Holding fast to faith even when life seems to be “falling apart”
This is my story – a story of faith
Alright, so this is my story – a story of faith. A story in which I once spoke in faith about how my life was going to be. And a story that ended up just as I said it would.
A testimony of faith
I was at a turning point in my life. For as long as I could remember, I had always had a great love for God, but I felt like I kept coming short in almost every aspect of my Christian life. Then, when I turned 18, I had the opportunity to move far away from home. I experienced a great year in a community with many other believers and people who love God with all their hearts. This made a strong impression on me, and as time went on, I was deeply affected by the lives I saw them living and knew that I wanted the same – a life in peace and rest and full of joy in all life’s circumstances.
Then one day at church, we heard about God’s thoughts toward us. (Jeremiah 29:11.) We were encouraged to come up front and speak in faith – prophetically – about how it would go in our life from now on. (Ezekiel 37: 1-14.) I was shaking, my hands were sweaty, and I was afraid to go up and testify. But deep within me something really powerful was telling me that not testifying would be the same as not believing – and how would things turn out then? So, trembling, I went up to testify and said in faith: “No matter what comes upon my way I will always put my trust in God. He will transform my life and no matter what happens I will stay inof the living God.”
These were strong words, but they were words given by God in that moment, so I had faith that they were true.
A tested faith
Not long after that I had to move to another city. It didn’t take long for very hard trials to show up. Depression struck me very hard. I spent months and months with very little social interaction and on top of that my family situation got extremely difficult. I had to go through many experiences that caused me a lot of pain.
As the days went by, things didn’t seem to get any better and I hit rock bottom. But it was there when “my mouth was put into the dust” that I found a hint of hope. (Lamentations 3:29.) In the midst of it all, I chose to believe. I didn’t feel great, but I loved God so much that I truly believed in Him and that “all things were working for my very best.” (Romans 8:28.) So, despite the fact that I did feel awful about my situation, I made the conscious decision that I was going to choose faith and hope, even when it seemed like there wasn't any. (Romans 4:18.)
Sometime afterwards, a friend found out about my situation and he reached out to help me. In one of the Christian gatherings we went to I heard something that hit home. They spoke about the spirit of prophecy and how powerful it is. Then they invited us to testify in that spirit. In that moment I remembered what I had once testified. I knew I had to go up and speak again, because I realized that up until that moment, God had been fulfilling what I once prophesied! I truly believed that all the things I was going through were part of God’s plan to transform me.
More and more He was showing me that my outward situations didn’t matter as long as I took things in the right way. That it was my own thoughts of what life should be like that I needed to overcome, trusting in God that His way for my life is perfect. Then I learned to give thanks for everything, pray without ceasing, no complaints and no wishing for or wanting better outward situations, imagining that would make me happy. And when I take Him at His word then I receive the life I once longed for. A life of inner joy and rest – the life of Christ. That was theHe was doing. So I stood up and spoke again in the spirit of faith.
“And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak.” 2 Corinthians 4:13.
A living faith
I discovered that faith doesn’t mean that I have to feel great. Faith is simply a decision I make when I am tempted – it is to believe in God’s word and not in my own abilities, feelings, and reasoning. It’s an action. One that leads me to rest and peace. It has nothing to do with good feelings. Many times I was in pain and my soul was troubled. (Psalm 6:3; John 12:27.) I was broken down and had to rely solely on God for help. For many days and nights I couldn’t even sleep. But I never stopped believing. I was strongly tempted to doubt, but I didn’t give in. When, for example, I was tempted to thoughts of envy, despair or complaining, I cried out to God and He gave me power to take those thoughts captive and not let them decide my future.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. When I started taking God’s word just as it’s written, I realized that I could also speak faith to myself when I was alone. I don’t need to have a preacher with me all day to hear God’s word. I have His word in the Bible. So I can speak His word out loud to myself again and again, so that faith comes into my heart.
Myagainst despair, depression, discouragement, envy, self-pity, hopelessness, etc. hasn’t stopped since I first testified. But I have found that if I set my mind on the things above, nothing on this earth can shake my faith.
We can overcome all things through Jesus and by the word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:11.) It’s true; this has been my experience. And from now on I also want to speak faith to myself in other areas in my life. First and foremost when I am alone, but also when others are around me.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.