Please welcome today's guest, Emily Kirchner! A married mother of two twin girls, Emily also writes part time for Discount Catholic Products. When she submitted her guest post to me, I just knew it was perfect for my UnEMPLOYED Faith readers. I pray you'll be encouraged as you read what Emily has to say about keeping the faith during hard times.
It’s easy to be grateful when good things come our way. We feel blessed because things are working the way they’re supposed to and we thank God every day for these blessings. However, there are times in every person's life when obstacles come and make it hard to believe there's someone up there looking out for us.
Illness, tragedy and similar circumstances can make anyone—even the strongest of believers—question their faith in God. I have to admit, a series of painful events when I was younger led me to question my own faith. As I grew older, I learned to keep believing even when times seem hopeless. Here are some of them:
God will not give you something you can’t handle
Do you remember the story of Job? He was a wealthy man, blessed with a wife and many children. Above all, he was a faithful servant. When God asked Satan what he thought of Job, Satan said he is righteous only because God gave him everything. Satan added that if God took away everything from Job, his most favorite servant will surely curse Him. With that, God allowed Satan to test Job’s faith.
All of Job’s properties were destroyed, his children died, and his health was taken away. Even as he suffered and his wife convinced him to curse God, his faith remained strong and unwavering. He said that if God can give, then He can take it away.
When you’re going through a particularly hard time, remember the story of Job. God allowed Satan to test his servant’s faith because He knew Job can take it. In return, God made him more prosperous than before and even lived up to 140 years.
Find solace in loved ones
Family and friends are there for you in times of struggle, even if they cannot provide the solution to your problems. In times of need, a strong support system can do wonders to your spirit. It can be a dear friend, a sibling, or your children.
Even if you can't ask them to give you what you need to fix the matter, a shoulder to cry on or a well-meaning hug can be very comforting. They’ll listen to you talk and sometimes, that’s all you’ll ever need.
Your parish is there for you
Going to Mass every Sunday or attending a Bible study during the weeknights will be able to soothe your frayed nerves. Priests in your parish will always be available if you need advice or just an ear to listen. Active members of your local parish will find the time to be at your aid.
The Church fosters a community of love and support as much as they can, not only with their clergy but laypersons as well. People who share your grief will be there for you. All you have to do is ask.
Keep things in perspective
In life, you will always meet someone who has it worse than you do. When you hear or read about news of famine, war, or natural disasters, you will realize that you’re still very lucky despite what you’re going through.
Of course, this is not to say that your struggles are miniscule but as mentioned earlier, God only hands you circumstances He knows you can weather.
Talking to God is a simple way to keep the faith alive. A silent prayer when you feel like breaking down in public is a way to settle your feelings before they burst. In private, pray as long and as hard as you want. Humbling yourself in front of God, asking Him for help is the first step to getting through it. Praying is taking a step back and letting God fill your life.
Keeping the faith during difficulties can be a struggle by itself. Our faith must be like that of Job’s—steadfast and unyielding. No matter how hopeless our circumstances may be, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. It will also help to know that you are not alone. God is with you every step of the way.
Emmy is a freelance writer for an online Catholic retailer for Bibles, rosaries, first Communion favors, and many more. Her faith in God and the love of her family are two of the most important things in her life.