Faith Is Trusting


Helena Kariniemi | 2018 February Voice of Zion

We all have struggles, we all have weaknesses, and we all have temptations. We are all human. For each of us, the battles of the carnal mind may look different, but we all have them and we all have our own cross to carry and journey to travel. No one can believe for us, and likewise we cannot believe for anyone else. It is only by the grace of God that we can believe.

I discovered this myself a few years ago, when I felt that my cross had become too heavy and no longer wanted to carry it. I lost my faith and understanding through the deceitfulness of the enemy. I became blind and deaf. My heart was cold and I became lost.

I had been battling with faith issues for quite some time and the more I dwelled on the “problems,” the more they grew and festered and consumed my every thought. This was an invitation for the devil to come in and be a constant companion, an unhealthy companion, who speaks nothing but lies and deceit. I believed his lies and without even realizing it, I drifted away from faith. I no longer could hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.

I felt immediate relief at the time as I felt I no longer needed to carry the heavy burdens; I felt free from the “chains of bondage.” But the relief was temporary, and I later discovered that this feeling was actually resentment and bitterness. The cross that I thought I had put down, actually just took on a different form. Life’s burdens never disappeared, they simply changed. I was misled into thinking that life would somehow be easier now that I had no faith. Oh, the work of the enemy of souls!

This was not an easy time for our family. But God’s love prevails. He sent angels disguised as friends and family to comfort and pray, to encourage and love. In His time, He called me to enter back into His kingdom. Through repentance came a stronger appreciation for the faith that I had taken for granted. As a child of God again, my spiritual relationship with the Heavenly Father was renewed and became stronger. I realized that alone I was weak, but with God I was strengthened. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).

Allowing myself to simply put my trust and faith in God was difficult. As a child it is easy to simply believe, but as an adult you may feel you need to be in control. The day that God spoke to me stirred the coals of my cold heart. It was the day I realized that I had a choice: I could choose to be in control, or I could allow God to direct my life. I had prayed that God would not desert me and that He would show me some direction. It was obvious to me that this was His sign. He was holding out a hand to me and all I had to do was take hold. By faith I took His hand. Song of Zion 391 (“Cast all your care and sorrow on Him who cares for you”) still brings tears to my eyes because it seems that song was written for me.

To simply believe that God knows the direction we should travel was hard to accept, and there are days that I still struggle with this. But I have seen with my own eyes how God can move mountains, He can tear down walls and perform miracles in our lives, if we simply believe. If we place our faith in Him, He will protect us and provide for us. God knows our struggles, but it is comforting to know that we can always lean on Him. God loves us unconditionally; all He asks is that we trust in Him. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Faith and forgiveness have a whole new meaning in my life since discovering how easy it is to lose it. Why God allowed our family to go through this trial I may never know, but I thank the Heavenly Father that He allowed me, a weak and faulty traveler, to enter back into His flock. For this I am truly grateful.

I pray and encourage any of you that are experiencing heavy trials, that instead of turning away from God like I did, turn toward Him. Pray! Ask for His help, ask for His strength to get through one more day and to bring peace to your heart. A dear friend encouraged me to turn my thoughts from the negative and look for all the positive things in my life. I encourage you to do the same. God is good, and He has blessed us greatly. The greatest blessing is surely the gift of living faith.

Helena Kariniemi

 

Discussion Ideas:

1. Have you ever lost your childhood faith and been given grace to come back into God’s kingdom?
Share your experiences.

2. Since we all experience trials, share some of the ways we can offer support to those that are struggling.
How have others helped you get through difficult times?

3. Have you experienced how trials and doubts can cause you to question your faith, or even lose faith?
Discuss the dangers of dwelling on trials or negatives instead of the blessings in our lives.

4. With what mindset should we approach someone who has recently denied faith (family member or friend)?

5. Songs and hymns of Zion are often like mini sermons.
Please share which songs give you strength during hard times.

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