Crises of faith are part of the normal Christian experience. Never let it be said that walking a real Christian walk is easy. Someone once said, “Christianity isn’t for wimps.” By this, he was referring to real Christianity not those who think they are Christians simply because they attend church regularly; not those who never attend church, but because they believe in God and live in the United States, call themselves Christians. I am talking about people who live biblically, with a biblical worldview.
This type of Christian is hard to find in these United States.
Real Christians will face many crises of faith. It’s how God builds our character; it’s how He builds trust and dependence on Him. These crises are difficult to endure. Sorry to be the bearer of hard truth, but there it is. I’ve always wondered why we couldn’t just have one gigantihugic testing, pass it, and move into living victoriously. That seems much less painful.
Allow me to encourage you with the Apostle Paul’s personal experience.
Shortly after he was saved, God took him away by himself for a period of years. If you find yourself in a season of inactivity like Saul did, do not despair. Perhaps you felt effective for God in the past, but things have changed. You feel like it is over, and you do not know if God will ever use you again. Do not worry. If you know in your heart that you are doing your best in obedience to God, that is all you can—or need to—do.
Waiting is hard.
Sometimes we can feel abandoned in the desert, no one knowing or caring we’ve been dumped in extreme and forgotten conditions to waste away to nothingness. Useless, powerless to gain God’s attention in our pointless existence, it is easy to slip into discouragement. Yet, God has given us ample encouragement in His Word. Paul is one example. After his conversion, what happened to him? This eminently qualified, gifted, superior specimen? He was dumped in the desert of “wait for God,” that’s what. As blunt as Paul was after God refined him, I can scarce imagine him before God refined him.
So, there you have it.
The desert of waiting on God is a favored method of His. He uses the time to refine our character, to give us vision, to prepare us to fully function in the purpose to which He’s called us; He uses the time to prepare others to receive and support us. The waiting and pruning hurts, but it is for our good. Trust Him, let Him snip away, and never forget: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Go to His Word, seek a real Christian friend for encouragement, but never, never, never give up.