How To Strengthen Your Faith When Life Feels Hard

How To Strengthen Your Faith When Life Feels Hard - LightAndManna.com

Are you going through a difficult season that has stretched your faith to its limits? Do you feel so battered and bruised by life that you find it hard to hope? Are you wondering how you’re going to build spiritual muscles that are strong enough to strengthen your faith so that you can face the battles ahead?

I understand where you’re coming from. There have been many times during my personal spiritual journey when I have been filled with doubt. Sometimes I’ve even wondered:

How will I ever overcome
the hand that life has dealt me?

Fortunately, when I was going through the most difficult period of my life, God surrounded me with friends who encouraged me to read the Bible. I admit, I was skeptical at first. How can a book written so long ago be relevant to my life? How can the Bible help me deal with loss, heal from heartbreak and start a fresh life?

I didn’t think it was possible, but as I began to read the timeless truths contained in God’s Word, my perspective changed. I found myself putting into practice the principles I was learning. As I embraced the truths contained in Scripture, God began to change me. He completely transformed me from the inside out!

Because of my personal experience and the changes I’ve seen in others, I know that God can grow your faith and transform you too.

Why You Need To Strengthen Your Faith

Why You Need To Strengthen Your Faith - LightAndManna.com

Did you know that it’s possible to develop a faith so strong, it can withstand life’s storms? You can, but here’s the caveat: first, you must build your faith on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ!

The Bible is filled with many inspiring stories that can help you strengthen your faith. One of my favorites stories is found in Matthew 14:22-33. In this story, Jesus commands Peter to come to Him during the midst of a turbulent storm. As long as Peter keeps His eyes on Jesus, he can miraculously walk on water. The moment he looks away, however, Peter becomes afraid.

His faith falters.

Peter begins to sink.

He cries out to Jesus for help.

Fortunately, Peter’s story does not end there! When Peter sinks, Jesus immediately catches Peter by the hand and rescues him. Then, Jesus calms the storm.

And immediately
Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him,
And said to him,
O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
– Matthew 14:31 NKJV

Prepare For Battle – Strengthen Your Faith

I like this story because it has so many applications for our lives. Don’t we often feel the currents of life’s tempestuous storms raging around us? Aren’t we often driven to distraction during the midst of prayer? Don’t we frequently hear the voice of doubt whispering in our ear when we’re trying to cultivate confidence in Jesus?

One of Satan’s greatest ploys is to distract us from the things that strengthen our faith. He will do anything within his power to get us to:

  • Focus on our circumstances instead of our Savior.
  • Become fearful and waver in our beliefs.
  • Veer off of the course the Lord has clearly laid out for us.

However, this passage reminds us that as long as we keep our focus on Jesus, we can keep our heads above water during any storm. No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, we can learn to walk with Jesus!

Faith Is A Gift From God

Faith is one of the greatest treasures that we possess as Christians. Ephesians 2:8 reminds us that faith is not only the pathway to our salvation, but it is also a precious gift from God.

For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God.
– Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

Is it any wonder, then, that Satan seizes every opportunity to attack our beliefs and crush our faith? He is a thief who comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).

Faith Is A Spiritual Weapon

Satan uses every means possible to circumvent our faith. He knows we have the power to stand against him when our faith is strong. He’ll do anything he can to cause our faith to waver.

God warns us throughout the Bible that we will come under spiritual attack. He also gives us several specific pieces of spiritual armor for our protection. Ephesians 6:16 tells us that we are to take up the shield of faith. Faith is an integral piece of our spiritual armor!

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
– Ephesians 6:16 NIV

Satan insidiously attacks our faith day in and day out because what we believe about God matters. Our convictions determine the course of our lives. Our faith impacts the people God has placed in our paths!

Three Ways To Strengthen Your Faith

Now that you have a better understanding of why your faith is so important, you’re probably wondering how to feed your faith and starve your fear. Here are three strategies to grow your faith so strong, it’s virtually impenetrable!

Strengthen Your Faith By Spending Time In God’s Word

Woman Reading Bible

When I became a Christian many years ago, I wasn’t sure if my faith was strong enough to save me. I was filled with many questions and doubts because of my past. I felt that if I had gotten into God’s kingdom that surely, it was by the skin of my teeth!

By that time, however, I was part of a strong faith-based community that encouraged me to grow. As a result, I was in the habit of regularly reading my Bible. One day. I came across Romans 10:17.

So then faith comes by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God.
– Romans 10:17 NKJV

As soon as I read this passage, I knew that this Bible verse held one of the keys I needed to grow my faith! I not only continued to read my Bible throughout the day, but I also began attending church faithfully and listening to bonus sermons whenever I could.

As my knowledge of Scripture grew, so did my faith.

When I was baptized a few months later, I shared Romans 10:17 as part of my personal testimony because God’s Word plays such a crucial part in strengthening our faith!

Strengthen Your Faith By Giving Thanks

Man praying and holding Bible

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, the Apostle Paul tells us that we are to give thanks in everything.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus for you.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV

The question is, how often do we actually do this in the midst of our busy lives?

Let’s be real. Even when we have the best intentions – even when we sit down to thank God for the wonderful things He has done for us – often, we have difficulty remembering what they are!

God knows we’re forgetful. He recognizes our shortcomings. That’s why He’s created numerous ways for us to commemorate Him! Throughout the Old Testament, He commanded the Israelites to hold feasts and festivals and build memorials to bring to mind the awesome works that He has done. In the New Testament, Jesus commanded us to commemorate the Lord’s Supper so that we would remember His great sacrifice and victory for us on the cross.

Remembering the things that God does for us builds our faith and reminds us how much God loves us. It gives us a tangible way to feel His presence, especially when times are hard.

Don’t entrust this sacred duty to your faulty memory. Make it a priority to create a written and visual record of God’s work in your life!

Strengthen Your Faith By Keeping A Prayer Journal

Woman Jouranling

One of the most important ways to keep track of how God is working in our lives is by recording His answers to our prayers. Some people say that God never answers their prayers, but how do they know if they aren’t actively logging His responses?

Often we ask for so many things, we forget when and how God answers our prayers. Sometimes, God answers prayers in ways we don’t expect. Other times, God answers prayers in ways we don’t like. When God says no to our prayers because He knows the future and we don’t, do we recognize and acknowledge His no as a legitimate response?

If it feels like God is saying no to us for arbitrary reasons, perhaps we need to examine the nature of our prayer requests. Are we are asking for things the Lord will never grant because our prayers aren’t biblical to begin with?

Starting a Prayer Journal is as easy as following these three steps:

  1. Record your prayers and prayer dates in your journal.
  2. Note when and how God answers your prayers.
  3. Adjust and update your prayers as needed until they are answered.

Seeing how God responds to your prayers can go a long way in building your faith!

What’s Your Next Step?

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It takes time to strengthen your faith. Clearly, the process does not happen automatically or overnight. Hopefully, this is one of your top priorities as a Christian!

Surrounding yourself with others who are working towards the same goal is an important part of your faith journey.  Don’t leave this to chance! We invite you to subscribe to our newsletter where you’ll find additional resources, inspiration and spiritual nourishment for your soul!

What did you learn about faith from this article? What step will you take next to grow your faith? Please share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

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  1. This is SUCH a good article! So many good reminders here. I’ve been going through a very dark time for the past year and a half or so, with a family situation that I haven’t shared online. I’ve been trying to embrace the suffering, and it has definitely changed me and shaken me out of my complacency. As you said, it can be so easy to start focusing on circumstances instead of Jesus, and I’m trying to work on that. I’ve not kept a prayer journal for a while, and you’ve inspired me to get back to that. Great article. 💖

    1. I’m so sorry, Pam, the hear that you’ve been going through a difficult time for the past year and a half. Family situations can be SO disheartening! This is the perfect time to restart your prayer journal. I’m glad you found this article helpful – please reach out to me if you’d like specific prayer or would just like to chat more! (sending hugs your way!)

  2. I went through a really hard time in 2017. I got the call from my brother that our father had passed away. It was so hard to handle that kind of information.

    During our stay in Texas, I cried so much, I never knew it was possible to cry that much. But I reminded myself that I needed to stay strong for my family.

    Many nights passed and I prayed to God to help guide me during that difficult time. I had taken time away from attending church, but I realized I needed to go back. Once I returned I felt a sense of calmness. I feel like prayer was key. My strength is back and my faith is strong.

    Thank you for sharing this post on crazylittlelovebirds link party #1.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss Stephanie – we’ve lost our parents too and that never goes away!

      Thank you so much for sharing your testimony.
      Having a strong faith is essential for handling the trials of life!

      Best of luck on your new party – look forward to visiting regularly! 🙂

  3. Ramona, I love your insights and encouragement within. I love that you shared some of your experiences as I can relate. Such timeless truths here.
    I so appreciate you sharing this with Sweet Tea & Friends this month.

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback Paula – so glad you enjoyed this article!
      By the way, I love your new website but have been meaning to ask you, why the switch from the previous one?

  4. I quote: When God says no to our prayers because He knows the future and we don’t, do we recognize and acknowledge His no as a legitimate response?
    This immediately reminded me of the series: Touched by an Angel with Tess and Monica. Many times it was said that NO is also an answer from GOD and I strongly believe in it!
    Thank you for sharing your links with us at #273 SSPS Linky. See you again next week.

    1. Thank you for your share, Esme! I’ve never seen Touched By An Angel but learning that NO is a valid answer form God (and, as you allude to, often for our protection since He knows the future and we don’t) is one of the hardest lessons we learn! It breaks my heart when I hear someone expressing that they are disenfranchised with the Lord due to unanswered prayers when, in fact, God always answers us – He just answers in His own timing and in His own way.

      Appreciate you and all you do! 🙂

    1. Hi Donna,
      Welcome aboard – we’re thrilled you’ve joined our community!
      Thanks for your kind words.
      Have a wonderful week!:-)

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