Written By Edna Ho, Malaysia
Six years after accepting Christ, one would reasonably expect me to have progressed in my faith. I should have become a spiritual giant without doubts or questions regarding Christianity—be it the Trinity or the virgin birth. But I haven’t. In these six years with God, I’ve encountered various moments that made me question my faith. While deep down in my heart I still believe there’s a God and that the way to heaven is found only through Christ, at times I lose heart and waver. In these moments, even the rich stories of the Bible and the foundational doctrines of Christianity seem distant and unreal.
My faith is challenged whenever I feel like I’ve failed God and He is displeased with me. Maybe I don’t spend enough quality time thinking about God or fail to put Him first in everything I do. I beat myself up in guilt whenever I start questioning whether He cares. Yet every single time, God comes through for me. Not always immediately, but eventually, in His own time. He has lifted me up from the pit of doubt in various ways.
Once, when I doubted His love for me, my church friend appeared at school, bringing me all my favorite foods. She told me God had prompted her to buy those items. Initially reluctant to stop, she prayed for a parking space in front of the supermarket. Providentially enough, a car reversed out of the parking lot right in front of her. She went in and grabbed all the food she saw, and to her surprise (and mine), they were my favorites.
Another way God assures me of His presence is through songs (even non-Christian ones). During times of doubt, God sends me particular songs that speak right to my heart and give me courage to believe again. After the recent Chinese New Year holiday, I was reluctant to leave my beloved hometown and family and head back to school (in a different state), knowing that my faith wasn’t as strong as it should have been. I was on my way to the airport with my parents when I heard Celine Dion’s song, “That’s the way it is” playing over the radio. I’ve always enjoyed that song but for some reason, I paid extra attention to the words that day. Tears streamed down my face as I realized God was using the song to speak to me, reminding me that He loved me and wanted me to persevere in my faith.
God has spoken to me through a devotional, Jesus Today, by Sarah Young. At the time, I was so devastated by events in my life, I felt I couldn’t find rest physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. I asked God why I always had to face the hard road in life, while other Christians seemed to have the easier path. A sentence from that day’s devotion came to mind: “Trust Me here and now. You are on a rigorous training—on an adventurous trail designed for you alone.” I felt instantly encouraged and knew that while God had permitted difficulties in my life, I wasn’t walking alone.
The apostle Paul mentions in Galatians 5:16–17 that there are two opposite forces always at work whenever we want to grow in God, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” We need God’s mercy and grace every day.
Fortunately, God promises us that His love will never cease and His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22–23). Let us surrender our struggles to God and depend on Him totally. Let us ask our heavenly Father to keep us from growing disillusioned and to keep our spiritual senses sensitive to Him. May the Lord bless us and keep us. Amen.