Wavering faith

edited January 2009 in Faith Issues
Hello everyone,

         I was just wondering, doesn't the faith element of Christianity thrive and blossom when it faces hostility and persecution. And at an individual level, doesn't our prayer life improve during family crisis, exams, unemployment.

When a hostile threat (such as atheistic or non-Christian fundamentalism) appears, hitherto separate communities sink their differences and often work together. Take for instance,  some countries of the Middle East where public Christian worship in severely restricted or even banned. Here, we find people forming prayer groups and meeting privately at a member's residence. Even in more liberal places here where public worship is allowed, groups and denominations often share worship facilities or conduct joint services. In the past, when there was deliberate persecution (remember the Apostles and Desert Fathers) the faith was well-focussed against all odds and emerged stronger than ever. The faithful survivors who battled it out recount and relate to the trials of St.Paul and the others.

On the other hand, the absence of challenges generally brings out the worst behavior - factionalism, lukewarmness, arrogance, indulgences and excesses of various kinds and not to mention, a dilution of faith. Factionalism in church parishes gain hold and members break off to form new groups, get "poached" or lapse into vices. At the individual level, when its smooth sailing, when we have a high income job, when there is no perceptible threat to our well-being, our desire to seek pleasure gets triggered. Silent obedience gives way questionable choices. Prayer life is neglected.

Now, the global financial crisis has brought back the fear of God into most people and spirituality is actually on the rise. Joblessness, terrorism, natural calamities and persecution has caused a renewal of faith in many of us.

My questions:

1. Are trials and tribulations really necessary for faith to blossom?
2. How do the monks and nuns in monasteries remain so spiritually focussed in the absence of typical common man's trials such as joblessness, children's education, traffic, taxes etc.? 
3.How does one become more consistent in our prayer life and remain motivated?

          I would greatly appreciate inputs from folks here.

God bless,


  • [quote author=rpm link=topic=7559.msg99325#msg99325 date=1232014536]
    My questions:

    1. Are trials and tribulations really necessary for faith to blossom?

    well, look at it this way. in our mindset as human who have freewill, which we really take advantage off, YES WE NEED TRIALS. because with out them, those who are of little faith will forget there is GOd. i don't mean that GOD does this to make people come to Him!! it's just that He deserves us. our God is a zealous one. He wants us to be with Him, but with our choice. now for us to choose that, we have to recognize Him.
    btw, that's a huge difference between us, Christians and some other religions. We need to know GOd to be with Him; to go to His heaven's and dwell with HIM; in another way to look at, to make our earth heaven untill we go to the real heaven.

    2. How do the monks and nuns in monasteries remain so spiritually focussed in the absence of typical common man's trials such as joblessness, children's education, traffic, taxes etc.? 

    they are in another realm. they actually get more trails and temptations that we can ever think of. the devils are THERE FOR THEM, especially for them because they are MORE dedicated to God...and all the devils live with is against God. also consider how those earthly trials you mention are earthly trials that are indirectly from the devils.....things that we can see and deal with in many means and through God's help. but the monks and nuns deal with more direct trials from devils.
  • i agree with mina.
    although psalm 22 (23) also reminds us of times of refreshing as well as of trial.
    may we all seek to be ever closer to God through all our hours and all our times.
  • The stronger the winds that try to move the palmtree, the deeper its roots grow...

    I agree with what has been said, and to answer your third question:

    I think the important thing here is to look at psalm 50: 'because I know of my trespasses and my sin is always before me'
    Remembering your sins is a good way to remain humble even in times where you might be doing well (both spiritually and wordly for both can cause pride)... it also allows us to contemplate on God's endless mercy and care for it was Him who rescued and forgave us from those trespasses we committed...
    Also, and I speak from personal experience: in times of trouble or trial one seems to want to pray a lot and never finds enough time to pray, read the Bible etc. but often when there are no trials, we have plenty of time but we choose to spend it in other meaningless ways, so the key is to realize the need for God's word as our everyday food of life and to have enough discipline to follow our spiritual 'routine' always... here I go back to remembering, remembering how we prayed during our past trials and how the Lord saved us, remembering our promises to Him to pray more from now on.. contemplating on His cross, His sacrifice, His love and in front of all of that, how can we be greedy with our time?..

    God bless
    please pray for my weakness

  • rpm, you have said the most inlightenning words i have heard in a long period of time, thank you! I will try to tackle this hard and most important issue that pertians to all Christians, again Thank you!
    Like little babys in the cradel rocked by the devils music we sleep. Like fools we start to see and believe in things that we can only hold in our hands; where, it is written do not believe by sight but by faith. We start to wonder into outer space with vain imagination so far away from the spiritual path. Like a good father or mother, when they see their child having a bad dream does wake him up and hugs their child, so does God. Even though, God does use methods of chastaisment when we become so dull from hearing his word to wake us up, I do not believe that hardships are neccery to build up ones faith, one refference to that you will find is in revealtion from St. John,  showes the more God increased the suffering the more people blasfimed God and they would not repent and give God Glory. In another cenaryo, when the son of the man that gave his son his share of inheirtance, had come in sudden poverty and need came to his sences, but only when he began to suffer, inwhich, illustrates that some, at rock bottom, begin to see the way they are travelling leeds to death and they wake up. Know if you will come to the days of myrterdom, it is evident the more the hardship the more the more the believers grew, but it was not because of the suffering, but because they can see Jesus' propecy and promises were comming to light, also because of the great work that God was doing through the myrters, all the miracles. some when they behold horores such as 9/11 become afraid, and become aware of God's wrath, and specaily when it has been prophecied . nowm to the point, the only way to keep faith blossemed  is how much your love for God is. You asked how the monks do it? Their love for God is strong enough to withsdand anything. Lets go to Job he was the wealtiest in every thing yet his faith never wavered, even when everything was taken from him. Father Abrahamm Father Issac, and father Jacob these men where mightly wealthy and did not need of anything, but they did not waver in faith because they have the love of God so deeply rooted in their hearts. The monks become monks, like mari Meena who gave all, because of the great love they have and their love to God sustains their faith. God says draw close to me and I will draw close to you! And do not forget that being a true Christ's fallower means struggle. So don not stop strugglling and let the devill rock you to sleep with his music. Keep close to God  and always ask for his help and you will do well. May God bless you Greatly, and Grant your pettitions, remmember me in your prayers.
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