Bible Reading: Psalm 13
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13:5-6)
Do you feel abandoned by God? Maybe times are tough, and there are significant issues that surround us. Perhaps we are bogged in sins that we think no one can understand. Maybe our daily lives just seem so full and busy, and we have had no chance to read God’s word, let alone come into HIs presence.
The Christian life is not always smooth sailing. There are ups and downs. There are times of joy, and there are times of hopelessness. So when our faith isn’t feeling great, what should we do?
As we grow as Christians, God will work in us a realisation that faith is not based on our feelings. Faith is based on the firm foundation of God’s Word and His promises. Our circumstances always change. One day everything could be going just fine, and the next, our whole world could be chaos. If we have family, a roof over our heads, food and a sense of comfort and security, who knows if that will all be there tomorrow?
Apart from circumstances, teenagers, today suffer from a lot of mental health issues. Our emotions are never settled, and at one moment, we are feeling great, the next broken and depressed. At one moment, we strongly affirm our faith; the next, we doubt if God is even real.
If we continue to look into ourselves for faith, we will lose it. God is completely trustworthy. Yet, we can’t trust in God by our own strength. Stop believing that you have the willpower to cling to God. That is arrogance before Him. As David prayed when things were bad, we also have to pray and surrender our full self into God’s hands. It’s hard because we don’t like to feel vulnerable. When we pray and lay down our case before God, we are scared because we no longer have any control because when it is in God’s hands, it is no longer in our hands. What if God doesn’t answer me? What if God fails to help me?
Let’s learn to pray how David prays because He doesn’t stop there. In v. 5 - 6, David affirms God’s promises. It’s a weird thing to do. Full of doubt and pain, how are you meant to believe such a thing? But, faith is not based on feelings. Whether we feel it or not, God is still God. God never changes, and He who has promised steadfast love to us will never change. What is God’s steadfast love? Read Ephesians 1. Even before the creation of the world, God knew us. He chose us to be people loved by Him. He sent His Son to deal with our biggest problem, our sins and the Holy God. In Him, we are justified and made right before God. Christ’s blood will not fail as a sacrifice. More than that, He has given us His Holy Spirit now, who is the guarantee of an eternal inheritance with God. And, above all these things, God is working out “the counsel of his will” for the “praise of his glory” and the “good of those who love Him” (Rom 8:28).
Do you know of such love? No matter how we feel, God’s love for us does not change. If you do not see, earnestly ask God, surrender all to Him, and in His faithfulness, He will not fail to reveal His love to His children.
Above this, not only does David affirm God’s promises, David tells himself to rejoice in such promises. David results in singing to the Lord even in times of doubt because He knows what God has already done for Him based on reality. And so, we should learn to do the same. As Christians, we should be people who can sing with endless praise in any circumstance because God’s love and salvation for us are sure, and our inheritance is guaranteed with the seal of the Holy Spirit who works in us. We have obtained the greatest hope. This hope does not change even if we don’t feel like it, even when our circumstances are horrid. Place your hope in God’s steadfast hope. That is faith, resting not in feelings but in God’s sure promises, which shall be revealed in its full reality in times to come.
Lord, please help my faith. I feel like You are not near. I feel like life is hard, and I feel hopeless. But, Lord, Your promises hold despite my feelings. You are a loving God, and You have promised to be faithful to me. Help me believe in You. Teach me to trust that You are always working everything in Your plan for my good and Your glory. Thank You for Your Word today. Thank You that You still deal bountifully to me. You are faithful, and I will praise Your name. Strengthen me and hold me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.