The last few years have been a series of dumpster fires on every corner. I don’t need to go into all the bad stuff because, whether considering the state of America and the whole world, the Church, our families, or even our own souls, the awake know how bad things are already. The world is a mess, and things don’t seem to be getting any better any time soon, yet we are still required to have faith in these moments! Asking how to have faith when nothing seems to be going right is an understandable question.
Faith, hope, and charity (aka love) are the three theological virtues. Charity is the greatest virtue because it is the only one that lasts eternally. God is Love. Being with Him in Heaven is to be, literally, in Love. Logically, this means faith and hope are not needed in Heaven where Love is fulfilled. We can conclude then that these virtues are specifically given to us for our hard times in this world. Our earthly existence makes our time here imperfect. It is in these very imperfections that faith and hope are needed!
I used to have the wrong view of what it meant to have faith. I think others may share that wrong view. Consider the following scenarios.
- You go for a morning run and say it’s so, “I can have better physical health and mental clarity.”
- Your child asks why you go to work and you say, “I go so we can have a paycheck.”
- You go to the shop down the street, plunk your money down on the counter, and say, “I’ll have an ice cream cone.”
- You stay up too late and wake the next morning, saying, “I have a headache.”
The number of examples continue, but in each case, one thing is obvious: You need to do something in order to have something. Each have is a result of something done. Often without realizing it, you control, at least to some degree, the outcome.
- Getting up early helps you achieve the results you want from a daily workout.
- Going to work moves you toward the paycheck you need.
- Going to the ice cream shop gets you the treat you crave.
- Staying up late results in the headache you could have predicted.
Our “haves” don’t exist in a vacuum. They each come with causes and results. We know this. It’s so obvious we overlook our impact on what we contribute to get what we have in most cases.
This is true except when it comes to having faith.
When it comes to having faith, it’s like all other rules of having do not apply. We expect faith to magically fall out of the sky and into our laps like endless Italian dinners in the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. We think faith should be something we are just gifted with and not something we need to work at.
The mindset shift is to change your thinking from the idea that you are entitled to the gift of faith by mere existence. No one waved s a magically faith wand and gives some faith while withholding it from others. No one sprinkles mystical fairy dust on some sleeping heads while missing others.
Faith, like anything we want to have in life, is both a gift and something we need to act for in order to achieve. What’s more, we need to struggle in our faith to really appreciate the gift and grace of faith.
To have faith we must do something that requires needing faith. God gives us plenty of opportunities (aka dumpster fires) to grow our faith. When a spouse leaves, a child dies, your house burns to the ground, or a loved one receives a devastating diagnosis, Faith is needed just to get through the day sometimes. When your country, promotes sin and death and disfigurement and leaders are arrogant, corrupt, and out for themselves, citizens need ti have faith their Forefathers were endowed by our Creator with a vision and plan for a more perfect union and that with Truth and Love, we can be better. When men who love themselves and each other more than the Lord and His children, weaken the Liturgy and ignores Christ’s Real Presence, the laity must break through barriers of sloth, indifference, and despair to believe.
Opportunities to have faith are often thrust upon us in the least opportune or desirable moment. They catch us off guard if our deposits of faith are shallow or weak. Choosing to act in faith before crisis hits, strengthens our faith when the unthinkable happens.
To act in faith means to take risks. Faith requires you to leave behind safety and put God and others first. Acting in faith requires loving unconditionally and often it requires loving first or solely. Acting in faith means doing what is physically challenging. It may mean riding a bike, hiking a mountain or walking to the end of your street. Acting in faith means being financially responsible and believing you will be alive for a long time while providing for your family at a time when you won’t be. Acting in faith means reading books that grow your heart, mind, soul, and strength because you humbly know you can’t experience everything and can learn from experts.
I’ve learned through lots of tears and unpleasantness (to out it mildly!), that to have faith, I must step out into the abyss and do what is difficult. It is in the darkness, when I refuse to give up, that the gift of faith is given to me, not through the wave of a wand or a sprinkling of crazy fairy dust, but through blood, sweat, and tears united to Christ’s on the Cross.
Do not wait for Faith to fall in your lap. Go out and find it through exercising faith in challenges you create. Build your faith muscles so when you struggle through something so bad that your world will never be the same, your faith, though it may be rocked, is not lost.
“Having faith” is a misnomer. In all things, faith is only faith when we are challenged to act on it.
Gratitude Journal – May 9, 2023
Thank You Lord for…
- Another beautiful day.
- Tests for one class done
- Being told where the missing tests were in a dream – wow!!!
- Finding those tests
- Getting unit ten notes done.
- Getting the parent form okayed!
- C’s hugs
- Burnt chicken on the grill and a sense of humor!
- B’s help with my recording and audio
- Getting ideas for Friday’s Catholic single moms talks
- Faith that God will give me the words I need to say when I do the best I can to show I’m for real!
- Z’s ridiculous phone calls and messages. Lol
- C asking me to read to him
The Live Not Ordinary Challenge:
8 Weeks. Daily Challenges. Live Coaching. One Fierce & Growing Cadre!
Are you an American Christian who loves faith, family, and country but is concerned about how our world is going? If so, join the Live Not Ordinary Challenge and learn to love the past, have faith in the present, and find hope for the future through eight weeks of exercising your mind, soul, heart, and strength!