How do I maintain faith while feeling lost?
I have faith and I trust God, but I’m feeling so lost.
As a believer of many years, I have never doubted God’s existence. I’ve seen His hand in my life far too many times to doubt His presence.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I find it rather simple to believe in God. What I’ve found to be challenging is maintaining biblical faith in a broken world.
How do you maintain faith after a positive pregnancy test quickly becomes a miscarriage?
How do you maintain hope and trust when you feel like all you do is work only to still struggle to make ends meet?
How do you maintain faith when a loved one unexpectedly passes away, your marriage is rocky, and you get bad news from the doctor? The potential hurts in this world can feel endless.
The simplest answer, run to God. Run to His feet and lay all your worries, fears, hurt and resentment there. Pray fervently for peace which passes all understanding.
Yet, anyone who has felt broken and lost in this world can tell you that the simplest answer feels anything but simple.
5 Ways To Find Faith When You Feel Lost
As I write this, I’m slowly coming out of a season of deep hurt. Hurts that will never truly be gone this side of heaven and can only be managed in His grace and mercy.
I know that feeling of wanting deeper faith during trials but hearing or reading all the ‘Christian’ suggestions and thinking they must not truly know deep pain.
I won’t say if you do these 5 things you will for sure feel the dark cloud lift. However, I will say that God is who He says He is and nothing is so deeply hurt that He can’t help.
#1: Pray And Ask For Prayers
Often, when we feel lost we may want to pray but we don’t know where to begin. We open our mouths, we let our thoughts run in our heads, and we just feel too broken to come before God.
Our culture likes to tell us that if we work hard, if we’re kind and if we make good choices our lives should go well. Certainly, there are circumstances brought on by our choices, but not every trial, not every challenge is at all related to being unwise.
God is very clear we will experience hardships:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Sometimes what keeps us from going to God in prayer is we believe we deserve these trials. We think a lack of faith caused our sweet little one to die. We think we didn’t pray enough and that’s why our marriage is rocky. If it’s our fault, how can we seek the Lord for help?
Regardless of why you’re feeling lost, God is very clear we can always come to Him in prayer. Jesus overcame the world by being our sacrifice for sins and all we must do is believe in Him. Jesus tore the veil, nothing can keep us from approaching God. Regardless of how you ended up in your current trial, run to Him in prayer.
Can’t think of what to say? God hears your heart.
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weakness. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” – Romans 8:26
When you don’t know what to say, cry out to Him, He hears you.
When you find praying for yourself too difficult, ask others to also pray for you. If you’re open about your struggles, share them. If you’re not, that’s okay too, just ask for prayers. Asking for prayer from fellow believers can be a vital part of maintaining faith. He provides us with peace which passes all understanding and sometimes that comes from others praying for us.
“…pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
#2: Read Psalms
When I was experiencing a particularly challenging season a friend responded, “You know, I don’t know what to say to help…but read through some Psalms.”
As mentioned above, our culture, even some modern Christian cultures, likes to tell us to focus on good, have faith, work hard and our lives should go well.
Reading through many chapters in Psalms is a clear reminder of what a walk with God can look like. There are trials, moments of deep hurt and even moments of deep depression. However, we can always cry out to God and He is faithful.
Sometimes these moments are the results of poor choices, sometimes it’s the enemy, and sometimes it’s just symptoms of a broken world.
Regardless of the whys, many Psalms are a clear picture of what our walk may be like. It’s easy to praise Him during good times, but often in Psalms we see praise mixed with groanings and questions.
Being reminded that someone as faithful as David could walk through deep darkness can help us remember that God is faithful even in this broken world. He redeems all, but that doesn’t mean we will have an easy life earth side. The many Psalmists had tremendous faith but still experienced moments of darkness.
Psalm 102 the author is clearly experiencing trials and not feeling immediate relief. This is the very opposite of what we hear about having faith and the prosperity gospel.
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, And let my cry come to You.
Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble;
Incline your ear to me;
In the day that I call, answer me speedily.
For my days are consumed like smoke,
And my bones are burned like a hearth.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass,
So that I forget to eat my bread.” – Psalm 102:1-4
Do not hide Your face from me – in the midst of deep hurt, it can feel as though God isn’t near. It can feel like He isn’t listening.
These Psalms don’t end without hope. There’s praise and hope despite the trials. There’s a reliance on God’s promises and character. These promises sustain us when His ways and timing don’t make sense to us.
“But You are the same, And Your years have no end.
The children of Your servants will continue,
And their descendants will be established before You.” Psalm 102:27-28
Spending time being reminded of God’s faithfulness to His people even in trial can help you find faith. You can read that it’s okay to approach God in pain, with questions, and even when you feel abandoned. You can see that He remains faithful to be an ever-present help in trouble. Sometimes He scoops us out of the fire, other times He’s there helping us through it.
#3: Focus On God’s Character, Not Your Circumstances
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in our hurt and begin questioning the character of God. If we look only at our circumstances it’s easy to think God chose not to step in and our lives are unnecessarily hard.
However, if we focus on His true character by reading the truths in the Bible, we can trust that while life is hard, He genuinely loves us and has a plan for our lives. We can trust that all things eventually work out the best possible way (sometimes we see that earth side, sometimes we won’t see that until heaven).
Take time to meditate on scripture that shows God’s character. Focus on the truth that God loves you unconditionally and He gave His own Son so that you might fellowship with Him.
Here are just a few truths about God:
- Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. – Psalm 147:5
- He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His Wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. – Jeremiah 10:12
- For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
- God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1
- God is not man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good? – Numbers 23:19
- Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. – Psalm 116:5
- Even the youths shall faint and be weary, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
- For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. – John 3:16
God is all powerful. His timing is perfect, even when it seems long. He is gracious and merciful. He doesn’t promise an easy life, but he does promise us strength and rest in Him. He loves us so much that He willingly gave His own Son.
As a mother to an infant son who passed away, even though I know he woke up in glory, I can’t fathom choosing, willingly choosing, to allow and watch my child pass. His love for us is remarkable.
#4: Embrace The Trial
Seriously, I’m hurt and you’re telling me to embrace the pain?
I get it, I’m human and I don’t want anyone to tell me that everything happens for a reason when I’m in deep pain. I don’t want anyone telling me that God allowed my infant to die so I need to just embrace His will. Our hearts, our minds, we can’t comprehend the whys of this broken world.
For the record, I don’t believe God did this awful thing in my life. I believe we’re in a broken world. A broken world means pain and death.
The reality, God is good. His ways are not our ways. He loves us, He protects us, He comforts us. However, in this broken world we will be hurt. Sin allows disease, harm, and trials. Sometimes He quickly plucks us out of the trial, sometimes He’s with us guiding us through it.
God promises us all things will be redeemed, but not always how we think it should happen. Sometimes a situation is redeemed during this life. Sometimes it isn’t redeemed in a way we understand until heaven.
Nonetheless, God is faithful.
What do I mean by embrace the trial? I’m not suggesting you pretend it doesn’t hurt. I’m not suggesting you be happy about your life falling apart.
What I am suggesting is that you embrace God’s promises. Accept that these circumstances, though awful, aren’t beyond God’s ability to comfort you. Accept that there is always something to be learned through hardship.
Accept that you are reliant on God to get through this experience. That you need Him every hour. That only He can give true comfort and peace. When you rely fully on God, your faith increases because He is faithful.
The Bible is clear that we will have hardships. It’s also very clear that God is faithful and will sustain us through them. No, it may not be easy, but with Him we can get through anything.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13
We may face persecution for our faith, but few of us in the west will experience anything like the apostles faced. Perhaps our trial isn’t related to persecution mentioned in these verses, but the God who helped the apostles can help you too.
#5: Look To Heaven And Eternity
If I rely only on what I see in front of me for faith, well my faith is not going to grow. If I read God’s promises and expect them to happen today, tomorrow, or for sure earth side, I’m going to lose faith.
Why? Because many of God’s promises are given with the context of eternity and heaven. Yes, God is amazing and sometimes we see that in parted seas. However, sometimes His faithfulness in someone’s life is peace and comfort through trials until that person goes to heaven.
I don’t know the plan God has for your life. I don’t know what your trials are like. I don’t know how deeply hurt you are. What I do know is that God holds you in His hands. I know that sometimes He will pluck you from deep pain. I know that if He doesn’t pluck you immediately out of a trial He is faithful to be your comfort.
Above all, I know that His promises are true. I know without a doubt all of His promises will be seen by you when you wake in glory. If you hold tight and look to heaven, if you live thinking of eternity, your faith can continue to grow despite earthly trials.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. – 1 Peter 1:3-9
Still struggling to understand faith when you’re feeling lost? Be sure to read 5 Things Every Mom Needs To Remember About God’s Character.