During finals week in college, I would push myself to study every waking moment, going all night at times because of the stress caused by my undisciplined study habits.
All that mattered to me was passing the next test, not actually learning the information. In my mind, I just needed to show up and be able to regurgitate information that I learned just hours before. This grind that I put myself through did get me through those classes, but at the expense of much of my well-being and actually learning the material.
As I look back, I recognize that one unfortunate lesson I embraced during this time was that it didn’t matter how I passed the tests, just that I passed them. I resisted learning how to study for my finals in a way that I could actually learn the material and grow from the experience.
I can approach life similarly now with this same grind by focusing on getting through challenges without taking time to evaluate how I’m getting through. Am I doubtful, unmotivated, bitter, or resistant to change? Or am I faithful and have a willingness to learn?
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold— though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 Peter 1:7 NLT
The Bible says that our faith is more precious than mere gold, but I often do not treat it that way. God doesn’t want us to grind through the tests and trials of life; he wants these trials to purify and strengthen our faith. So we can go from resisting the challenges to be willing to take things on and grow from them.
By focusing my Bible study on faith and reflecting on these Scriptures daily, I have been more equipped to evaluate and build my faith instead of just grinding through life.
This study will help you examine your faith by highlighting five obvious signs your faith is challenged so that you can focus on rebuilding faith in God. Here are 5 obvious signs it’s time for you to start rebuilding your faith.
You’re resistant to change
When I don’t have faith, I become unmotivated to obey God. I become resistant to the things God calls me to do, like serving and loving others, sacrificing my time or money, or building new relationships.
Until I gain the faith that motivates me to embrace change, this resistance will spill over into other areas of my life and simple everyday tasks feel hard.
Faith motivated Abraham to obey God’s call and leave the familiar to discover the territory he was destined to inherit from God. So he left with only a promise and without even knowing ahead of time where he was going, Abraham stepped out in faith.
Hebrews 11:8 TPT
Faith is what motivates us to move. Abraham obeyed God’s call to leave the unfamiliar because of his faith. He didn’t wait for a feeling, for life to get easier, or for circumstances to change.
When we have faith we will take the steps we need to take to listen to God and do what we need to do. If we listen and obey, it gets easier and easier when we do it everyday.
- Am I resistant to change? Or waiting to feel motivated?
- What small step can I make that will get me going in the right direction?
- What can you remember about God’s promises for you (just as Abraham did) that can melt your resistance (2 Corinthians 5:14)?
You have a bitter attitude
I can find myself sometimes doing the “right” thing but with a bad attitude. I can pat myself on the back because I am doing what someone asked me to do, but be angry the whole time I am doing it.
Be careful that no one fails to get God’s grace. Be careful that no one loses their faith and becomes like a bitter weed growing among you. Someone like that can ruin your whole group.
Hebrews 12:15 ERV
The Bible teaches that we get bitter when we lose our faith and that bitterness can ruin others around us.
When we pray superficially and with no faith, we leave feeling angry that we “have” to live a certain way without enjoying the great life God has given us. When we rebuild our faith we will be able to recognize all the great blessings God has given us and will give us.
- What kind of attitude would your family and friends say that you have?
- Is there an area of your life you have lost faith and become bitter about?
- What kind of impact have you had on the people around you? Are you making them better or is your bitterness ruining others?
You avoid the hard things
I can be motivated to do everything on my list except the hard ones. And sometimes I hope that if I avoid the hard things long enough they will just go away, or someone else will deal with it.
What are hard things you tend to avoid? Conflict with people, expressing vulnerable feelings, accepting hard truths, and addressing health challenges tend to be common “hard things.”
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6:34 MSG
This is a great scripture on rebuilding faith. God promises to help us with “whatever hard things come up.” There are hard things that can only be conquered or overcome with God’s help, which is why our faith is so important. Having faith in God will help us handle hard things, whether they be job, relationship, health or financial trouble.
When we give our attention to God, he helps us deal with anything that comes in our way. Whatever we are getting worked up about, whatever feels hard, God will help. This doesn’t mean he takes away the hard things, but that he helps us have the faith to handle them.
- What are some hard things you are avoiding right now?
- What attention can you give to God today?
- Do you believe that God is with you during the hard times and will help you?
You often doubt God
Sometimes I can see a text message or a phone call from someone and just expect the worst thing has just happened or is about to happen. When we get to a place where we expect the worst case situation, we can know our faith is in a low place.
 And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace.
 Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive. For the ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next. Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind. You’re up one minute and tossed down the next.
James 1:5-6 TPT
The Bible teaches us that God wants to answer our prayers; in fact he won’t hold our failures against us. We simply need to keep believing instead of following the waves of doubt. It is not our circumstances that cause us to doubt, we doubt because we have become an ambivalent person because of our lack of faith.
You can have confidence no matter what is going on in life and when we doubt we have to accept that it is about us having low faith, not about God having limited power or heart to help us.
- Is your faith up and down based on what is happening in your life at the moment?
- Do you believe God has the power and love for you to help you through any situation?
- Are you asking God for wisdom to tackle your challenges without doubting that he will?
You think more about people than God
What do people think about me? Many of us start young dwelling on others opinions of us. Do they think I’m cool? That I’m a good friend? Do people like me?
Our world comes crashing down when we get any form of rejection, correction, or even if someone forgets to smile at us. People become too prevalent in our minds and there’s no room for God or faith.
 “I do not accept the honor that comes from men,  for I know what kind of people you really are, and I can see that the love of God has found no home in you.  I have come to represent my Father, yet you refuse to embrace me in faith. But when someone comes in their own name and with their own agenda, you readily accept him.
 Of course you’re unable to believe in me. For you live for the praises of others and not for the praise that comes from the only true God.
John 5:41-44 TPT
This Scripture makes it clear that “of course” you don’t have faith if you are looking for praise from people. When our faith is low, we look to get our confidence from what people think about us instead of God.
By not depending on praise from people as Jesus did, we can start rebuilding our faith based on what God feels about us and what the Scriptures say instead of people’s ever-changing opinions.
- What scripture can you hold on to for encouragement, more than people’s words?
- What praise are you getting that is going to your head? (maybe it is from yourself)
- How can you love God more so that people’s approval becomes less?
Rebuilding faith in God
Hopefully you were able to identify areas you could use fresh faith. Though this can often feel like a setback, it is actually progress and necessary before you are able to start rebuilding, which is our ultimate goal. The “grind” of life changes to joy when we get faith back into our hearts.
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Hebrews 3:12-13 NIV
Have faith in Him in all circumstances, dear people. Open up your heart to Him; the True God shelters us in His arms.
Psalm 62:8 Voice
These scriptures give us guidance with simple steps we can take to rebuild our faith when we need it most, specifically turning to spiritual friends for help and deciding to open your heart again to God.
- See To It – invite spiritual friends into your life
- Encourage one another daily – talking daily to spiritual friends for help
- Open your heart to God again – choose to have vulnerable, honest prayers
There are many times in my life, including recently, where I have needed friends to point out where I am at and direct me to scriptures on how to get my faith strong. Only when we invite spiritual friends into our lives with our honesty, humility, and responsiveness are we able to conquer the unbelief that we allow in our hearts, which makes us resistant and turns us away from God.
It’s always tempting to let the busyness of life keep us from making time for spiritual friends to talk about our faith. Make a decision to open up your heart again to God by praying about what really is going on in your heart. Set aside time to have spiritual talks with your spouse, roommates, and friends about where your faith has been at and ask for help on how to rebuild it again.