when faith becomes lonely

When Faith Becomes Lonely

I will never forget that moment. I was sitting on a swing in my backyard with a phone pressed to my ear. With a shaky voice I said, “Thank you. Have a good night,” and I hung up the phone. Immediately, tears ran down my face. Crying then gave way to sobbing as I fell even deeper into the despair that had gripped me. I had just moved my pregnant wife and two small children half way across the country following the call of God, only to find out that the ministry we had come for decided to go in a different direction. Now what was I going to do? I had no ministry, no way to provide for my family, our third child was due in a few weeks, and I had nothing to offer.

I had already been on my “road to Troas”[1] for some time. My journey was not one of great personal loss; instead, it was a time of wondering without direction. I wanted to serve God with my life, but I had no idea where He was taking me. After years of prayer and many closed doors, I began to feel my heart drawn toward pastoral ministry. I followed God, trusting Him to provide a way. Finally, the doors seemed wide open, but that night on the swing they all came crashing shut. That night was when my Christian walk became an uphill journey filled with tears, littered with doubt, assaulted by the devil’s lies. Looking back, it does not feel like there was ever an easy step on this road.

During this time, every day was different. Some days I was hopeful and other days I was blind to hope. Some days it seemed that my faith was hanging by a thread, and as my life storm roared it seemed I was only one gust of wind away from that thread breaking. Yet, in the midst of my weakness, the strength of God was on display.

While I was weak in the flesh, the never-ending power of God was supplying all that I lacked. What Christ told Paul was true for me: “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). While Christ says this to Paul in regards to the thorn in his flesh, it is no less true in the midst of any weakness. That is why Paul responds by saying, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” If the all-sufficient grace of God is magnified by my weakness, then the story of my weak faith is also the story of God’s great power.

The question was never, “Is my faith strong enough to overcome this?” The question was, “Will the Author and Finisher of my faith be powerful enough to finish the work that He started in me?” You see, my faith was never the product of human strength or will power. 1 Peter 1:5 makes this very clear when it says “…you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” From a human perspective my faith was held up by a thread, but from a heavenly perspective I was secured to Jesus by a two-ton anchor chain. Ultimately my faith did not fail because the One who promised to uphold it never fails.

Think about the implications of this: the God who created the heavens and the earth with the words of His mouth is the God who upholds your faith. The God who has stretched out the heavens and hung the stars in the sky is the One who guards you for a salvation ready to be revealed. There is nothing that can contend with the power of God; therefore, there is nothing that could circumvent His protection. True faith does not fail because the power of God cannot fail. So then, my testimony is simple. In my weakness, God was strong, and I exalt Him because of His faithfulness to a wretch like me.

So when you hit the mountain miles in your walk of faith and every step seems to push the limits of what you can withstand, know that God will never leave you nor forsake you. It is His mighty hand that protects your faith. At the end of your trial, you will be able to say,

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Thankful for Grace,

Matthew “Noggin” Dupuy

[1] Road to Troas is a reference to the third chapter of “The Cup and The Glory” where Dr. Harris analyzes Paul’s long journey to Troas. The Road to Troas becomes synonymous with an extended tumult in the life of a believer.

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