So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Dear Reader,

I have been brought up in a Christian home. Like most Afrikaans families we attended church every Sunday and all the kids were send to Sunday school. Eventually I’ve also confirmed my faith in the NG Church at the appropriate age. I am very grateful to my parents for this grounding – not only because of sending me to Sunday school or regular church attendance – but mostly because of their example.

I remember my mom told me that at the age of 4 I was already saying that I love Jesus very much! Oh! – how do I long for that childlike faith of my youth!

Sometimes I think that growing up in a Christian home makes things actually so much harder!

If you consider someone with a different upbringing who are born again – they are the ones with the radical testimonies! They have the story to tell about how bad there life’s were and how Jesus came and change all that!

But if you are brought up in a Christian home – what story do you really have to tell?

I know that my walk with Christ goes through phases. There is always the times that I feel strong in my faith – but invariably – life happens and the hard times come again. Those are the times you feel that you are stumbling around in the dark – having more questions than you can seem to find answers for!

The times when you pray and pray – and nothing seems to happen. This is the times when you wonder if God really even care!

You see, dear reader: This is the problem that I had most of my life! Even though I grew up in the church and with the Bible, and even though I believed in God and the Bible as his Word, somehow for me it always was just head-knowledge and I found it difficult to apply it to me personally.

I believed that God is a god of love, and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. But somehow I always struggled to apply it to me personally, to believe that He died for me! I think this is something that a lot of people struggle with. I think we often just feel unworthy, or somehow that we need to earn our redemption.

I know that there were times in my life that I wanted to just give it all up and turn away from God completely! But I came to realise that He was such a part of my life that it was simply not possible!

So I came to understand, that this is the meaning of faith in action: In all those hard times, when you feel as if you are reaching out and you just can’t seem to find Him, those are the times that you just hang on – like a person in a stormy sea hanging onto the life-saving buoy. What I find helps a lot is journaling – writing down all the promises you find in Scriptures, as well as the answers to your prayers. When the hard times comes and you are feeling lost, it helps a lot to go back in your journal and see how God came through for you before. This will encourage you and strengthen your faith.

Today looking back, I realise it is all part of our life journey. Faith is about a relationship that you build every day – not only when the hard times comes. It means that you need to prioritize and make time every day to spend time with Him and in his Word. And when you look back you will find through all these hard times you actually did get stronger – and a lot of things that you found hard to deal with before – actually does become easier. But most important: you know that you are not in this alone!

When life throws you down and you reach the end of your limits, you know that God is there. You can go and ask your heavenly Father, and He will be there for you!

A lot of your questions will remain though – and we won’t find the answers to all of them in this life. But ultimately, I think we need to get past the questions – and return to that absolute blind faith we had as children!

So dear Reader: Are you going through a hard time right now? Is there anything that God has done for you in the past that can help to strengthen your faith in this situation? Please feel free to share your stories in the comments. You might just be encouraging someone else today!

Thanks for reading,


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