How to Keep Faith in Tough Times

by Jen on May 10, 2010

keeping your faith in tough timesIn good times it’s easy to talk about faith. It’s easy to see why we believe and encourage others to “keep the faith” when they’re feeling down. So how about periods of prolonged suffering or surprise attacks? How do we keep the faith in tough times?

I pondered this question just yesterday. After a long stint of peace and tranquility, yesterday proved challenging with flaring emotions, less-than-graceful communication and the temptation to — yet again — go over details. With all the reading, all the praying and all the practice, yesterday was overwhelming, and I found myself begging God to drop me a line.

Nothing happened. I prayed over and over for Him to bring relief and change the scene. Nothing. I felt discouraged, depressed… and impatient. Why wasn’t He answering my prayers? Why wasn’t He showing Himself? And then I remembered something: We grow in our faith, and it takes time. The struggle strengthens us.

Keeping Faith

Our faith isn’t tested in the good times; our faith is tested during trials and times of challenge. When we ask, “Where are you, God?” and hear crickets chirping, that’s when we’re left to decide. Will we believe anyway–cultivating a more mature faith? Or will we decide He’s not there, falling back on all the voices we’ve heard in the past?

Sometimes we can see the temptation at work in these moments; sometimes we can’t. We take forward steps and backward steps (and side steps and missteps), but we’re growing when our number of forward steps become greater.

3 Ways to Keep the Faith Right Now

1. Lean Into the Faith You Have
Choose to remain faithful when there is no visible finish line and no feeling of relief. Lean into it and bear through the discomfort that comes from trusting in what you cannot see. It’s not taking a risk–it’s strengthening your faith. Think of a yoga stretch or new skill; getting to the next level requires a time of discomfort while pushing forward. You will feel (and eventually see) the difference. “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12)

2. Pray for Strength and Guidance
During the discomfort, pray that God guides your steps and keeps you strong. Temptation will sway in and out to mislead and falsely appease you, but pray right through it. “Watch and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

And if you fall for it… which we all do at times… start again. Keep choosing God over and over and over.

3. Remain Planted in Good Soil
When you feel the struggle heavy on your back, bury yourself in more good soil. Pop into a church before starting the day, read the Bible, put some encouraging messages where you can see them, attend a service, watch an online sermon, ask someone you love to pray with you and meditate on positive thoughts. As my husband tells me, stay in the Word. The tough times will hit us, but we are living for something bigger.

“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:15)

Blessings to you this week!

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Krista May 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

This really hit home. In dealing with a life treatening time in my life, it was so hard with a husband and daughter to imagine not being here for them. And then I decided I am not going to let it get me down, I am going to keep on fighting and Keep the faith. I did just that, I prayed before every surgery and every treatment I had thereafter. I prayed for answers, but there is no one going to give answers, you just have to continue to put our faith in something bigger that we can even grasp.
I am doing better now and my outlook on life has completely changed. Life is too short to not make the most of every day. Don’t hold grudges, make enemies, its a waste of energy. Smile, Love, Laugh and Believe.

Jennifer Johns May 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Krista, you are an endless inspiration. You have always been strong and courageous, but your experience has taken “keeping the faith” to a whole new level. You are blessed. I love you so much!


Misty Blair May 11, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Jen you are a breath of fresh air. Thank you for doing these writings. You have taught me so much in such a small amount of time. Thank you. Love you.

Stacy May 12, 2010 at 7:06 am

What a great site you have! I love it! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to reading yours regularly.

Devon May 12, 2010 at 10:36 am

This website is a welcoming place for people to understand and accept life experiences . Looking forward to more updates

Spirit May 12, 2010 at 10:40 am

You are oooozing inspiration!!!! I actually read one of your blogs on a site that led me here. Our footsteps are ordered, and I am thankful for that. Because I just recently decided to trust God, regardless!!!! I had to understand, that it does not matter what I am going through, HE IS WITH ME!!!! So why fret and worry? I will be taking notes from your site because your writing causes me to want to “act”. Thank you so very much.

Jennifer Johns May 12, 2010 at 11:24 am

Misty — Thanks so much for your encouragement. It’s fulfilling to reflect on what God’s doing in our lives! I’m just a recorder 🙂 xoxo

Thanks Stacy! Looking forward to reading more from you too… it’s amazing how the spirit works through us all to share the message.

Devon, thank you. You inspire me with your determination to put your book together and share a good message with families. Praying for all success!

Wow, Spirit, your comment has inspired me — if we know He is with us, why fret and worry? Every day we have to realign ourselves and remember to trust. Trust that there’s a bigger picture and a GOODNESS behind it we cannot yet fully fathom. Blessings to you for sharing your encouragement today!

Vinu Jacob April 13, 2012 at 2:57 am

Your writings on “How to keep faith in tough times” literally gave me exactly a solution that I was searching for, especially the 3 ways to keep right faith. This, I believe, has happened because God’s presence seems to be with you and wants me to know HIM more. I thank you very much for your encouragement to people. God Bless You and Your Family.

Vicky January 9, 2013 at 4:06 am

I been going threw something unbelivable for so many years.praying for a way out but im still going threw right to this day.I prayed and prayed and I notice as I prayed GOD has been giving me a inner peace I cant explain even though im going threw.

tom keats January 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I’ve been goingg trough a rough time. I to have been cryingg outt to the Lord. It seems He’s not listening at all but I know He’s there. I’m so scared that my marraige is over. My wife who is a Christian asked me to leave and dumb me left, and after almost two months I’ve received a separation agreement to sign. What am I to do. Get a lawyer and fight or give her what she wants. I need wisdom from God so badly but I can’t seem to hear Him and what He requires of me. I love her and think she’s making a big mistake. She says God told her to do it so we can grow closer to Him. She’s not crazy, and I know she ‘s seeking God but feel the enimy has tricked her with his lies. I try to talk the truth to her to no avail. Please can someone pray. My wifes name is Judy

Jennifer Johns January 13, 2013 at 5:09 pm

@Vicky — Thank you for sharing this. I’ve heard of people going through extremely trying times and growing closer to God in the process. Refinement? Spiritual warfare? God bless you sister. You’ll be in our prayers. We read a book called “The Life You’re Fighting For” by James Robison, and it might be applicable, though I’m not sure.

@Tom — I’m sorry to hear about the current situation with you and Judy. First and foremost, we are praying for you both, that the Lord will direct your paths according to His perfect will and bless you both with merciful and forgiving hearts, filled with His wisdom and love. Something that comes to mind personally is to seek counsel from your pastor and guidance from godly men you know and trust. Also, my husband and I attended Weekend to Remember recently and it was unbelievable. Many couples go as a last resort before divorce; others go to strengthen already thriving marriage. Testimony:

Here are bible verses about seeking counsel:
James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” With that said, sometimes He uses other people to help you in this process.

A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. (Proverbs 1:5)

The naive believes everything, but the prudent man considers his steps. (Proverbs 14:15)

Darla January 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Jen, I haven’t been having anywhere near a life threatening problem. Just a little emotional situation and a daughter in college who is becoming more independent and making her own choices. Not to mention it’s that time in my life where my hormones are outta whack. But still, with a lot of changes going on in my life I have been finding it harder and harder to trust that God has my best interests in mind. Sometimes it feels like He is just punishing me because I have been bad or something. I feel God trying to stretch me in new directions to help me to grow in my faith and understanding, and this article I think is Him telling me that that’s what He is doing. It seems to be a recurring theme in all my Bible study as of late. Thank you for doing His work. We all need to hear it. I hope I see it’s truth soon. Lord bless you.

bob February 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Tom Keats I said a prayer or you. Things will get better.Trust me….

Dani February 27, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Tom I just prayed for you and your wife Judy . Do not fret The Lord is with the both of you, have faith and trust in his majesty. He will never leave you of forsake you. !

Anthony March 7, 2013 at 11:26 am

Three years later… Still good valuable guidance!!! Thanks, I needed this. 🙂

Ngaba Paul March 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I am presently going through the greatest deal I have ever had in my life. Being away from family and friends, miles away… and not being able to follow uo studies judiciously because of lack of adequate finances..but from the moment i read this, I felt so inspired and motivated, i´l keep the faith and plead you also pray for me …Actualy, there is a software course which i want to do but do not have enought finances to do it but i trust and beleive strongly that God will make a way, not only in this issue, but in the success of life as an entirety…

Steven Hall April 19, 2013 at 12:45 am

Hello brothers and sisters. My name is Steven and I’m going through a hard time. I’m 20 years old and I have been with the same girl for almost 4 years. I have had previous girlfriends but I have never been as serious or felt this type of connection I have with this girl I’m with now. We are currently on break and I have been praying daily. I’m afraid of losing her and I think her problem is that she is dwelling on her past with her previous boyfriends that have done he wrong. I honestly think it’s the enemy trying to make me lose faith. Y’all know how the enemy works. When you have a good thing he will try and take it away. I’m just asking for prayer to bring us back together as boyfriend and girlfriend and have a stronger relationship. My girlfriend name is Lakayla. Thank you guys.

Vannessa June 11, 2013 at 6:42 am

I’m 25 years old.I’m facing trying times. It’s not the worse but I’m in a storm. It’s been hard for me as far as I can remember I feel alone and I know God is with me all the way through but this time I feel afar. I’m in an underpaid job while some of my friends are making more than what I am making. The economy in getting a better job is very slim. I have no one to rely on for a thing and I realize that I am thinking or doing things that is against God. I feel so alone please pray for me.

Goodnews micheal June 17, 2013 at 7:45 am

Am going thru a hard time dt every thing seems not 2 be working out 4 me and my family, we have been encountering disappointments, our rent has not been paid! My children schooll fees has not been paid, not to talk about feeding. I will not say that God has giving up on us, I belive is a had time dt I will surely testify 2 the goodness nd glory of God.

Rachel Bolton July 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I have been looking for a job for there years, and I continue to get interviews but I also continue to get rejection after rejection. I keep praying and asking God for help but I am still unemployes. I get depressed and have suicidal thoughts sometimes. I don’t what to do.

Sharon Smith July 20, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Rachel, hold on to God’s unchanging hand, and know that you Will get what you need.

curtisham September 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm

This really helped a lot. I started to give up on faith and my kids, didn’t know what to except the pain im going threw or the fact that I’m giving up. It just seems like I’m in it alone and there’s no one out there with the same problem I have. Thanks a lot this help for sure. but there’s still a small portion of me still questioning my faith. I need help please.

Peace February 4, 2014 at 7:57 pm

It doesn’t matter if the whole world is coming against me; if God is with us who can be against us? I am a child of the living God and I’ll rejoice. No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper, this is my heritage. I am a child of the Living God!

Madisyn February 7, 2014 at 11:33 am

this really helped me. i am in a tough and was starting to loose faith but after I read this I knew I could do it. thanks

Brenda April 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

I so needed this. I just typed in how do you keep the faith when everything around you is falling apart. And your website was the first to come up. I’m truly blessed by this reading. I that whole keeping the faith section. I pray and cry and pray. I search my life and see if I’m doing something that made God step aside I beat myself complete up and still know not why I like God can’t hear me. I thank God for placing you in my life at this time. And may He continue to use you to bless other who may be feeling like I was. I feel like God just started speaking to me again.

Deonte' "ChinaBoy" Maxwell April 9, 2014 at 9:38 am

I find myself losing my faith in god alot, I use to say all the time my mother had all the answers but I had to understand that, the lord and savior is the answer, I’am going thru so much right now and it’s my fault because I put myself here and all I can feel is that man upstairs showing me everything where I went wrong, I have to tighten up with god and keep my eyes on Jesus because if I don’t I will fail. I understand that he can take something right away from you if you don’t give him time, I understand that god does talks to me, I can’t see him but I can feel the spirit, and know that it’s him in my conscious. I will for sure take heed of everything you mention in keeping your faith in god this really helped me out. Thank

percy burnett August 5, 2015 at 10:48 am

I really thank God keeping me in his care . l loose my faith a lot of times when I’m going through .But I know that’s a part of having faith and having patience. Thank you for your words of inspiration. May God bless you and keep you. Percy Burnett

Russell Brown November 19, 2015 at 11:16 am

Thanks I really needed to read that I am trying my best to walk with god please pray for me this I have been a tough year for me but I’m holding my faith this passage was really encouraging thank god and the peoples who put this together as always may god continue to bless.

sharon November 28, 2015 at 3:09 pm

I always find reading your advice very uplifting especially
when doubt starts to come into my head about my faith
I have been praying for such a long time for a very special petition
and sometimes i get so impatient and downhearted that i start wavering
and really have to focus to bring myself back so your words are a great comfort
to me. Thank you

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