Lost your faith? Perhaps you feel you are in the process of losing it now, or maybe you know someone who is struggling with their faith life. There are a variety of reasons people lose faith, struggle in their relationship with God, or fall away. In this article, we will offer some helpful tips for getting your faith back and working through the particular issues you are struggling with in.
Faith is not a feeling!
The first helpful tip to know is that faith is not a feeling. In other words, your emotions are not always, or usually, reliable. Is your dilemma that you aren’t sure whether you feel like you believe in God? Instead of trying to get the feeling, you can choose to believe based on evidence. Just like love, faith is also a mature choice.
Here is an example; if you get married someday, it should be because you know that a person is right for you, and that they will love your forever, have the ability to sacrifice for you and serve you, even when it’s difficult. You know that they will be a great spouse, help you raise kids, and kiss those little ones to bed each night.
However, there are the highest of highs in marriage and the lowest of lows. There are days when you do not think its possible to love someone more, and there are times when spouses will wonder if they even made the right decision to get married. This is why I say feelings aren’t always reliable. They come and go and change constantly. But truth doesn’t change.
Love is a decision, a choice. If we defined love based on how we feel, couples would be getting divorced and remarried all the time. In fact, some of the greatest acts of love happen when a husband or a wife does not feel the sunshine and happiness, but they rise above their moods and emotions to honor the vows made on the altar. The greatest love you give is when you do not feel like it. Love is a choice, an informed decision!
It is the same with faith! Apply these thoughts to a relationship with God. Just as married couples should not base the reality of their marriage or love on how they feel, even if those feelings go one for a while, so we should not allow our feelings to qualify God’s existence or make us lose faith. Sometimes it is easy to feel strongly connected to our faith and other times it’s difficult. Sometimes, God tests us to see if we will be faithful even if we don’t feel Him. There are many different reasons for the fluctuations in how connected we feel, which brings me to my next thought.
Why do you think you are losing faith?
Do you know the reason that your faith is diminishing? Take some time to reflect on this honestly. See if you can come up with a core reason (or reasons) for why you are struggling. If you can pinpoint a specific reason then you can usually pull up the root, examine it, and deal with it.
For example, are you being attacked by others for your beliefs? Are you being made fun a lot? Are others telling you that God is not real? Do other people’s opinions creep into your mind and cause doubt?
If so, the answer is easy. You merely need to study your faith and learn the proper answers. You can read the articles on this website or check out our YouTube Channel where you will find great resources to help things make sense for you.
We have a great resource in The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which can be accessed for free on the internet. It is so helpful to be able to look up what the Church really says about the things people often think or say about our faith. When you are well educated in the faith, it’s easier to deal with these sorts of problems, and things begin to make sense. Start researching those doubts today on good Catholic sites, or with good Catholic books, and you will be on your way!
How is Your Prayer Life?
Now, on to another important question: Are you praying every day? If you do not pray often, if you have quit praying, and especially if you don’t go to church, of course you are not going to feel close to God or even feel like He’s there at all. If a husband never sees his wife, and simultaneously hangs out with other beautiful women, he will not feel close to his wife anymore. We always need to stay close to the Source.
You’re not going to feel close to anyone you don’t spend time with. An Our Father and a Hail Mary does not cut it. We are talking about the need for a deep relationship with God.
If this is true in your life, the answer is not too difficult. Pray! Pray deeply. Start taking time to pray a Rosary, read the Bible, and/or just talk to God each night for a while. Don’t just toss prayers up to God randomly. Think of Him close to you, visualize Him, and talk from your heart, not your head.
What would happen if you missed your turn driving? Would you just keep going the wrong way? Or, would you turn around and try to drive back as quick as possible? If you’ve strayed away from God, turn back as quick as possible and begin a prayer life again. This will help you.
Struggle with praying and getting close to God? Check out our YouTube Series that will teach you everything you need to know to get you on your way!
Pain and Suffering!
Another common problem is that something bad might be going on in your life right now. It is not uncommon to wonder how God can love us if He allows difficult things to happen. Sometimes, it may seem as if He is not listening. Maybe you’ve had a loved one you were close to die. Maybe some sort of catastrophe has happened in your life or to somebody you care about. During these times we might wonder where God is. Sometimes people feel like they are asked to suffer more than the people they know, and in turn have a difficult time believing in God.
Of course, this is not everybody’s reaction. Some people run to God during trials. In their pain, they cling to Him and they trust Him. That’s great! Hopefully, we all will get to that place. But for the other people who have their faith shaken when catastrophes occur – they wonder where God is. If this is your struggle and the root cause of your crisis of faith, then that’s what you need to deal with.
You may need to ask for the help of others, and you definitely need to pray more than ever, even when it’s hard. The Lord knows what you’re feeling, so don’t be afraid to talk to Him about it! When we are doubting, we need to pray and study more than ever.
Blessed Margaret of Costello was born lame and was imprisoned by her parents because they did not like her, and she was eventually brought to a far away land and abandoned by them. She suffered greatly, and perhaps, might have a reason to get mad at God for the injustice. But she ran TO God and prayed hard and often. Her faith was the only thing that got her through, and in the end, God worked powerfully in her life. She could levitate, help people, and even do miracles! Run to God in the storms of life, not away from Him!
Maybe there is no reason
Perhaps there is no reason at all. Maybe you cannot think of a cause for your struggle with faith. It’s possible that you just find it hard to believe right now, but there is no clear reason behind it. If you’ve looked into your heart, examined your conscience, and still cannot put your finger on a cause, that could be something too. Sometimes it is a temptation from the devil, or sometimes, it’s just a trial from God to test our faith we have to endure. Will you continue to believe even when He tests you?
In fact, our faith can often grow if we persevere through these challenging times when it is difficult to feel close to God. He knows when we struggle, and He is closer than He feels. This has been true in my own life in times of darkness. Sometimes it feels like the darkness will never end, but it always does if we stay faithful. Stay the course. Be patient. Jesus is still with you!
You may wonder how, or even why. It’s so much easier to believe when we feel great and are having exciting experiences and encounters with God. We know that He’s there when our lives are full of blessings, consolations, and powerful moments. It cannot always be that way, though.
Think of it like this, just as our parents give us room to grow as we get more mature, sometimes God pulls away a little bit and gives us some room, too. When your mother stopped tying your shoes for you, did you think she stopped caring, or were you proud that you could do it by yourself? When God trusts you to “tie your own shoes” spiritually, are you still going to believe in Him? This is a time to say, “God, I’m not leaving, I’m not going anywhere, I’m still going to pray, I’m still going to follow you, even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if I don’t quite get it all at this moment. I’m going to persevere because I have faith in you.” That’s beautiful and perfect faith. We can praise God in difficult times just like we can still show love in relationships and in marriage even when we don’t feel like it.
Don’t give up!
You probably noticed that no matter the reason, the easy fix for keeping the faith is to continue praying, and study your faith. If you love God, you will have times when you struggle, because spiritual warfare is real. Arm yourself, learn your faith, go deeper, look up the answers to your questions, watch our YouTube videos for inspiration, and visit websites that are solidly Catholic. Read Catholic books, and read books on the existence of God like the one I wrote. I have book recommendations in this video or you can find us on social media if you prefer to ask there. You can also ask us questions in the comments to this post.
So, pray, go to church, read the Bible, study your faith, and be encouraged! When we wash clothes, until the washing machine cycle ends, everything seems chaotic and a mess, but in the end, it comes out clean. You are going to have these struggles and doubts, but they end. The sun always comes out from behind the clouds, and, if you stay close to God, your faith will return stronger than ever.
I have other videos about how to trust God, how to run to Him, and how to pray. If you are struggling with any of those go to our YouTube Channel and check them out. I really think they can be helpful, and a light during dark times if you are struggling with your faith.
If you have any questions, or any specific problems, doubts, or struggles that you are encountering, please reach out and I will reply. May God bless you!