Why does my faith go up and down?

Why is it i have days when am so so strong in faith and knowing that my God hears all my prayers and there are days i feel so lost in faith

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Hi @dyoung, you’re not alone, though each experience may be different, we all go through ups and downs in our faith.

In the low moments, I have found the Psalms to be very encouraging. Psalms 42 - 43 and 77 are especially dear to me.

Psalm 42:3 and 4-5, Psalm 77:7-9 and 10-12, and Lamentations 3:19-20 and 21-24 all come from places of deep pain - when your soul is heavy and sad (Ps. 42:3), when it feels like God is distant and has rejected you (Ps. 77:7-9), and when catastrophe hits and you lose all that you hold dear (Lam. 3:19-20 - but really all of chapters 1-3). The Psalmists and the prophet do not hide their pain, rather, they share it openly with God and are honest with how they feel in their songs and prayers to Him. Which I find refreshing, knowing that it’s ok to be honest with God.

They also all respond to this pain, not only by sharing honestly with God, but also by purposefully reminding themselves of God’s goodness and all that He has done for them. In remembering these things, they find hope in the God they know they can trust - even among the pain and feelings of hopelessness (Ps. 42:4-5, Ps. 77:10-12, Lam. 21-24).

I have found for myself that when I too am honest with God in prayer - and with trusted godly community - and think back on the goodness and faithfulness of God, I begin to see that I am not alone and I begin to find hope and faith in God again. Even if the process is sometimes, long and slow.

I also really appreciate how throughout the Bible we see many heroes of faith going through this same struggle. Peter in the gospels does constant 180°s (like his response to Jesus washing the disciples feet John 13:8-10), David - the man after God’s own heart - has so many terrible low points in his faith, and Elijah after defeating the prophets of Baal before the people of Israel - which should be a great victory - immediately seeks death until God nurtures him back to health and encourages him. Through it all, God never turns his back. He is always there calling us, caring for us, and supporting us. So in all your struggles, you are not alone.

As to why this happens, I don’t know other than that we live in a fallen world. Yet God will restore all things. This song in particular came to mind when reading your question, it’s called There Will be a Day. I also know that God works all things for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28), and that He refines us (1 Pet. 1:6-7) and grows our strength and faithfulness (James 1:2-4) through all our trials.

I’m glad you’re here seeking God, and I pray that you find His love, peace, strength, and comfort poured out through this community that you may find encouragement and renewed faith.

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Hi @dyoung,

You’ve raised a great question. It’s one that I’ve struggled with as well.

I can feel distant from God for so many reasons - including intellectual, emotional, and physical ones.

@blake has provided an excellent answer already.

I wanted to add one simple thought: what if this is part of being human?

  • We all have limitations.

  • We cannot see God directly but know him through faith and the work of the Spirit.

  • We are affected by sin - our own, and that of others

If we set our expectations in a way that aligns with the inconsistencies of being human, then perhaps we can be less disappointed with ourselves when our faith fluctuates from day to day?

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