But Jesus knew it was impossible, too. So why was he asking? Was he setting up Philip for failure?

Sometimes it’s easy to forget, God knows what we know. He knows about the insurmountable mountain you’re facing right now because He gave it to you to face. But He also knows something we don’t know, and this is the part we tend to overlook completely. He doesn’t merely know what we know. He also knows what He intends to do. While we fret about next moves, God would have us remember that our steps, in the moment, were ordered by Him and He has a plan. The next verse says Jesus asked Philip about feeding all those people for a reason . . . to test him. (John 6:6)

God wants to know how we’ll respond when faced with circumstances that only He can handle. Will we trust Him with the impossible and respond in faith? Jesus had a plan for Philip and for that huge crowd, and God has a plan for you, today, right now.

Faith is merely the journey of life lived in the context of belief that God is surprised by nothing, is with us in the midst of every circumstance, and has a purpose for everything we face. Your worst circumstances are God’s invitation to trust Him.

This is what it means to have faith. He was reminding me of this, early this morning, when I read these words from the Sermon on the Mount: The Father knows what you need before you ask, Matthew 6:8. He knew what Philip needed. He knew what Job needed. And, He knows what you and I need . . . before we even ask.

So, we must ask ourselves: Do I trust God? Do I have faith, today? Do we have faith for the little and the life-changing challenges we face? Are you tempted to be overcome with anxiety and fret about the trial you face? None of it is a surprise to God who is just giving you an opportunity to put your trust  in Him. He already has a plan for how it will all unfold.

He knows what we need and He has a plan.

Will you trust Him with that impossible challenge, today?

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  1. Tammy 11 months ago

    My husband has been out of work for almost 6 months now. He already faces great adversity due to bad mistakes in his past. He works very hard to overcome those mistakes, but he gets denied job after job after job because of it. We have prayed & begged & believed & have tried really hard to keep the faith, but we can’t see where anything is happening. How do you keep from losing faith when facing what seems an insurmountable obstacle & no answers to your prayers can be seen? God knows our need & I believe he will supply our necessities, but we need a job. Things seem pretty dim. Trying really hard to hold out hope.

  2. Kindall Nelson 1 year ago

    How can you say that God gives us the bad things to face when Jesus himself said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

    I agree with you on almost all of your points… but God can want to see how we grow and depend on Him through circumstances that come from Satan as well as circumstances that come from the bad choices of ourselves or others. He doesn’t create them for us.

    Illness, pain, suffering, etc are never God’s will for us… what kind of a Daddy would want those things for His children? What kind of husband would want those things for His bride?

    • Author

      Please consider Jesus’ answer to those who questioned why the man had been born blind from birth ” . . . because he or his parents had sinned?”

      Neither, Jesus said, but so that God would be glorified.

      Also, the Scripture says that it was God’s will to bruise Jesus . . .

      Oft times, we don’t understand God and His ways (which are higher than ours)

      You might also consider the following – again, from a Loving God whose ways are higher than ours . . .

      Isaiah 45:7(KJV)

      7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

  3. Lisa B 2 years ago

    I’m not sure if I’m supposed to reply to others, and if not, please feel free to remove. JAE – I recently (2 weeks ago) found out that my husband has been cheating on me for 13 months. He professes to be a Christian too. My sister sent me this link several days ago and I only read it this morning. Please know that God WILL and CAN remove the pain, but YOU have to LET him…..you need to drop it at the cross and GIVE it to God. Do not expect Him to help and be there for you, if you continue to hold on to those things only He can take away. I had to do this same thing. I have a peace today b/c I let God have it. Am I still hurting, yes, but the hurt is being gradually replaced by knowing that God has a plan for me and my children and I must trust Him!! Be strong, sister. Be obedient to God and allow Him to take it all away. It might not be instant but trust Him. Trust him.

  4. Daniel Van Arsdale 2 years ago

    i left a reply why is it not being shown?

  5. Daniel Van Arsdale 2 years ago

    I do not understand why you feel God ,of the Bible, would have a need to show you your strength or faith in the face of adversity . First being billed as all powerful He could convey that to you without pain of loss. also if God created everything why would it not be perfect and eternal. God did not build but created; thus He must create from Himself. Having no body parts ,tree parts, or parts for the countless other things we have on just Earth alone warehoused it must be an extension of God. God being Whole and complete never changing cannot separate from His creation. So how can part of God be unlike the rest of God? Answer is simple God did not create a world and its inhabitants that begin to die the day they become We did. It is an error We made from the split of our mind when we thought we could create separate from God. The thing is it was an error only needing correction. We fell into a deep sleep much like the Adam story and just like that story we have yet to awaken. We simply split into so many Egos to hide in fear . Fear is of the Ego when judgement comes it comes for the Ego leaving only what God created our perfect eternal soul and we awaken to Him that which we never left. God knows not of sin because it does not exist. God did not create it so it can not be. You should really read the course of miracles to find the truth

    • Author

      Your approach is based on a deep faith commitment you’ve made to your own capacity to reason and a good deal of guesswork regarding the nature of existence. My faith commitment is that I believe the Bible to be true and I believe Jesus Christ to be exactly who He affirms he is – the Christ, the Son of the Living God who came to take away the sins of the world. I would challenge you to be as forthcoming regarding your own faith commitment.

      Are there things we don’t understand? Sure . . . but, I’m not the arbiter of truth. God is (in my faith understanding) and that understanding, is founded on what I read in the Word of God (again, a faith commitment).

  6. Jane Sirignano 2 years ago

    I just learned about you and your site. It’s amazing and helpful work you are doing. So sorry for the loss of you mother. Was the strain of your father’s health too much for her? May God bless you and your family always and in special ways at this time.

    • Author

      Welcome Jane! And thanks for your kind words. Regarding Dad, no, he has been on hospice care for about 8 months . . . just the season of life we are in.

  7. Dani 2 years ago

    I can relate to all of this. My husband and I lost our first baby to a miscarriage and 3 weeks later, to the day and time, my father passed away unexpectedly. We’ve had many financial issues the last 6 months as well as some personal attacks by “friends”. I don’t know how I could make it through without God.

  8. Jae 2 years ago

    Funny, I just recently told someone I felt like “a total fake”. Everyday I slap on a fake smile & mutter “fine or good” when someone asks “how are you?” It’s been a little over a year since my marriage fell apart & my husband decided he didn’t want to try anymore (even though he’s supposedly a Christian). I’ve been praying daily for his eyes to be opened & his heart to be softened but I’ve seen no change. The kids pray EVERY night that God would “bring Daddy home” but he barely sees or talks to them. When he moved out he claimed it would give us a chance to reset our relationship but when I bring up the subject of talking or doing something he’s always busy with work or too tired. I keep praying that God would rescue me & change my heart. I want/need the pain to go away b/c I feel like I’m drowning. I’m so tired of living this way. I feel like when I pray, it just bounces off the ceiling. I want to know Jesus more, I want to feel His love & presence but the more I press into Him, the further from Him I feel. It seems like no matter what I do (or how much I read & pray) nothing changes. It is very discouraging.

    • Author

      We were never meant to walk this journey alone. We were never meant to be unaccountable. Please get involved in a local Church with godly, biblical leadership. Enter the community of believers where you can find support, encouragement, and exhortation. Lisa and I are grieved at your circumstances but know the Word of God is always true: Romans 8:28

      • Jae 2 years ago

        I have a wonderful church & am very involved in the kids ministry as well as women’s group. I am very thankful for God fearing parents who pray for me & with me. I am as involved as I can possibly be, but no amount of encouragement or prayer has seemed to make me feel better or given me the breakthrough I so desperately need. I appreciate your reply but I’ve already done of the above. I’m still waiting for God to really reveal Himself to me & change me from the inside out. I know it’s not an immediate process, but I’d like to see some progress.

  9. Lisa 2 years ago

    You have no idea of the confirmation from God I just received from reading this. I just lost my 92 year old father and as we drove home to another state we were in a car accident. I know without being able to put my trust in God the way I reacted to all of this would have been completely different. But I praise God for his goodness, love, comfort, and peace! P.S. My name is Lisa and my husband’s name is Phillip, which made this even more relatable!

  10. Kathy Smith 2 years ago

    Oh, Matthew and Lisa, my family will be praying for you all. How is your dad?

    • Author

      Thank you so much! Dad has rallied but congestive heart failure continues apace. We take it a day at a time and rejoice in the promises of God.

  11. Kaitlin 2 years ago

    Your family has been in such a hard season. I’m so sorry for the loss and there’s nothing i can say except that I’m praying for you, Lisa, and the kids.

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