We all face challenges and difficulties in our lives, but some of them can shake us to our core and make us question everything we believe. Whether it is a personal tragedy, a global pandemic, or a social injustice, we may wonder where God is and why He allows these things to happen. How can we keep our faith in times of crisis?
The answer is not simple or easy, but it is possible. Faith is not a feeling or a wish, but a confident assurance that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He promises. Faith is not blind or irrational, but based on the evidence of God’s character and actions throughout history and in our own lives. Faith is not passive or fatalistic, but active and cooperative, as we partner with God to fulfill His purposes and plans.
In this article, we will explore how faith can help us cope with uncertainty, fear, and loss, and how it can inspire hope, resilience, and compassion. We will also share some biblical examples of how God works through crises to bring about His good will and glory. Finally, we will offer some practical tips on how to strengthen your faith and trust in God, such as prayer, meditation, reading the Scriptures, and joining a community of believers.
How Faith Helps Us Cope with Uncertainty, Fear, and Loss
One of the most common reactions to a crisis is uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen next, how long it will last, or what the consequences will be. We may feel anxious, confused, or overwhelmed by the situation. We may doubt ourselves, others, or even God.
Faith can help us cope with uncertainty by reminding us that God is sovereign and in control. He knows the end from the beginning, and He has a plan for our lives and for the world. He is not surprised or caught off guard by anything that happens. He is able to work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). He is faithful and trustworthy, and He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
One of the most common reactions to a crisis is fear. We may feel threatened, vulnerable, or powerless by the situation. We may worry about our safety, our health, or our future. We may experience panic, stress, or anxiety.
Faith can help us cope with fear by reminding us that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). He is our protector and defender, our shield and fortress (Psalm 18:2). He is our healer and provider, our peace and joy (Isaiah 53:5; Philippians 4:19). He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
One of the most common reactions to a crisis is loss. We may lose someone we love, something we value, or something we identify with. We may grieve, mourn, or lament over what we have lost. We may feel angry, sad, or depressed.
Faith can help us cope with loss by reminding us that God is our comforter and consoler, our hope and salvation (2 Corinthians 1:3–4; Psalm 62:1). He is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He heals the wounds of our hearts and binds up our sorrows (Psalm 147:3). He promises to wipe away every tear from our eyes and to make all things new (Revelation 21:4-5).
How Faith Inspires Hope, Resilience, and Compassion
Another way that faith can help us in times of crisis is by inspiring hope, resilience, and compassion. These are not just emotions or attitudes, but actions that reflect our trust in God and His promises.
Hope is the expectation that God will fulfill His promises and that He has good things in store for us. Hope does not deny the reality of the situation or the pain that we feel, but it looks beyond them to the future that God has prepared for us. Hope anchors our souls in God’s love and power (Hebrews 6:19).
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity and overcome challenges with courage and perseverance. Resilience does not give up or give in to despair or defeat, but it relies on God’s strength and grace to endure hardship and to grow through it. Resilience renews our minds with God’s truth and perspective (Romans 12:2).
Compassion is the willingness to share in the suffering of others and to extend kindness and mercy to them. Compassion does not ignore or avoid the pain of others, but it empathizes with them and seeks to help them. Compassion reflects God’s heart and character, as He is compassionate and gracious to us (Psalm 103:8).
Some Biblical Examples of Faith in Crisis
The Bible is full of stories of people who faced crises and how they responded with faith or lack thereof. We can learn from their examples and apply their lessons to our situations.
One example is Abraham, who was called by God to leave his homeland and his family and go to a place that God would show him. He did not know where he was going or what he would find there, but he obeyed God by faith. He also faced the test of his faith when God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac, whom he loved and who was the heir of God’s promise. He did not understand why God would ask him to do such a thing, but he trusted that God would provide a way out or a way through. He was willing to give up his most precious possession for the sake of God’s will. God rewarded his faith by sparing Isaac and confirming His covenant with him (Genesis 12-22).
Another example is Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers and ended up in Egypt. He faced many trials and temptations, such as being falsely accused, imprisoned, and forgotten. He could have become bitter, angry, or resentful, but he chose to trust God and to serve Him faithfully in whatever situation he was in. He also forgave his brothers and reconciled with them, recognizing that God had a bigger plan for his life and that He meant it for good. God used his faith to save his family and many others from famine and to make him a ruler in Egypt (Genesis 37-50).
Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrew 11:6).
A third example is Esther, who was a Jewish orphan who became the queen of Persia. She faced a crisis when she learned that her people were in danger of being annihilated by an evil plot. She risked her life by approaching the king without being summoned, which could have resulted in her death. She also fasted and prayed for three days before making her request. She used her position and influence to expose the plot and save her people from destruction. She acted with courage and wisdom, knowing that she was in the palace for such a time as this (Esther 1-10).
Some Practical Tips on How to Strengthen Your Faith and Trust in God
Finally, we want to share some practical tips on how to strengthen your faith and trust in God, especially in times of crisis. These are not exhaustive or exclusive, but some suggestions that we have found helpful in our own lives.
- Pray: Prayer is our lifeline to God. It is the way we communicate with Him, express our needs and desires, confess our sins and weaknesses, thank Him for His blessings and gifts, praise Him for His attributes and works, and intercede for others. Prayer is also the way we listen to Him, receive His guidance and direction, sense His presence and peace, and align our wills with His. Prayer is not a ritual or a duty, but a relationship and a privilege. We can pray anytime, anywhere, about anything, with anyone. We can pray with words or without words, with emotions or without emotions, with confidence or with doubts. The important thing is that we pray sincerely, humbly, persistently, expectantly, and obediently (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:16).
- Meditate: Meditation is not a mystical or a secular practice, but a biblical one. It is the way we focus our minds on God’s Word and His truth. It is the way we memorize, study, apply, and obey His commands and promises. It is the way we renew our minds and transform our lives by His Spirit. Meditation is not a passive or mindless activity, but an active and mindful one. It involves thinking deeply, reflecting carefully, questioning honestly, imagining creatively, and responding personally. It helps us to know God better, love Him more, serve Him faithfully, and glorify Him fully (Psalm 1:2; Joshua 1:8; Colossians 3:16).
- Read: Reading is another way we can grow in our faith and knowledge of God. It is the way we learn from other sources besides the Bible that can enrich our understanding and appreciation of God’s Word and His truth. It can be books, articles, blogs, podcasts, videos, or any other media that can inform us, inspire us, challenge us, or encourage us in our spiritual journey. Reading is not a substitute or a replacement for the Bible or for prayer or meditation, but a supplement or a complement to them. It can expose us to different perspectives, experiences, insights, or testimonies that can broaden our horizons and deepen our convictions. It can also help us by providing us with a wealth of knowledge and understanding that can enhance our understanding of God’s word. Additionally, reading can ignite our imagination and creativity, allowing us to explore new ways of applying biblical principles in our daily lives. Ultimately, the act of reading can foster a deeper connection with God and strengthen our faith as we seek to grow spiritually.
- Join a Community: In times of crisis, it’s essential to surround yourself with a supportive community of believers. Joining a church, small group, or online community can provide encouragement, accountability, and prayer. Sharing your struggles and victories with others who share your faith can strengthen your resolve and remind you that you are not alone on this journey (Hebrews 10:24-25).
- Worship: Engage in worship as a way to connect with God on a deeper level. Whether through singing, playing an instrument, or simply meditating on worship songs, expressing your love and trust in God through worship can uplift your spirit and reinforce your faith. Worship redirects your focus from the crisis to the greatness of God, fostering a sense of awe and reverence (Psalm 95:1–7).
- Practice Gratitude: In challenging times, it’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong. However, cultivating a spirit of gratitude can shift your perspective. Take time daily to reflect on the blessings in your life, both big and small. Gratitude redirects your attention to God’s faithfulness, fostering a thankful heart even in the midst of difficulty (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).
In conclusion, maintaining faith in a crisis is a journey that involves trusting God in the face of uncertainty, fear, and loss. Faith is not a passive response but an active and resilient posture that inspires hope, endurance, and compassion. By learning from biblical examples like Abraham, Joseph, and Esther, we see how faith can lead to remarkable outcomes even in the most challenging circumstances.
As we navigate crises, practical steps like prayer, meditation, joining a community, engaging in worship, and practicing gratitude can fortify our faith. Remember that God is with you in the midst of the storm, offering comfort, guidance, and hope. Strengthening your faith is not about ignoring the challenges but facing them with the assurance that God is in control.
In times of crisis, let your faith be an anchor that holds firm, knowing that God is faithful, and His promises endure. As you cultivate a resilient faith, you not only find strength for yourself but become a beacon of hope for those around you.