Wednesday, August 18, 2010
In a group I regularly attend, the question was raised, "How can we keep faith?" When pressed, the person raising the question admitted that his faith in God had been undermined by the depression he was currently suffering from.
I approach the question of keeping faith by looking at a prior issue: How do you lose faith? Since faith is an act of trust, faith can be "lost" when trust is betrayed or broken. When it comes to our relationship with God, we need to be aware of our expectations of this relationship.
When God doesn't act in the way(s) we expect, we might feel deserted or abandoned by God-- especially when we're in a time of distress. When we cry out to God for help, and don't receive what we're asking for, we tend to blame God for being nonresponsive.
We need to examine our expectations of God and how God acts in our lives and world. When our expectations aren't met, perhaps it's a sign that we need to revise our expectations rather than blaming God for not responding as we asked.
When trust is lost in a relationship, it can be rebuilt. This process of rebuilding takes time and patience. If faith can be lost, it can also be found again. What is needed is a commitment to stay in the relationship and work through its challenges. This is true of our relationship with each other and our relationship with God.