“Faith” is a very good word when used in a Biblical sense……but I have the feeling that very few people actually know the meaning of “the Faith once for all times delivered to the saints.”
My first question would be:
1) What “kind” of “faith” did your friend possess before they lost it. Was it the kind of “Faith that comes from hearing?” (Romans 10:17)
One must have a serious, intimate relationship to the Word in order to be a genuine person of faith. Simple intellectual acknowledgment of the existence of God is NOT faith.
Without a personal relationship to God through prayer and a study of HIS WORD no one has the resources necessary to deal with the difficulties of life. I would need to know if the person you have in mind was a serious and sincere obedient Christian before suffering doubt.
Here is the problem I see regularly. People who have had a nominal relationship to God face trials and difficulties and find their “faith” wanting. They want an immediate “fix” for their problems……they expect the preacher to be like the Dr. who dispenses an immediate remedy for their symptoms, they want instant answers to their prayers and instant fixes to their problems……and the truth is…..faith sometimes calls upon the Christian to suffer and endure with patience trials. Without a serious relationship to God and His Word NO ONE possesses the resources necessary to “keep the faith” through difficulties.
Now…..having said all that…..let me remind the sincere Christian of the promises found in God’s Word:
26* In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27* and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28* And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
This passage REQUIRES faith. I may not “like” what happens to me in life……but I can KNOW that God knows what my troubles are and is “working them together to accomplish good” in my life (vs. 28). Even when the circumstances look dire…..I need to remind myself of the Love that God possess for his children.
31* What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32* He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33* Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34* who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35* Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36* Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” 37* But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
38* For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39* nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing, NOTHING, NOTHING separates us from the Love of God.
I would also remind the Christian of a verse in Isaiah 40:31:
31* Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
“Waiting for the Lord” requires faith…..but the promises are great. Remember also Phil. 4
6* Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7* And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8* Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9* The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Remember that difficulties often give us the opportunity to understand life’s priorities. Recently a good friend of mine suffered a heart attack. For weeks it was necessary for him to cease his normal daily activities and reevaluate his life. He told me that he was able to put the priorities back into his life. He said that many of the things that we think are important are really insignificant.
We are allowed to see the big picture of life when difficulties come. We can gain a greater appreciation of God’s presence, feel greater appreciation for our friends and family.
Doubts, when dealt with in a Biblical way, can bring great strength.
So….to your friend I would say……..get involved in helping others…..quit concentrating on your miseries……build you faith (Rom. 10:17) by getting involved in a serious personal study of God’s Word. Look to God in faith. He will not disappoint you.