At times, things may not go as we expect or plan. We might find ourselves doubting or losing faith in ourselves, those we love, in humanity, the government, or life itself. Circumstances beyond our control can cause us to experience a sense of failure which may lead to feelings of hopelessness and depression.
Faith, in its simplest form, is based on the expectation of something good coming out of a difficult or bad situation. Faith goes beyond hope. Hope resides in our mind while faith is firmly planted in the heart and spirit. It is not easily explained by reason, logic, or understood through a single thought. In the Bible, Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as “the expectation of things to come or the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Life is hard in the best of times, but through faith, we have the knowledge deep within our being that things will get better. Just as we hoped for a COVID vaccine, we now have faith that it will be effective in controlling the virus.
In simpler terms, it takes faith to drive a car as we believe it is likely that we will get to our destination without having an accident. It takes faith to get on an airplane that flies at 30,000 feet without falling from the sky. Without faith, we stifle ourselves from living a full and happy life. Without faith, we cannot expect things to turn out for the good and often find ourselves living a continuum of second guessing everything we do.
We have heard that faith can move mountains as well as comfort and carry people through some bleak situations. We have no “scientific or physical” evidence of its existence but it is a part of our very being. It is in our DNA. Faith is what binds us together and supports our deepest desires and yearnings.
Many people do not believe unless they have physical evidence. They do not recognize the little miracles of life that exist. Faith is present and an essential part of all human life. It is the thing that helps us get through the dark times and gives us strength when we are weak.
Here are three ways to cultivate faith.
#1 Focus on gratitude.
Gratitude is essential to strengthening your faith. Begin by creating a list of 3 things that you are grateful for each day. This simple action will help you develop a positive outlook and a chance to look outside of your own tribulations. You will become less selfish and more compassionate and empathetic.
#2 Small gestures of kindness to others.
There is a flipside to the challenges you face in life. Despite the conditions brought on by tragedies such as COVID-19, choose to remind yourself about how blessed you are. Make a call or write an unexpected note to someone to lift their spirits. Tell someone how much you care. Be kinder and more tolerant than usual to others. Have faith in the goodness of humanity!
#3 Find a purpose for continued growth.
Faith enables us to expect good things, so do not stop pushing the boundaries of expectation and the resolve of unwavering faith to overcome even the worst of times. Find a reason to keep pursuing a happy life; volunteer to help others, spend time in reflection or meditation, learn something new.
Lean into your faith to grow mentally and spiritually. You will soon realize how important an unwavering faith is for a happy life.
Written by: Rebecca Winston, Sales Specialist, Garden Plaza of Valley View
Rebecca Winston is a sales specialist at a senior retirement community. After caring for her mother for a number of years, she understands how to help families and senior adults navigate the process of choosing a community where residents thrive and enjoy their independence and find the care that they may need. She is an active member of a faith community, and involved with Saint Vincent de Paul.
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