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As soon as I read the request for advice my heart went to the only place I knew that could help. “God give me the wisdom and the words to soothe on this hurting heart”, I prayed. Sometimes I know right away that God has heard my plea and He drops the words into my heart. Sometimes, I must speak in faith that God has heard my request and to feebly offer my words. Perhaps it’s in the times I feel the least capable that God can use what I’ve offered because it doesn’t come from me exactly, just from the willingness to be a friend. One thing I do know is that where two or three are gathered in His name, He is there in the midst of them! “So this is us, God. The two of us, that have turned to each other in the middle of a crisis, a trial; a storm..and we humbly ask you to be here with us.

I have written down the things that have come to my mind after praying for God to give me wisdom and words to speak to you. I hope that they heal and help you. May God give us both grace to let His words speak into our lives and hearts and heal the inner wounds. Only He can give that kind of grace, peace and strength that goes beyond our human ability.

My first thought was to reassure you that this is not something that you can just rebuke and it magically will go away. The Holy Spirit is not some magic wand that you wave around and call upon to do your bidding.  He is God—living on the inside of you.

Number 2., God IS with you. He is Ok with you not being OK with Him right now.  If there’s anything I’ve learned during dark periods of my life, it’s that He doesn’t stomp his feet and thunder in the night, demanding to be heard. He is waiting in the background until you’re ready to invite him into your mess.  He wants to hold you and comfort you. Even when we blame him or accuse him of permitting such pain and devastation to happen to us, He understands our heartache and doesn’t turn away from us. He waits for the decision to be ours to trust Him despite what it feels or looks like.

Point 3., There’s nothing wrong with feeling helpless in a situation. People who give us that impression are in fact in deep denial themselves. We all come to a deep cavern in our lives at one time or another. Some of us more than once. I’ve often wondered why I have had to go through so much. Maybe I’m stubborn and it takes a lot to learn the lesson. I don’t know and perhaps won’t know until I can ask Jesus in person, but the reason why some people cannot admit to their weakness is that they feel they must appear strong to be godly. To be a Christian and a “faith-filled” person, they feel they must put on a front that makes them look like they have “power” with God. So basically they’re in denial, which is sad because to admit we are powerless and “we can’t” is what give us the supernatural strength of the Holy Ghost to overcome. His strength is perfect (complete) when our strength is gone. There’s no shame in admitting we are weak, empty or in despair. Our hope is gone.

In the Bible we read where Jesus came to these so-called “super-spiritual” persons and rebuked them for being so puffed up and arrogant. But he “praised” those who humbly sought after him. The ones who knew that they didn’t deserve him and even the ones who were caught in their sin and fell at his feet. They are the ones who knew without a doubt that they needed, desperately needed, his help-his touch and somehow his love to cover them.

This great trial of your faith is exactly that. A trial. It’s based on evidence, past history and fact but also on our mental capacity to believe in spite of the facts. You have been at a crossroads for some time now. Wondering where you fit in this whole God equation. You know you have believed in the past. You have had faith (as you knew it) to be active in your heart. Now God is drawing you, beckoning you to a step into a deeper, more personal walk of faith. A faith that is yours alone. A faith that can’t be shaken because you are grounded in it. A personal walk because it doesn’t depend on someone else’s words or actions or lack of action, it’s yours alone. You can claim it because it comes from deep inside of you. A step of faith into the unknown.

Sometimes our faith and belief is shaken so hard to see what’s left standing. After all the misconceptions are swept away. After all that we’ve ever believed in has been stripped from us. Our dignity ripped from us. Our health taken from us. Our finances, our jobs, our homes, our families, all that we have put faith in before—gone! What is left? A step in one direction or another. A step back that is bitter and cold. A step to retreat into ourselves that is angry and dark. A step that is harsh and hurts to the core and pain that never goes away, like an ache for home but never being able to go home. OR a step into the before now, unknown. A step that says “I can’t feel God, I don’t know where God is, I don’t even know if He’s real anymore but I’m going to choose to believe He is there.” “In spite of all I “feel” in my emotions, if I’m going to err one way or another, I’m going to err on the side of God. If He’s not real, I haven’t lost anything, I just gained joy and a sense of peace. If He is real and I chose not to believe, I’ve lost everything.”

The Bible tells us (Romans 12:3) that everyone has a “measure” of faith.  Hebrews 11:3 says that by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by God. We weren’t there to see it happen. We didn’t witness it. We don’t even know how it happened, but we believe it happened because we choose to. I Peter 1:7 tells us that these trials come so that our faith, which is of much greater value than gold (because gold will melt in the fire even though it is refined by fire), will be proved genuine. James 1:3 tells us that the “trying” of our faith produces patience; it develops perseverance and determination. And that perseverance makes us mature and complete, not lacking anything. And finally, 2 Corinthians tells us that we must walk by faith and not by sight. How are we to know how to walk, to be complete or to persevere if we don’t know what faith is?

Faith is not just seeing the result of your prayers being answered. Faith is keeping on walking and believing when you can’t see any change. The “result” of this walking by faith is a changing on the inside of us. It’s a transformation that happens on the soul level. No one can produce it for you, it’s choosing to keep walking despite the continued darkness.  There is light at the end of this tunnel!!! Just don’t stop walking. Keep holding on.

So, my friend… “how do you get back to the faith you had when you felt that your soul was at peace and you knew God was with you?” You chose it. You chose to believe. Then Peace comes, because He’s been there all the time.

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