What builds up our Faith? What tears it down? What is helpful or harmful? This article isn’t about the Faith that secures salvation, but the Faith in God after that. It’s disconcerting that many in the Faith community become disillusioned, disappointed or discouraged when things go bad in their lives.
It’s easy and convenient to be a believer or supporter of God when you have a good job, decent health, and relative material comfort and peace. Unfortunately, when hardships or challenges to our Faith come into our lives, too many of us wither, backtrack or fall apart.
Can we follow and trust God when things seemingly or literally are falling apart? When you lie awake at night wondering if your loved one dying of cancer will make it to the morning for another breathe of life, or a knock at the door from an officer to inform you of the tragic accident your child was in. The questions your mind frantically wants answers to over domestic divide in your family and the unwillingness of members to reconcile or get their lives on track to stay off drugs and out of jail.
Setbacks occur across the board in our life travels, and each of us will have to face hardcore realities, such as the loss of a loved one, illness, mechanical breakdowns, relationship troubles, differences of opinions and so on. We can’t allow undesirable elements to wear us out or tear us down.
Colossians 2:7 refers us to, “Being rooted and grounded in Christ, strengthened in the faith and thankfulness.”
Being rooted means you’re not easily uprooted or torn from what binds you or connects you to something. In this case, we are not removed from trusting God because of adversity, conflict or hardship. We determine in our hearts and minds that no matter what category of storm befalls us, that we’re not leaving or letting go of Christ.
We may be the walking wounded. We may have scars from others, and the hurt we carry pains us with each step we take. Being rooted doesn’t mean we don’t have questions, or we don’t cry on our pillows, or emotional angst isn’t plaguing us. It means that I’m staying with the one in whom I have believed. (2 Tim 1:12).
Deep roots allow us to stay planted, or committed, to Christ despite the odds against us or whatever season of misfortune we must endure. We must trust in God’s omniscience, His all-knowing, over God’s omnipotence, His unlimited power. That no matter what, He is good and faithful even when we don’t understand the why behind the experiences we encounter.
Sometimes our minds are rushed with thoughts, anxiety and stress while we struggle with the questions of our situation and life circumstances. We must remind ourselves that occasionally, during those deep valley times, that God informs us in Psalm 46:10A NIV to, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
It seems counter intuitive to stop trying with our own efforts, to slow down and go quiet.
This can be a time when we just submit to a spiritual attitude that pauses and reflects not just on everything that God has seen us through in the past, but also to let God express into our spirit from his Grace that He is enjoined with us.
We seek to know that God is with us no matter what we do or don’t do, that He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5B), but can we prove the same thing towards God? That we will never leave or forsake Him either? Draw close to Him and He will draw close to us. (James 4:8A).
During the trials and tribulations of this life, a spiritual practice that is often overlooked is to go quiet, quit the soul noise that distracts, and stop, and focus on who He is, and simply let that time be what strengthens us. This is what develops deep roots: knowing that He is God.
Reflect on this prime example of deep roots in Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV, 17: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen, and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”