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Faith in the Hard Days


When my oldest daughter was little, we had a sweet little bedtime routine. After prayers, snuggles and songs, I would say,


“I love you forever and always and all the time”.


One night, after a hard day of endless strings of tantrums and time-outs, we were emotionally tapped out, and frankly, very frustrated with each other. After we went through our routine, she looked at me through tears in her eyes and quietly said, “Do you love me even when it’s hard?” At her young age, she wondered if love came from actions. She feared that not doing the right thing brought separation between us. It broke my heart.

Hard days happen all the time. Frustration, anger and suffering touch 100% of the human race.


On our very best of days, we fall short.

And it’s so completely frustrating that suffering has no algorithm.


If this, then that. If that, then this.


When sickness, trauma, and grief come into our lives like angry, stormy waves, one of the first things we think is, “What did I do to deserve this?”

It’s on us. Our fault.


OR


When our hearts are broken and nothing seems to be going our way, we shake our fists to the heavens and say “Why did you let this happen!?”

It’s on Him. His fault.

It’s us or Him. The only logical explanation. Because sound logic is easier to grasp than the mystery of faith.


In the book of Job, we see a godly man who had a beautiful life full of love, family, riches, and health. In an instant, it was all taken away. He lost his children, his livestock was stolen, his slaves killed, his health gone. What terrible act could Job have done to deserve THAT!?


Nothing.

He did nothing.


Chapter after chapter we see Job trying to figure out what went so wrong. And when he can’t figure it out, he looks for answers from God.


“Why me?”

“What did I do to deserve this!?”

“Answer me, God!?”


His logical mind was searching and searching for a reason. He goes back and forth and back again. After days of sadness, lamenting and grieving, he says to God, “As long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, my lips will not speak falsehood and my tongue will not utter deceit”.


He was exhausted.

His spirit was broken.

Ready to give up hope.

Doubting the future.

But he held on tight to faith.


The REAL truth is, doubting can be essential to faith. Faith has no easy answers. It often comes with daily wrestling- a continual conversation to work through an illogical mindset. We see Job, in his frustration and doubt, declare that he would not say anything that is not true and right of God. When everything around him seemed unfair and punishing, he refused to betray the Lord.


The way I see it, the antithesis of doubt is pride. The opposite of faith is arrogance.

Doubt says, “I feel uncertain about everything going on. I can’t see or find the truth.”

Pride says, “ I don’t need anyone to help me. I can work through this all on my own.”

Faith says, “I don’t understand it, but I trust it.”

Arrogance says, “I totally know why this is happening, it’s okay that everyone else doesn’t understand because I do.”


A faith-filled heart fully admits that we will not always understand why God does what He does. And doubt allows us to work through our logical (and illogical) thoughts. It keeps us in constant communication with God as we repeatedly surrender control back to him.


My daughters’ logical brain, as young as it was, thought that love would be lost when disobedience came. But the love I have for her is FOREVER. That night, when she asked me if I still loved her, our routine changed. Ten years later, before I leave her room at bedtime we say:


“I love you forever and always and all the time. And even when it’s hard, I love you.”


Even when life is hard, God loves you. He is faithful and trustworthy.

He is watching and working redemption in all things concerning those He loves.


Even when He feels distant He is always NEAR.


Rachel Shipman,

ARH Staff Writer


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