You would not go out and run a marathon after not working out for a year.
You would not expect a car that has been parked in the garage for a few years to drive well across the country.
So why do so many people expect their faith to be there when they go through difficult times when they have done nothing do develop or strengthen their faith.
I see it over and over again. A person talks to me about having a faith crisis after a difficult time in their life and I wonder–when was the last time you were in church? How is your devotional life? Tell me about your prayer life? I don’t think that we can control God. As if God will be nicer to you and go easier on you if you are in church more often. But I do think that faith is like a muscle. It needs to be stretched and worked out regularly. That way when life throws you into a marathon you have the muscles in place to do the work. Sure, you might still get sore. You might still pull a muscle. But you are better off if you have been working those muscles regularly.
Prayer, Bible reading, spiritual conversation, worship… All of these aspects of the Christian faith are like tune-ups and test drives on the vehicle that is your faith. If you haven’t used a car in a while then things don’t work right. These things might be mundane– like getting an oil change or going to the gym– but you want to do those things before you need them.
How is your faith doing? Do you need a trip to the gym? Where do you need a tune-up and a test drive?