Anyone ever said to you, "just have faith", after you have poured your heart out with worry or heartache? Another one I hear often is, "time will heal all wounds." What if that's only half the reality? Can anyone "just have faith" or do problems really just go away over time? Not in my experience. These cliché's are only half of what is required. You don't just "have faith". To have faith, you must first recognize WHO the faith is in. For most of us, we put "faith" in ourselves or others around us. Faith is in God, not people or things. But how do we have faith in God when we don't know Him? That's where we get ourselves all tangled up and and believe that if enough time passes, things will fix themselves.
God is a jealous God- this means all he really wants is our acknowledgment, attention, and affection. We can't prove anything to God or work to gain His love. It is just there- He loves us no matter what. We can spend a lifetime searching, waiting for time to heal our wounds, but without the power of God, our stats for success are pretty bleak. So then, how do we have faith if what the world has told us is only half the recipe?
First, spend some time just being still. No music, no TV, no podcast- just silence. Take note of the thoughts that come through your mind and empty them. This is not easy to do, especially if you're super busy, but if you can make an effort to even take 5 minutes you're on the right track. As you notice your thoughts empty, take note of "what" it is that you say to yourself. Are you saying things like, "this is crazy what am I doing?" or are you sitting in peace listening to what comes to your mind? Self-talk is powerful- it's what we tell ourselves. If you tell yourself you're crazy, what do you think you will start to believe? Whether you hear God on the first try or the 1,000th try, keep being still. Clear the clutter from your brain. When He knows you're ready, He will make it clear when He is talking. This is faith. Waiting on God. Not knowing when, how, where, and even what. That is having faith during all times including difficult times.
The second part of the equation is "the works" portion. No where has God ever instructed anyone to just sit back and relax and watch the miracles happen. We are required to work at life. We are required to inquire with Him and then to put His instructions into action. SOunds easy enough, but... Good old feelings get in the way for most of us and we start in with actions not instructed by God. The actions pertain to what we think or feel is what should be done. Anytime I let my feelings dictate my actions, I usually get myself in trouble. This is not to say our feelings are not relevant. Feelings are absolutely necessary to our being, after all this is how He created us. The order in which we reconcile and act on our feelings is where things get messy. The order usually goes, feelings, act on emotion, wonder why our circumstance are what they are. If we take a step back and reframe this it should be, feelings, reflect through quite time and prayer why are these emotions arising, and seek His guidance on what to do with the feelings. The mere act of slowing down and thinking about the situation will allow our brain to return to equilibrium after we are hot with emotion. Seeking the guidance of God is having faith. Slowing down is having faith. We all live through difficulty- we live in a broken world. But we don't have to do is navigate this alone. God is here.
So the next time someone says, "Just have faith," remember what faith really is. In time God can heal your pain, but just time itself will only numb the pain.
Have faith and be on God's time.