It’s so easy to trust God when things are going smoothly in our lives, isn’t it, friend? Yet I sure have a lot to learn when it comes to walking in faith when the road ahead looks dark.
Jesus said we’d have trouble in this world (John 16:33) and while life sure has its blessings, he was right!
There are so many reasons why the road ahead may look dark and leave us feeling confused and hopeless about coping with life.
Right now I’m dealing with a flare in my chronic illness symptoms that sometimes leaves me wondering how I’m going to get through the next minute. Never mind the next few weeks (for more see I Am Bible Affirmations: 10 Life-Changing Truths)!
At the same time, I have a dear friend who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer and another who’s husband just walked out.
I’m sure you can relate to having troubles and feeling like the road ahead holds so many unknowns. It seems that you can’t see even a few inches ahead of you. Let alone which path you should take!
The journey you’re on can feel so lonely and sometimes you wonder how you’ll survive.
The good news is that the Bible doesn’t leave us without guidance in situations like these. It’s packed full of wisdom and riches that teach us that no matter what life throws our way, we have everything we need for walking in faith.
What Abraham teaches us about walking in faith
The great prophet, Abraham, teaches us so much about walking in faith when we can’t see what’s ahead.
Imagine hearing these words from God:
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you (Genesis 12:1, NIV).
When God called Abraham to uproot himself and his family from his home in Haran (modern day Turkey), God was asking him to leave behind everything he knew and live on nothing but promises.
God said he’d give him a new land to call his own. He said he’d give Abraham a child. In fact, so many descendants they’d be too numerous to count! He said someday all the nations of the earth would be blessed because of Abraham’s gigantic family.
Abraham’s faith journey
The problem with all of this? God wasn’t even telling him where he was headed on this faith journey. What land? Abraham couldn’t see any land.
And how was Abraham supposed to have descendants when he and his wife had been unable to conceive and they were already older?
Abraham had no idea that he was actually being called to form the new nation of Israel. A people chosen to reveal God’s glory to the world.
And Abraham didn’t know that the Lord Jesus would come from his family and bless every nation. We know that. But Abraham couldn’t even see how he was going to have a child.
Yet when God called Abraham to go from his homeland to a place he knew nothing about, Abraham did something profound.
He simply obeyed.
And that changed everything!
This is the meaning of walking in faith even when we can’t see what’s ahead.
Based on Abraham’s story, here are some practical ways to help with walking in faith no matter what circumstances we’re facing:
Draw nearer to God even if you can’t feel his presence
Throughout his journey to an unknown place, Abraham built altars to offer sacrifices and worship God as he travelled.
One of the keys to walking in faith is to draw near to God like Abraham did. This is all the more true when we don’t know where we’re headed, or what life holds for us.
Of course, as Believers in Christ, we don’t build altars or offer sacrifices, but we need to draw near to him in worship and to receive the help we need just as much:
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Hebrews 4:16, NLT).
Yet when we’re going through a hard time God can feel far away. And it can be so difficult to maintain spiritual disciplines like Bible reading and prayer.
May I suggest that rather than giving up on these things that when life gets tough you lighten up on them instead (also see Staying Faithful to God in Hard Times: 3 Ways)?
Even five minutes spent in simple prayer and a short passage of Scripture reading can go a long way in helping us draw close to God when we need him most.
Walking in faith: Seek God’s wisdom often
When Abraham travelled to an unknown land, he had to follow God’s leading step by step. Oftentimes, our difficult situations mean we need to do the same thing.
One of the things that’s so hard when we’re facing tough situations with a lot of unknowns, is the confusion.
We might be facing difficult decisions about healthcare for ourselves, or a loved one. Maybe we just don’t know where to turn when it comes to handling issues with our kids, or in our marriage.
Whatever the dilemmas and questions about our situation, God doesn’t want us to stumble around in confusion. He assures us that his wisdom for our circumstances is ours when we ask in faith:
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind (James 1:5-6, NLT).
Walking in faith by holding onto God’s promises
Abraham held onto the promises God made to him throughout his journey. He trusted that because God said he would give him a child and many descendants that God would make a way for it to happen. He believed that God would give him and his descendants the Promised land.
Although Abraham had his moments when he had questions for God and he didn’t always demonstrate perfect trust, he lived a life that overall was characterized by walking in faith.
In the same way, we need to cling to the promises of God when we face unknowns (for more see God is Faithful to His Promises: 15 to Count On).
Here are some promises from Scripture that are especially good for walking in faith:
God will be with you and help you:
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand (Isaiah 41:10, NLT).
He will give you the wisdom you need:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT).
God will give you strength:
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13, NLT).
He will use difficulties to grow your faith:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3, NIV).
Our suffering can’t compare to the joys of eternity:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18, NIV).
Suggested prayers for walking in faith
Sometimes when we’re facing hard times, it can be difficult to find the words to pray. Here are some simple prayers to inspire your own and help you with walking in faith:
A Prayer for Resting in God’s Presence
Lord, You’ve said you’d be with me always and in all situations. Yet sometimes it’s hard for me to sense your presence. Especially when I need you most. Please give me eyes of faith to see that you’re right here with me right in the middle of everything. Help me to rest in your loving care for me even as troubles surround me. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
A Prayer for God’s Wisdom
Father, There are too many decisions that weigh heavy on me right now. It feels impossible to choose, or to know which way to turn. Lord, I know you are wise beyond anything I can think or imagine. I know you love me and want only good for me. You have said I should turn to you for wisdom in hard times and I come now. Lord, I’m asking you to grant the wisdom I need now to make the very best decisions in this hard circumstance. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A Prayer for Strength
Lord, Right now I feel weak and totally overwhelmed by all the problems surrounding me. It feels like I’m sinking fast. Come quickly, Lord! Strengthen me according to your power. Hold me up, Father, so that I don’t fall. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A Prayer for More Faith
Heavenly Father, I know that you are a good Father. The best of all possible fathers. Your Word says you are filled with loving kindness toward me and that you are completely faithful to all of your promises. I believe all of this on some level, Lord. Yet on another deeper level I’m still filled with doubts. Especially as I walk through this valley. Father, I believe. Please help my unbelief and fill me with faith that you and all your promises can be trusted. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A Prayer for Walking in Faith
Father, With all my heart, I want to pursue walking in faith even though the road ahead looks dark. Please grant me everything I need to honor you in this way. Help me to trust you with my whole being even when I don’t know which way to turn and can’t see even a little bit of what lies ahead. In Jesus’ name, Amen.