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The growing pains of faithfulness

Faithfulness can feel like an uphill hike.
Faithfulness can feel like an uphill hike.

In this article:

  • Facing the challenge of doubt and growing in faith
  • What is "faithfulness"?
  • Faithfulness is a two-way street between ourselves and God

As we live through this post pandemic era, I believe that one core value we are striving for is connection. We live in a world now where we are always connected to what is going on, who is doing what, etc. If you have a phone or are on social media you can easily turn yourself on to whatever is happening in the world. However, always being turned on to the world and those around us is not always a good thing. 

As a society, we are struggling with finding true meaningful connections with others. What we see on social media is just what is on the surface. We might be friends with someone on Facebook, but do we actually have a genuine connection with them in real life? Our overexposure to the internet can be damaging to our faith and relationships. Christian or not, we all long to be deeply connected to those around us as well as our environment. 

Living in a digital world where information is passed along so fast causes anxiety. Sometimes it can even make you question your faith. Recently, it seems like every time I hear my phone buzz I am being notified of yet another catastrophe. At times, I find it hard to have faith in a God that is looking out for us, and has our best interests at heart when we are living in such a violent world. When we are constantly being fed stories of fear, tragedy, and hate through the media it can be challenging to still bear witness to the faithfulness of God. 

If you were like me and you find yourself at times questioning the faithfulness of God, don’t feel bad. There is a great quote that I love from a British poet Lord Alfred Tennyson. In his poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.” He says that “There lives more faith in honest doubt,/ Believe me, than in half the creeds.” This poem tells his story of restoration in hope in God after facing challenges with doubt. Doubt is not the absence of faith, yet it is a powerful step in growing deeper faith. 

What does it mean to be faithful?

According to Merrimack-Webster the definition of being faithful is: “steadfast in affection or allegiance: firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty”. What does the Bible say about faithfulness? Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faithfulness comes from a place of trust and loyalty. “Now faith is a confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” This verse shows that it is one thing to believe in God, yet another to be faithful to God. 

In the Bible, there are many examples of those who had exceptional faithfulness: Abraham, Moses, Noah, Ruth, etc. In all these stories of faithfulness to God, the message boils down to this root: faithfulness is the act of being true to your word. When you are faithful you follow through on your commitments with dedication. 

Faithfulness is a two-way street

Just as God wants us to be faithful to God, we can also expect the same faithfulness from God to us. God is always faithful. I know that can be a hard truth to swallow at times, but it is true. God’s faithfulness to us is demonstrated through the sacrifice of Jesus. 

When I was in middle school I attended small group once a week at a local church.

One week we were on the topic of trusting God and God’s faithfulness in our lives. One of the leaders shared the hardships she was currently experiencing in her life and how she did not really know if God was going to see her through. I remember her saying that sometimes even when you do not believe it you just have to say ‘God I trust you’, and just repeat it over and over. Eventually, you will start to think that it is true, and your confidence in your faith will increase.

I was reminded of that moment from my small group recently. My life has changed a lot in the past nine months. It has been a time of change and uncertainty. This season in my life has required me to put my faith in God more. I think that it is important to see times of doubt as opportunities to grow our faith and not as absence of faith. Doubt is the growing pains of forming deeper faithfulness in God. 

Madison Myers is a graduate of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, having majored in marketing, and is a young professional. She has traveled to a majority of America's national parks and is eager to see them all.

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