Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hope When Your Faith is Faltering

I smile as I think of you, my sisters serving in different ministries on different parts of the globe.  You are caring for children, cooking, cleaning, teaching, discipling, leading Bible studies, and supporting your husbands. You are amazing. 

I know Paul was describing you when he said, “We always thank God for all of you…We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith,  your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 1:3) Our service is motivated by faith, hope, and love, but I have to tell you sisters, my faith is flagging before the new challenge I’m facing. 

Three years ago my husband and I started the biggest faith adventure of our lives.  As if working 8 years in the Middle East wasn’t challenging enough, the Lord asked us to leave the comfortable fellowship we were a part of and start a new church with one other couple.

We had great faith expectations, but none of us had the slightest idea what we were getting ourselves into! 

The first year almost no locals came to our meetings. We spent most Sundays looking at that one couple sitting across from us in our living room.  By God’s grace, we kept going, and now three years later, we have a close knit team of 4 families, two local families, and a growing community of contacts that visit our fellowship. 

We are standing on the brink of another challenge. We need to rent a public meeting place for our church. The obstacles include fundraising and getting legal permission from the government. Although I’ve seen God do many great things in the past, once again I find my faith faltering.

Do you ever feel your faith crumbling when you face challenges like these?

  • Cross-cultural adaptation
  • Language learning
  • People who are closed to the gospel
  • Husbands on the verge of burn-out
  • Struggling Children
  • Financial issues
  • Sickness
  • Depression

Any time we face challenges, doubt comes creeping in.   “You won’t be able to raise the money.” “Your kids are not thriving here.” “That friend you’re praying for will never place her faith in Christ.” I need God to renew my faith each day, so I’m going to take two baby steps: 

1. Ask God to increase my faith. 

I love the prayer in Mark 9: “I believe! Help my unbelief!” I can so relate. Lately I’ve been asking God to increase my faith, and He’s answering me! It’s a no-brainer, but I don’t always think to pray for more faith.

2. Keep Reading God’s Word. 

Romans says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Nothing renews my mind like God’s Word, so I’m sticking with it. I’m going to read it, memorize it, and proclaim it. I’m going to stand on it and pray it.

Whatever faith challenge you are facing, dear sister, will you joing me in continuing to walk forward? If you like, share your challenge in the comment box, so we can pray for each other.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)


  1. great words of encouragement... thanks for these, Betsy. our challenge right now is knowing the path and the timing for the future. we've already been 4 years now wondering what's next and when and if even the short term plans we've made would last. we are asking the Lord for clear vision and direction so we can feel like we can start moving forward instead of holding the status quo... waiting...

    1. I will pray for you today, Richelle. I think you're on furlough right now. Those in between waiting times are hard.

  2. We are also waiting, striving to attune our hearts and ears to the Word. My husband and I feel it's time to leave our home here in Accra after 3 years but what is next and when it's coming is yet to be decided. Also hard is waiting on our roles with the mission to be filled or restructured with existing staff. I love the simplicity of the two steps you suggest- and how clearly the Word supports them. I'm going to refocus on reading, memorizing, proclaiming, standing and praying this week. Thanks!

  3. Blessings and grace to you while you wait, Sara.

  4. I keep meaning to comment on this post, but we've been in the midst of so many trials that I've been very out of the loop as far as all internet things are considered. =) I really appreciated your post. Thankfully, for the first time in many months, we're now enjoying the storm coming to a calm, but we've had so many challenges going on (car accident, major fraud, sleepless baby, illness, ministry challenges, troubles with nationals school, a child dealing with cultural stress and difficult emotions....) and I too have been praying for faith and in need of the Word to stay hopeful and with the right perspective. God has been so faithful amidst all of these trials, and I am truly praising Him that our family has remained strong during this time because of Him. Though I am only commenting today, I have read your post several times and appreciate the encouragement to persevere in seeking the Lord amidst overwhelming trial.Thank you!

  5. Reading your blogs is like a mini visit. I'm studying for boards and our oldest will need to start college tests in the spring too…along with waiting to hear about our adoption referral I'm doing a lot of praying for increased faith and patience. Happy New Year and keep writing.