Fighting For Faith

Blur beliefs and wavering faith are mostly due to lack of prayer.

The strange phenomenon among frustrated Christians is basically that God doesn’t care at times of crisis. He neither offers solutions nor a way out of it. An apt opinion would be, ‘God is angry with me or because of my sins, I undergo or face these problems in life.’

Many have shared about their crisis in life, and one among them is ‘Faith Crisis’. Their dwindling faith and declining beliefs in God and in oneself makes the bridge of faith slowly breaking into a blur standpoint in one’s spiritual ladder. What is stagnant? Why does it happen? All these queries can be answered through tremendous soul-searching and asking questions like, do we only care about worldly things? For it offers more glamorous things, a feast to our eyes, an entry into the world of gadgets and technologies.

But Scripture is totally different, it doesn’t give sensational issues or glamorous caricatures enticing to induce passion or pleasure, but it offers what you need, a window to a new way of life, which you long for, a message to your life, an atmosphere conducive to live in, a book packed with all sorts of instructions, solutions and guidelines. Remember! “Faith and pleasure never go together.”

Gone are the days of rituals, traditions and offerings. But today, it makes no sense to the people of the postmodern trend. Saints are not seen, disciples have no address, and martyrs blood spreads only a momentary inspiration. Beliefs are ceasing, trends are in swift change, and churches are half empty, postmodern world urges to step out of the frames to light your own spirituality.

Amidst all these chaos, can you go deep down into yourself to ask, is my prayer life consistent? Is there a daily record of my appointments with God? Am I constantly in touch with scriptures? Many are at vigorous search for peace and happiness without any initiatives in forming oneself. The problem is not somewhere else; it is in us, unwilling to go deep down into oneself to find out the problems.

The point is this; blur beliefs and wavering faith are mostly due to lack of prayer, infrequent reading of Holy Scripture, rare visit to Blessed Sacraments etc resulting in dryness, a certain amount of depression, weariness finally leading to spiritual crisis. A person can’t be a Christian without faith. And formation of faith is an internal activity in align with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit. Formation and reformation of faith involves meticulous testing and scrutiny during its perfection.

While one is led to temptations, dark nights, idleness, drowsiness etc. these are a normal hurdles. When it comes to faith, dark nights are a necessary evil for the aspiring soldier of God. Have you indomitable spirit to discover faith? Well! It is amidst patience, perseverance in problems and impediments. And those who give up are consciously in “spiritual slumber” opting to be in the clutches of darkness.

We have icons from bible like JOB and ELIJAH who displayed faith in their lives in accordance with the Lord. When Job’s possessions including his sons and daughters were taken he said, “I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return there; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). In all these Job did not sin nor shun God and commit wrong doings but pursued his faith in the Lord. Even when his wife rose up against him to despise God and die, he said, “you speak as any foolish women would speak, shall we receive the good at the hand of God and not receive the bad? In all these Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 1:9-10). He withstood all this believing in the providence of God, which God returned to him in hundred folds.

We also read about Prophet Elijah, (1Kg 18:20-40) a faith filled man who challenged the prophets of Baal. Take a moment to reflect, suppose, God had not sent the fire prophet Elijah would have been brutally murdered unto death. But Elijah was not scared he was sure about the helping hand of God, because, he had no doubts, no wavering faith and no double thoughts but, a complete trust and faith in God that his God won’t deceive him.

Faith is a personal issue which grows gradually in making you a full-fledged Christian. Faith is the only strength that can compensate to realize the power of God, to know Him and to experience Him. It is a gift from God, not all possess but can gradually attain. It is a strength to the weak, hope to the hopeless, boost up to the broken hearted and an enemy to the fear.

Fear and ignorance takes you where you do not want to go, but faith takes you where you want to go. It is a thriving force for the world of knowledge and spirituality. It expands your mental horizons for radical changes and makes you a dynamic person. Faith is a simple gift from God loaded with profound visions and missions.

St. Augustine says, “Faith is to believe what we do not see and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.” Hence, one should first believe in oneself to tackle the entire crisis in one’s own life. To hold belief in oneself, one should discard evil elements like guilt feelings, low self-esteem, pessimistic attitude, doubts etc to pave way for stronger self-conviction in oneself and in Christ. “Faith is another form of treasure, one who has found, has found God.”

God never lets us go down unless we do to ourselves. So, let’s submit all our bundle of burdens and problems, for God can bring a radical change in our lives. God can do much with our lives than us. Hence let us accept that our faith is weak and believe that nothing is impossible to God and continue to pray unceasingly at all circumstances, for He will surely build our faith and answer to all the problems and questions for He can not deceive Himself.

– – – written by Frt. H. Infant Vinoth SVD