The Curious Blend of Faith and Anxiety
It's OK to Question God During Tough Times
I am one of those people that generally has a sunny disposition and optimistic outlook. However, facing times such as unemployment, having disagreements with co-workers, and dealing with a stubborn spouse cause me to be stressed. I realize that each situation and each person requires a different approach, but treating each person and situation requires effort, energy, and the choice to resolve the issue.
There will always be people that are much worse off than me. People that have suffered tragedies, lost children and homes. There is always someone that has much more difficult circumstances. There is always someone that needs more and has less. There are people that I could be helping instead of worrying about my problems. Try to keep a perspective of what has happened, and knowing there are future opportunities. There are better days ahead.
I don't want to question my faith, but there are days that it nags me. I believe that God's word has been valid since the moment he spoke it into existence. I believe that it never changes, never wavers, never negotiates, never quits, never fails. Therefore my faith in his Word should never quit, never be questioned and there is no room to negotiate. Doubting myself is one thing, but I don't want to doubt my creator.
Do Not Be Afraid
This morning as I paced through my home, I prayed out loud to a God that I consider to be holy and filled with love and is very much alive. I believe that he hears my prayer and understands my needs. As I began to pray, I noticed a common theme regarding fear. I decided to record my prayer and this is how it went.
God, your word says, "Fear Not."
Your word is alive.
Your word is well.
Your word is holy.
Your word says, "Do not be afraid."
Your word says, "I Am."
Your word says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega."
Your word says, "I am the author and finisher of your faith."
Your word says, "Come to me."
Your word says, "Do not be afraid."
Your word says, "I am your provider."
Your word says, "Do not worry."
Your word says, "Fear not."
Your word says, "I knew you before I formed you in the womb."
Your word says, "I know you so well that I know the number of hairs on your head."
Your word is intimate.
Your word is true.
Your word is lovely.
Your word says, "Fear not."
God, help me to be spiritually fearless in this time of financial uncertainty, and this season of unemployment. Father, God, I ask that you would bless me financially. I ask Father, God - for a job. I ask that you would help me to be diligent. I ask you to help keep me on track and guide me. I ask you to open doors for me. I ask you to hold me, I ask you to comfort me. I ask for peace in this time of fear, which does not come from you. Fear comes from this world. I just ask that you would give me spiritual fearlessness and an overwhelming faith. And surround me with people Father God that would encourage me, lift me up. Your word says Fear Not. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid.
Have you ever leaned on your faith during difficult times?
Clothed in Beauty
When things are going well, it's easy to let go of part of our relationship with God. When we have a paycheck, good health, money in the bank and healthy children we don't lean on him nearly as much.
I don't use God as a crutch. I don't think it works that way. But in times such as this, I find that my faith is renewed. It's renewed because faith is easier to deal with than fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Scripture reminds us in Matthew 6:25:34 that the birds of the air don't worry. The grass of the fields don't worry. We aren't supposed to worry about food or clothing or our bodies, or even what we drink.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
I know this. I have a closet full of clothes, and I will not go hungry anytime soon. If I have to move, as a last resort, then I plan to be ready for that day.
I believe that worry can add take life off our years and steal our joy. We gain nothing from fear, and this is one of those 'lean-on' chapters for me.
God is My Provider
God says that the pagans run after those things. But he also knows that pagans have the same needs as everyone else. They also need food, shelter and clothing. The difference that God wants us to understand is that he provides all those things, even for the pagans. They may run after those things, but we are instructed first to seek God and his kingdom if we want these things. If we are patient, faithful and worry free those things are provided to us. We don't take them by force.
Ask. Trust. Wait.
There are times when we need for our faith to increase and the only way for that to happen is to ask God, trust God and wait on God.
He is faithful.
His word is true.
His word is just.
My hope is in him and I know that my prayer has been heard. My job is to remember his words, trust in his promises and continue to move forward with my job search and know that the path before me has been carefully and wonderfully constructed by him. The next opportunity will be better than the last one. The next offer will be an opportunity for me to learn and apply new skills. Waiting is hard, but trust in the blessing.
© 2014 Michelle Orelup