Flat Spots Here and There – Part 2

This is part 2 of a 2-part series by Kathy Howard, author of “Fed Up with Flat Faith.” Kathy’s book inspired the series “Battling Boredom: My Struggle with a Flat Faith.”

4-23-13 Kathy Howard

Kathy helps women live an unshakeable faith for life by encouraging them to stand firm on our rock-solid God no matter the circumstances of life. The author of five books, Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education and a certificate in women’s ministry. She has been teaching the Bible for over 25 years and speaks regularly at women’s retreats and events.

Kathy and her husband live in the Houston area and have three children, a son-in-law, and one precious grandbaby. When the family gets together there are also four dogs in the mix.  Find out about her books and speaking ministry and get discipleship tools and leader helps at her website: www.kathyhoward.org.

Flat Spots Here and There – Part 2

In my last guest post, I shared one of my temporary falls into flat faith and how God brought me out. Today I want to tell you about another that occurred about 10 years ago.

Life was good. My marriage was solid. Our kids were healthy and happy. Our bills were paid. We had lots of sweet friends and a church we loved. Other than that five pounds I wanted to lose, I couldn’t think of any real problems in my life.

In contrast, several of my girlfriends were dealing with serious issues like life-threatening illnesses, job loss, and rebellious teenagers. As I walked with them through these troubles I noticed something. They were growing spiritually, but I was not.

4-11-13 Flat Faith

My lack of problems seemed to be my problem. My spiritual growth had stagnated because things were just too easy. My friends were learning to trust and depend on God through their difficulties, but I could simply depend on myself.

God answered. Within just a few months our family faced numerous painful situations that forced us to lean on God. For instance, our house flooded. My mother-in-law was killed in a car accident. My husband’s job moved us from Alberta to Texas.My desire to grow more Christ-like moved me to do something risky. I began to pray that God would refine me. Even when He reminded me in His Word that He refines His children through the fire of trials, I continued to pray for spiritual refinement.

Please hear me on this. I am not saying God caused these things. But I do know God used these things for His purposes and my good. I began to learn to trust Him. To depend on Him to strengthen and provide. And I saw His loving hand in every circumstance.

When I was willing to surrender my “easy” life to God’s purposes, He could work in the coming trials to refine my character and grow my faith. My experience with Him through these trials once again revitalized my relationship with Christ.

Most Christians will experience temporary periods of “flat faith.”  If you’ve been struggling spiritually or your faith feels dry, maybe you’re dealing with a bout yourself. Take a moment to check out this post. It defines “flat faith” and lists 10 possible indicators. God wants you to experience vibrant, exciting, pumped up faith, so don’t be content with where you are.

DISCUSSION: What steps do you need to take to experience a pumped-up faith? What steps have you taken in the past that have resulted in a pumped-up faith?

15 thoughts on “Flat Spots Here and There – Part 2

  1. One thing I do to help "pump" up my faith is to simply spend time with a few close friends who I know have a strong faith. They are always ready to encourage me and it doesn't take long for me to feel ready to get back into the ministry God has called me to.

    • Caleb, I love the way God created the body of Christ to work. He calls us to sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron. I also look to godly friends for encouragement and accountability.

    • I do the same thing, Caleb. What's been cool for me lately is that my boys are becoming more of those type of people, and they encourage my faith so much. Of course, we need people outside of family too, and I am so thankful for the friends I have that are closer than family in many ways. In fact, many are electronic friendships and people I have never met. God works in such cool ways!

  2. It has kind of always scared me that the times of growth are tied up in trials. It is hard to say "bring it on". I hope I respond to trials appropriately so that I can grow when the opportunity presents itself and so I do not need more trials to help me get where I need to go! Likewise in those times of life when the storm has lessened I want to continue to practice the things I do when I am just trying to survive. I want those times to be blessed as well.

    • There's almost an acceptance that needs to happen in that trials are simply a part of life and survival is sometimes the best we can do. I hope that comes across right, but in this acceptance perhaps we can better focus on what God can do rather than avoiding trials or thinking life can be free of them. Does that make sense?

  3. I've certainly seem how the tough times have led to the greatest growth in my life. After all, that's why the first chapter of James encourages us to be joyful when we undergo trials.
    But I've also asked God to grow me in the good times as well as the bad. I don't want to be bull-headed enough during the good times to be stagnant. I hope to be disciplined and wise enough that I can grow without God having to shake me up. It's not necessarily that I'm afraid of trials (although let's be honest – who wants them!?!), but moreso that I don't want to be dependent on trials for my spiritual growth.

    • You said something pretty profound here, Loren. "I don't want to be dependent on trials for my spiritual growth." I think we too easily fall into the trap of changing and growing only when we have to, when we're force to do so. I have found that the growth that comes out of choosing to do so has tremendous joy that is somehow different than that which comes out of trials. Does that make sense?

  4. It is certainly in the "Valleys" the times of trial we grow. I have been on the road in areas where connections were bad. I thank Kathy for her blogs and Kari for sharing her journey. I hope you, Kari and your hubby, have had a blessed and refeshing time. We all love those mountaintop moments, but I have learned that we ususally don't stay there to long before realitity sets in and we are reminded that we are dependent on a faithful God to get us through! and HE will!

    • Thanks, Mary. We had a wonderful time for sure. Definitely refreshing and SO relaxing. Not only is our faithful God there to get us through the tough times, but He is there to walk on the top of the mountain with us too. He's that awesome!

  5. Pingback: Flat Spots Here and There – Part 1 | Struggle to Victory

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