It's not an exaggeration to say that the experience of many Christians today is one of disappointment, disillusionment and despair. The brokenness in our lives may seem to shatter our trust in God. How do we maintain our confidence in God when life falls apart? Let me offer four keys.

1. Recognize God’s omnipresence

The first key to maintaining confidence in God through tumultuous times is recognizing the omnipresence of God. No matter how dire the circumstances, God is there. This truth can be hard to swallow when we are in the midst of a personal hurricane. It might seem like God is far away, unavailable, or uncaring.

The Psalmist writes, "If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there" (Ps 139:8). God does not step back in the face of our pain and turmoil. He stands with us, encompassing us in His presence even amidst the ashes of our hopes and dreams.

Remember God is close at hand, even when every shred of evidence seems to scream the contrary. Trust Him to be present no matter what.

2. Perspective Shift

A second way to preserve our confidence in the Lord is by adopting a healthy perspective-shift. A shift in viewpoint is crucial to our ability to carry on in life’s storms.

Rather than fix our gaze on the storm swirling around us, it is essential for us to look beyond the perils and sorrows of this world and focus on the eternal. The God we serve is forever sovereign, and our future rests securely in His hands. The outworking of God's perfect will may at times lead through painful detours, but the end result wil always be for our good, in Jesus' perfect providence.

And so in the depth of our trials, we must constantly remind ourselves to change our angle of vision, fix our eyes on eternity rather than earth, and on Christ rather than our circumstances (Hebrews 12:2).

3. Embrace Suffering

Thirdly, to nurture our trust in God in the face of adversity, we must learn to embrace suffering. Jesus warned us His followers would have tribulation in the world (John 16:33), and for many of us, the trials have come sooner than expected.

Yet, God never promised a rose-garden life devoid of suffering to those who follow Christ. The cross, not the easy, carefree beach stroll, is the defining symbol of the Christian faith.

Of course, this doesn't mean we need to court pain and misery, but rather we must recognize suffering as a buuilding block of faith and character. Trials afford us the opportunity to grow in our dependency upon God and strengthen the roots of our trust. Our loving Heavenly Father wants us to trust Him wholly, and sometimes He allows us to be thrown upon His grace in order for this to happen.

4. Rise Above Fear

Last but not least, we are called to rise above fear when the floor drops out of our lives. Fear is the great life-shatterer - it erodes our confidence, weakens our resolve, and disables our trust in Almighty God.

Don't allow your fears to hold you captive. Instead, let them be a spur to take your eyes off the chaos, and put them once again where they belong, fixed on Jesus. Fear's opposite is faith, and in the darkest hour of our despair, when hope seems a lost cause, we must cling on to the knowledge that our Redeemer is faithful (1Cor 10:13), and He will never desert us, no matter what the storm.

Life will throw its share of difficulties, heartaches, and sorrows our way, but our trust in God should always remain unshaken. Through recognizing His omnipresence, shifting our perspective, embracing the pain of suffering, and refusing to cave in to fear, we can strengthen our reliance upon our Lord to endure all adversity.

© 2015 Andrew Smith


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What aspects of life do you find particularly challenging to maintain your confidence in God? Is there another key you have found personally effective in encouraging faith during difficult times? Please leave your thoughts and comments below. Thank you!