In this post, I'll detail why my faith has taken a beating in the past and how I've arrived at a place where I'll never lose it again.
In the past, I lost my faith because
I did not have a strong spiritual foundation. Sure, I went to church, I knew the basic facts about Jesus, I prayed and I even served on a ministry, but I didn't know the Bible's promises, nor what God's expectations were for me. I definitely did not have a relationship with Jesus ... I only had knowledge of him. I lived through others' perceptions of God (the Pastor, a teacher, a friend). I did not realize (or perhaps care about) the importance of spending quality time praying and reading the Holy Bible for myself... reading devotionals are not a substitute for spending time in the Bible.
I did not make a "til death do us part" commitment to God. My faith flapped in the wind. If times were good, I was a good Christian. When times grew unbearable, I put distance between me and the Lord. In those times I chose to "ease back into a relationship with him." In essence, any relationship that is sometimey is doomed to fail. I would never approach a relationship with my husband or best friend in this way ... why would I do so to the one who gives me life? The parable of the seeds that were planted, growing but then choked off by the thorny worries of the world described me perfectly.
I only saw God for what He could do for me. The most important thing God could do for me was bless my womb. Give me a baby. The end. I couldn't see the blessings He allowed to fall on me in spite of the fact that I wasn't even a very good friend. I wasn't even grateful that he gave me the gift of eternal life! What was I willing to do for HIM? What was I willing to do for others? Not very much, at that time. When my attitude - and my selfishness - changed, so did my perspective about God's goodness even in my trials.
I did not trust God, nor believe His promises were true (for me). I made up my own truth. In His Word He says All things work for the good to them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. I didn't believe that my losses could actually be for my good or that they could turn into something good. I didn't believe that pain and suffering established and strengthened a believer. I had to get to a point where I realized God's plan is bigger than my desires or my personal pain. My goal should be to overcome life's obstacles so that my life can be a blessing and testimony for others.
I was not a Spirit-filled believer. I genuinely believed that because I had prayed the "Believer's Prayer" all those years ago, that meant I was Spirit-filled and Heaven-bound! No transformation had taken place and my mind was certainly not renewed after simply praying aloud that I believe in Jesus and am sorry for my sins. It wasn't until I fell on my face and cried out to Jesus to save me, help me and fill me, that His Spirit was poured out on me. In that moment several things happened ... first a beautiful heavenly language poured out of me. Then, I felt new ... I didn't feel like the old gal I had been lugging around! Then, I actually developed a passion for the things of God. I wanted to love, share, teach and forgive. My life was transformed and others would stare at me and with a smile say ... "you are not the girl I knew last week! I actually like the new you!" Guess what? I like the new me, too.
In truth everything that caused me to stumble and fall away had a lot to do with not having a strong spiritual foundation. With the Holy Spirit's help, I have commitment, the desire for serious study and the power to apply Biblical principals to my life and I won't go back to the faithless gal I was before. I encourage you to not let tragedy keep you from obtaining the best gift yet ...
For "Without faith, it is impossible to please God ..." Hebrews 11:6
For more on Faith, its importance and how to cultivate it, spend time in Hebrews 11 and 12