How to Keep the Faith When You Don't Feel Like It

Are you tired of being told to keep the faith?

Would you like to hold on to God's unchanging hand, but life continues to test you, and your faith in God? If you're a woman who feels like you're trying to be faithful, and do the right things, but your time or turn has yet to come? If so, this is for you.

I also dedicate the words you're about to read to the 94 women who joined me from Connecticut, Virginia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Philadelphia, Georgia, Canada, Nigeria and other territories this week for the "Focus on Faith" 5 Day Fasting & Prayer Challenge.

As I write, we are on Day 5! --Great job ladies.

Many of the women don't know this yet, but this blog post will serve as a great reminder to keep the faith when they don't feel like it.

It's common, after the 5 Day Fasting & Prayer Challenge is over, and the dust settles, some will wonder what really happened? Like, refresh my memory, what are the true benefits of fasting? Others may question: how did fasting for 5 days impact my life?  

The tiny stipulation, I should've included about fasting is this: it involves you and configures you, but isn't always about you. 

Day 3 of the challenge, I was compelled to mention the story of Esther, a Jewish girl who by divine persuasion and set up, became a queen.

Are you familiar with Queen Esther's story? She was coached by her cousin, turned adoptive father, Mordecai, on how to be positioned as a contender for the role of Queen, to King Ahasuerus. 

  1. She had to keep her mouth shut about being a Jew. 
  2. She had to go through a 12 month grooming process to even be considered as a potential queen. 

Her obedience and willingness to follow direction led her to being prepared and selected as the new queen, replacing Queen Vashti (Esther 2:17).

In a nutshell, Esther was coachable. 

Are you coachable? Does the thought of following anyone's direction make your skin crawl? Do you prefer talking vs. listening? 

In order to go from being a believer, to one who has faith to believe the impossible, discipline is required. Discipline to listen, follow, and act on what you heard, but do not see, yet.

"Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1 NRSV

If you're wondering, Esther's ability to listen and follow directions has everything to do with FAITH and holding on to God's unchanging hand. She models the perfect combination of being able to listen to people and God, to achieve the impossible. 

After becoming queen, Esther was challenged to get engaged with her faith, and to ignite the faith of her people, as the Jews were at risk of being annihilated, "young and old, women and children, in one day. (Esther 3:13)"

She resisted wise counsel at first, but was quickly reminded by Mordecai to not get too big headed or forget her Jewish background. Who do you have in your life that keeps you level headed? How about the one who holds you accountable?

Mordecai was divinely assigned to help Esther see the light, and why she had been crowned in the first place; to stand up for her people, or they would all perish.

You may be familiar with Mordecai's infamous words...

"Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this." -Esther 4:14 

Fortunately, Esther chose to use her power to empower others.

She called for a 3 day community fast, similar to the "Focus on Faith" 5 Day Fasting & Prayer Challenge, yet more demanding. Is it just me, or do you get excited when you see women and men using their power for good?

In her exact words, Esther said to Mordecai, "Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will also fast as you do. After that I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish. (Esther 4:16)"

I'm heavenly convinced, there comes a time in every believer's life when fasting is the only way to break a cycle, be delivered or gain access to the breakthrough for you, a child or a cause. Like Queen Esther, each believer will be challenged to get engaged with their faith, and to not let loose of God's unchanging hand, whether you're getting a favorable response or not.

FASTING and FAITH are deeply and powerfully connected. 

As we experience the last days of this year, I wanted to remind you to keep the faith, and hold on to God's unchanging hand, despite how you feel, --what you see or don't see.

Here's how...

  • Keep in mind, faith is spiritual and cannot be conjured up naturally. Since God gives each of us a measure of faith (Romans 12:3), we must lean on and ask God to increase our faith, when in doubt. 
  • Read, listen and follow what nourishes you. Faith is built up overtime through hearing and reading the word of God (Romans 10:17). If you are spiritually malnourished, your faith will follow. 
  • Meditate on the divine promise or purpose that has been revealed to you by God. It's "proof" or evidence that God plans to deliver on what He said is already so. Write down the vision and recite the vision when you're tempted to give up.
  • Do the right activities that align with what God said is so. Your willingness to act, be coachable, or respond based on what God revealed to you will help to inform, and fuel your faith.

The people who joined Esther for the 3 day fast did benefit indirectly, but the heart of the fast was less about them, and more for Queen Esther to gain safe access to the king, and favor in overturning the plot against the Jews (Esther 8:3-8).

She succeeded at both. 

You may be new to fasting, questioning the benefits or perhaps you've done a few fasts before, but still haven't seen the favor of God in your life, don't let up! 

Keep the faith. Keep showing up. Don't let go of God's unchanging hand, and remain or get connected to a supportive community. Like Queen Esther, who shined and soared on the power of being in agreement with other Jews.

[Click here to join {FAVRD} a community for modern women of faith.]

Did Esther's story speak to you? What about the call to engage your faith despite how you feel? Comment below, and feel free to drop a question below. 

Much Love, 

Tiffany Wilson, M.Div aka @tiffytalks

P.S. If you're interested in {FAVRD} the Bible study for women of faith who are chosen, to grow in community. The next {FAVRD} Bible Study begins January 24 - March 28: 5 studies focused on "The Truth About the Proverbs 31 Woman."

Click here to RSVP and for more details about {FAVRD}!

Photo courtesy of Bruce Mars

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