Can we Have Faith in Times of Suffering and Disappointment?
In seeking to answer such a challenging question, it is important to understand what Faith is. Faith, I believe, is a relationship with God and a commitment to him. Our faith, therefore, is not to be based on feelings and logic but in a person – Jesus Christ. As one spiritual writer beautifully says, "It is faith that allows us to see the unseen." St. Paul's Letter to the Corinthians tells us that "it is by Faith that we stand firm" (2 Cor. 1:24).
That's why faith is such an indispensable element of the Christian life. In fact, the Word of God teaches us that we live by faith and without faith it is impossible to please God. And the Apostle James affirms "we should consider it pure joy when we face trials, as this is how our faith is strengthened and we mature as Christians."
Therefore, the first thing we must keep in mind, especially when we reflect on the concept of faith in times of suffering and disappointment, is to remind ourselves that no amount of suffering or pain we experience in this life can ever undo what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Our trials and disappointments, though we may not like or understand them, can serve a purpose in our lives. Some spiritual writers argue that "it is through trials that we learn patience and humility, endurance and trust, virtues that strengthens our inner being and develop godly character." In other words, sometimes difficult things happen to us so that the glory and power of God can be revealed in and through us.
On the other hand, it is important to also understand that it is our prayers that sustain us in the midst of our disappointments and trials. Our prayers give us strength to carry on. We are given newness of life every time we pray. As Christians, it is important to understand that even though we may not see immediate answers to our prayers, each prayer sets something in motion. Furthermore, being a child of God means that we are never alone in our trials and disappointments. God always gives us the strength and grace we need to endure any circumstance.
As Christians, let us continue to pray for God's wisdom, for the Holy Spirit's help, and pray to have the mind of Christ. Remember the Words from Holy Scripture: "Everything is possible for him who believes" (Mk 9:23).