A Crisis of Faith
“The just shall live by faith” Romans 1:17
A crisis of faith is caused when God seems to not be enough. As our crisis takes root in our inner life and begins producing fear, a sense of lack and growing panic, we try to flee the crisis or manage the crisis in our own power.
If you have ever experienced a crisis of faith you know how it can bring out of you exactly what you had hoped would never appear again. For some it brings on depression which someone once described as “anger without enthusiasm.” For others it brings on “enthusiastic anger”. Either way, we are moving in our own power since God seems to have let us down and we are running out of time. We must act since God it appears God will not act.
Since faith is receiving freely from God, a crisis of faith is a crisis of diminished receiving. It is the opposite of what Paul described when he said “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
It is the diminished receiving that happened to Peter when he took his eyes off of Jesus while walking on the water. He sank as soon as His eyes stop receiving support from Jesus.
It is the diminished receiving that happened to Moses when he stopped obeying God and struck the rock in the wilderness instead of speaking to the rock as God had commanded him. He lost his leadership position because he stopped receiving God’s instruction and invented his own.
A crisis of faith is a love stopper. We become so focused on what we lack and what we perceive as not having come from God, that we lose our connection to the source of love which is God. Those who need our love don’t receive it since we have stopped receiving it from God through Christ.
A crisis of faith is hope destroyer. We are so disappointed with God we feel as though going on may not be worth the effort. Our energy dies as the crisis deepens.
Finding relief from a crisis of faith requires that we do exactly what does not come naturally to us. It requires that we stop running from our pain and it requires that we stop managing the losses. It requires us to obey the words in Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body your were called to peace.”
Doing this seems to make as much sense as the advice I once received from a dive instructor who said “If you are on the ocean floor and suddenly discover you are just about out of air, don’t panic. If you panic you will use up the only air you have before you can reach the surface.” When I heard this everything in me said that panic and fast action would save me, but the instructor said just the opposite would help. Obviously he was right.
As crazy as it sounds the key to surviving a crisis of faith is to not panic and not act on our own. It is to go to peace in Christ. It is to return to “receive mode” by focusing again on God in Christ. Any other alternative will certainly take your spiritual breath away and leave you short of the goal which is love.
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. I John 5:4