Faith for Tough Times
By Jill Briscoe
Who doesn’t know what it’s like to go through tough times? For me the trust issue is usually foremost in my mind when a tough thing happens. I panic because I battle an instant lack of trust. I know Jesus said, “According to your faith be it unto you!” So if I have little faith, does that mean there will be few answers to my urgent prayers? Is the outcome of the situation dependent on how well I trust or pray?
I need to remind myself it is not the urgency, intensity, or the volume of my praying that is going to make the difference. In fact, prayer is valid not because of my expertise in the matter, but because of the object of my prayers—the One I am praying to! It’s not my prayers that can do anything, but it is prayer that links me to the One who can.
Not that He does not look to us to see faith about the tough situation, but little faith will do for a start. The intent of the heart is shaped into words understood in the Throne room.
Not long ago, I was wondering how to Do Today. Fear or a lack of faith robs today of its strength. How was I to get on with life? I was in a tough time. So I figured it out, and wrote about it:
Have you ever had a time in your life when you couldn’t face what the day would bring?
I have—like today…
Then you go to the deep place where nobody goes.
He who has already visited all my tomorrows knows what today will bring forth—He is not totally intimidated—bowed over, bent down like a sheaf of grain in a wind storm.
How do I “Do today Lord? It’s too long, too hard.”
“Life won’t go on without You.”
“But I can’t do today!
Pain takes my breath.
The things that matter most to me are crumbling - Help!”
“I am here. Come.”
“But I can’t do today.”
“I’m not God.”
“That’s the problem. I AM.”
“I believe—a little.”
“But, I can’t do today—even half a day - I feel old and sort of used up!”
“Do this minute.”
“I don’t think…”
“Yes, you can. You can do the next minute—try.”
“Count - one…two…three…”
“Now the next one.”
“I have counted out your moments and your days already.”
“But that first sixty seconds lasted so long.”
“This time stop counting and read a verse of Scripture instead.”
“Fill the minute thinking about Me.”
Then I read Job 5:26.
“You will come to the grave in full vigor like sheaves gathered in season.”
“Lord, I feel beaten down like a sheaf in a wind storm.”
“Here comes the sun. You and I will “Do today” together.”
Then I put my hand into His and counting hard ‘did’ today!
“Lord of all my yesterdays and tomorrows, help me to ‘Do today.’ My sheaf bends in the wind.”
“Till I gather you into My barn, you must bend in the winds that come, for you must stand in the field until its time, till it’s your season. It will not blow so hard today. In the respite wait patiently. Rest. One day ‘today’ as I intended it, will come to be.”
Then I began to climb the steps from the deep place where nobody goes, to the shallow place where everyone lives, and found “today” happening. I counted a step and tried to think of a promise. On the alternate step I said loudly, “I believe!” And when I just couldn’t take another step, I breathed - “Help thou mine unbelief!” He did. He will, of course! This is how trust is grown.
It’s all right to start with little steps of trust. We can all do that. With each small step there will be strength waiting for the next one!