How to Keep Going When Your Faith Is Shaken

I wish I could say I’ve reached the point in life and ministry where I simply trust the Lord and never question His ways. I wrestle much less often these days, but sometimes the battle’s still real. Even today, the devotion I wrote admits a present-tense wrestling match with trusting the Lord. Here are the steps I try to take, however, when this grappling starts again:

  1. Review the promises of God. I generally do a Google search for the promises of God, and I simply read through the many He’s given us—including many He’s already fulfilling. That’s why Joshua 21:43-45 in my daily Bible reading meant so much to me today. 
  2. Review God’s faithfulness in my own life. When I take this step, I generally write a list of the ways God’s always taken care of me. When I see His past-tense care in front of me, it’s a reminder to trust Him with my present-tense questions. 
  3. Stay faithful in my Bible study and prayer. The last thing I need to do when I’m wrestling spiritually is to step away from my time with God. I have no reason to assume God will help me with the unknown if I abdicate responsibilities I know are mine each day. 
  4. Be honest with God about my struggles. His shoulders are big enough to handle my honesty. And, of course, He’s not caught off guard by my confession.
  5. Invite my prayer warriors to undergird me. Just knowing folks who can touch heaven are praying for me increases my hope. It’s never wise for me to fight these battles by myself. 
  6. Ask the Spirit to show me any unforsaken sin in my life. One of those sins is my lack of trust on the hardest days—and I need to hear over and over again that my worry is disobedience. It’s not uncommon that the Spirit also shows me other areas of needed repentance when I’m seeking Him. 
  7. Fast. I’ve written about fasting in the past (see, e.g., “8 Reasons Leaders Should be Fasting” and “7 Reasons Fasting Has Become More Important to Me”). I understand that others differ with my belief that fasting is still a needed discipline for believers, but my faith is strengthened when I long for God’s hand more than I long for food. 
  8. Take at least one step of faith in some area of my life. I don’t always know immediately what God wants me to do, but I’ve learned that steps of obedience in any area of my life decrease my faithlessness in other areas. They also turn my attention away from the struggle and toward God—and that’s the most important step in pressing on when faith is tough. 

Maybe one of these steps will help today if you’re struggling spiritually. Let us know how we might pray for you.

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This article originally appeared on and is reposted here with permission.

Chuck Lawless
Chuck Lawless

Chuck Lawless is dean and vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.