the ups and downs of faith


Category : God, faith, hope, sharing faith


There are days (like today) that I don’t feel much like writing.  In fact, there are days when I don’t really feel much like doing this “Christian thing” at all. This isn’t surprising; we all go through times like this.  Sometimes we even do it more than once.  CS Lewis captures this up and down during a conversation between Screwtape (a senior demon in the bureaucracy of Hell) and Wormwood (his nephew).  Screwtape says, ”Now it may surprise you to learn that in [God's] efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the troughs even more than on the peaks; some of His special favorites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else.” (The Screwtape Letters, p. 38) 

I find that encouraging and depressing all at the same time.

I want faith to be simple.  I want it to be easy.  But it’s not.  Faith is a relationship, not a scientific equation.  Some days it “feels” more real, more intense, more exciting than other days.  It’s on those “other days” where we need to be aware that our relationship with God may be strained, and be ready to act.

When I feel this distance, there are a few questions I ask myself. Am I working on being connected to God?  Am I still praying?  Do I read my Bible regularly?  Am I writing down my thoughts as I pray or read?  Am I following through on what I sense God is telling me?

There are other questions I could ask myself, but usually the answer lies in one of these questions.  The more I answer “no” to these questions, the further I feel from God.  I would never expect a strong and healthy relationship with a friend if I never talked to them, never wrote to them, and ignored them when they called.  Why would God be any different?

Those disciplines are important in my life.  Not because they are the secrets to getting into heaven, but because they are important to simply developing healthy relationships.  All relationships take hard work, even ones with God.

Comments (2)

[...] for itself.  So here it is – I received this in response to some of the ideas discussed in the ups and downs of faith.  Naturally these reader comments are more insightful than my own.  Don’t you just hate [...]

[...] are a few things you can do to keep that relationship healthy.  A few weeks ago I talked about the ups and downs of faith.  In that post I mentioned some of the questions I ask myself when I’m feeling distant from [...]