One primary reason young people give for turning away from faith is that it lacks relevance for their lives. They just don’t see what difference it makes. Why bother?
This is the third post in a series about leaving a legacy of faith. (See intro post and “3 Ways to Pass it Down with Purpose“.) We can pass down a spiritual legacy with purpose when we stand firm on our faith through hard times. When we do, the young people in our lives will see our faith works. That it makes a difference in the trials and difficulties of life. That faith holds relevance for their lives too.
In the Bible, Naomi beautifully demonstrates this truth with her own life. Usually when we study the book of Ruth, we focus on the young Moabite’s declaration of faith to commit herself to Naomi and to Naomi’s God (Ruth 1:16-18). Yet, how often do we wonder what fostered such a great display of faith?
Naomi was Ruth’s faith example. Through hunger, a change in countries, the loss of a husband, and the loss of her sons Naomi demonstrated a faith worth having. A relevant faith. A faith that brought her through the trials to the other side.
That’s the kind of faith Ruth wanted. The kind that works for life.
4 Faith Steps for Hard Times
As I studied Naomi’s life, I noticed 4 ways she responded with faith in the midst of her trials. Naomi’s purposeful actions of faith no doubt impacted Ruth:
- Naomi was honest about her pain (Ruth 1:20-21) – Naomi changed her own name from “lovely” to “bitter.” She left Israel “full,” but was returning “empty.” Believers it’s okay to admit we’re struggling! When we’re honest about our need, then we’re free to lean on Jesus!
- Naomi acknowledged God’s sovereignty (Ruth 1:20-21) – Naomi never lost sight of the truth that no matter what came into her life God was still in control. Even if she didn’t understand the “why” she could truth the “Who.”
- Naomi watched for God’s activity, prayed, and sought His help (Ruth 1:6-9) – Naomi had not given up despite the severity of her trials. She actively sought God’s help and watched for His response.
- Naomi moved to where God was actively working (Ruth 1:6, 22) – As soon as Naomi learned of God’s provision for His people in Israel, she moved to where He was acting. She placed herself right in the middle of His activity.
Naomi demonstrated a rock solid faith in God in the midst of hardship. Her unwavering faith left a lasting impression on her daughter-in-law Ruth. Ruth’s faith later joined with her husband Boaz. Then their cord of faith continued to run through their descendant David and on to Jesus.
This cord was woven in hardship. When one woman stood firm on her faith in God through the difficult times. Then the cord was passed and passed again.
What about you? How do you respond when trials and difficulties hit? How has your life demonstrated a rock-solid, relevant faith to those around you?