What is faith?

What is faith?

The Struggle with Faith

What is faith? “It is the trust, assurance and confidence in God” (Jim Haeeffele, What is Faith). This area has been one tremendous test for me. One of the biggest struggles of my faith have been questioning whether God is real, whether God hears my prayers, and what am I doing wrong?

All of my life, the church has been a strong foundation within my family and upbringing. We traveled to church almost every Sunday. The importance of service and love were expressed, as members guided me into ushering, singing in the choir, leading youth groups, giving Sunday speeches, and more. Even as an adult, service is still very important to me. However, at this point, the decisions were mine to make as to how my contributions would be invested in the church. My faith was in action.


However, as my journey of life continued, more experiences arrived. It felt as though after eleven grade, my life was not going according to plan and my efforts were in vain. I recall a night as I slept in my truck because I didn’t have the money to buy a hotel room or pay my extended stay fee for the week, another series of unfortunate events leading to that moment.

Crouched down and hoping no one would see and question whether I was alive, drunk, or a number of things other than just having a hard time with life’s resources. Living check to check after having surgery, a boss that didn’t honor my FMLA request causing my funds to be depleted and losing my job and apartment, and so many other things had gotten me here. It was a bad year. And this particular night, pay day was in a few days. The goal was to survive until that point. Don’t even get me started on shuffling this experience with my kids and their dad. It was a true test of my faith.

Matthew 17:20 kept coming to my mind. “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain. ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” My faith was present so why was I in this position. Why had there been so many experiences that continued to keep me feeling broken, unheard, and unloved by God? Is God really real or a myth designed to control people?

What was I doing wrong? Why was I being punished? Prayer? Daily. Active in church? Of course. Authentically and lovingly, I motivated and encouraged others. Nothing was coming together, only falling apart. It was a strain to believe in a God that wasn’t listening to me.

Many times I thought why even try. Information was being presented to me from many sources that God wasn’t real and a work of fiction. Chasing truth caused me to follow a trail seeking answers, demanding concrete proof of God’s existence, and trying to remove my own doubts. My faith was struggling.

There are times questions still surface if God hears me or is punishing me. The biggest struggle sometimes is knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is here, protecting me, providing, and loving me. There are times when I feel God has finally heard my prayer and I’m making progress… and that gets derailed and I’m back at square one.

No, my relationship isn’t based on giving me a reward in order to believe. No, it is the desire for clarity more than anything. Have you ever heard people say God told them to do this or that? Well, I haven’t heard that voice.  However, my dreams while sleeping have put me in places that said, “God I hear you.” There have been many situations in which gratitude overflows for all the times that I have survived or been spared. Wisdom has been sought on how to use that knowledge to guide and help others.

Faith. It is exactly that. Believing when you can’t always see something but  knowing that a Power and love greater than you is watching over you. And it is all in God’s plan and for a purpose. Finally, my mind and heart grasped the idea that everything will not be understood, but remain focused toward the goal.  Externally, my life is still a work in progress. Yes, doubts still surface. My reward daily has been tapping into a place of peace in the midst of a world that can be unforgiving and unyielding from the weight it can bring into your life. My faith in God is my peace.

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Psalm 73:1-2 (KJV) “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.”

A couple of years ago, my marriage ended and I went through a really difficult time. I was extremely discouraged in my fight against sin and I was ready to throw in the towel. It was too hard. An entire lifetime of battling against sin just seemed too daunting, too tiring. When do I catch a break? How could I possibly “not grow weary in doing good,” as it’s written in Galatians 6:9?

The feeling of shame, guilt, and share frustration overtook me as I struggled to come to terms with my miserable life. With sleepless nights and worrisome days, a lot of patient encouragement from my mom, I soon realized that the source of my problems was that I had lost sight of my goal and the promises of God over my life.

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

This was coming true in my life. I had become too focused on my life on this earth and forgot to look forward to eternity. How can a soldier possibly be taken up with the affairs of normal men when in battle?

I remember thinking at the time, that even if living for God made every day on this earth an overwhelming struggle, even if I felt wretched for the rest of my life, it would still be worth it in the end when I meet Jesus and received my reward.

So, I did it. I went all in. I gave up everything and gave my heart properly to God. I told myself, “Just one short lifetime of misery and then I can enter into the joy that God has promised me.”

But a remarkable thing happened. Instead of being divorced and miserable, I became happy! I experienced for myself the words that God said to Abraham in Genesis 51:1 “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

Those dark, heavy feelings would still like to take hold of me when the going gets tough, but I know now that the source of those feelings is unbelief in God’s promises. And I can overcome them by choosing to believe God’s Word and fixing my eyes on Him.

Don’t Quit! When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trading seems all uphill. When the funds are low and the debts are high and you want to smile, but you have to sigh. When care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must, but DON’T YOU QUIT!

Life is strange with its twists and turns as every one of us will come to learn. Many failures come about when you might have won but had to stick it out; Don’t give up though the pace seems slow— You may succeed with another blow.

You never can tell just how close you are, it may be near when it seems so far. So, stick to the fight when you are hardest hit— It’s when things seem worst that you MUST NOT QUIT!

​ Be blessed




written by Darell Darden

It is found that the lyrics of Christian music have a more encouraging message. Christian music has a purpose in their lyrics and they are written to touch souls. Without realizing it, these texts can change the perspective in your day! The music and lyrics can affect your daily life.

The rhythms and lyrics of gospel songs are at the core of the Christian experience. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about old hymns or newly composed worship and praise song; music has played an essential role in the lives of many believers. While there are various genres and other categorizations that can be used to classify gospel music, at the end of the day, it can be defined as songs composed and sang to worship and praise God.

Many worldly music channels and CDs have un-edifying lyrics; many of these songs have obscene, and razz lyrics and they are mostly noise in the ear. Christian music lyrics tend to show that the glass is half full instead of half empty. They have optimistic lyrics, and these lyrics are also words of encouragement. Christian music shows how Christ wants us to see life with joy and hope.

We continue to pray that Almighty God grant us the wisdom and knowledge to meet the righteous and the unjust. That is why we take part in this Christian journey to distinguish good from evil and also show the difference between Godly and worldly. We see that much of contemporary Christian music is blasphemy and ungodly.

Gospel music has something phenomenal, powerful, unfathomable, mysterious and fascinating. Gospel music gives us a feeling that is beyond human’s comprehension. It moves us and makes us shake our heads or snap our fingers as we listen to the flow of the rhythm. It is known as an effective therapeutic tool which can also be used far beyond the environment of the church.


The lyrics you listen to in gospel songs influence your attitude more than you think. Without realizing it, the message of a song can become something you are incredibly obsessed with.

Repeatedly listening to a song will make the lyrics of the song stick in your head: These lyrics will naturally come as a reflex when you need it.


  • Gospel music heals us from any form of spiritual infirmity

The Bible teaches us in 1 Samuel 16: 14-23 that David played music to provide relief and peace to King Saul in times of agony and stress. Meditation through music can enable people to regain a high level of consciousness and free the mind from spiritual illnesses. Music heals us.

If the will of the mind believes and therefore clings on God’s truth; all things in that belief are possible for such a mind.

  • Gospel music strengthens our faith

Faith begins from the mind; the mind then informs the heart; the heart then adds battalions behind it: the power of ten thousand wildebeests, which are shaped by rites of faith. The heart nourishes the mind; the mind directs or guides the heart; both work together.

Paul and Silas must have discussed how they would approach their detention.

They must have agreed that this misfortune was a perfect opportunity for them to show the Spirit of God. Despite the dangerous injustice Paul and Silas sang – even though they had lost their freedom, they did not wallow themselves with regrets and tears but rather prayed to God.


The problem with most of us is that our uncontrolled emotions still influence us. This is less a criticism than a memory. God is never with us whenever we lose hope in him or his word.

Whenever our problem puts us in perspective:

  • See things as they really are;
  • Sing songs of praises.

We are blessed to develop our passion for it – to really see – to see beyond what many cannot see – to see what God sees – and then to do what is necessary or to do what we can do.


Christian songs assure us that our struggles are not just ours, but that we surely will find spiritual support in God.

written by Darell Darden

Songs That Impact Your Faith

Songs That Impact Your Faith

The truth is as long as the world evolves, people would always have different views about almost everything. But in all those views people have, there is always the one that is the truth whether it’s accepted or not.

How many times have you heard a Christian listen to a song that has God in the lyrics, and because of that singular reason, say it’s gospel music. That’s funny. Let us first of all analyze what the word gospel means. I will paraphrase what dictionaries define it as. Gospel basically has to do with Christ, teachings related to Christianity that relate to the message of Christ and salvation. Literally, it means good news; for Christians, the good news about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. So, the fact that a song has “God” in its lyrics does not validate it as gospel music. I mean, what did God do? Let me get to the point; gospel music glorifies all that Jesus Christ did for humanity, simple. Do you disagree? What then do you believe in exactly?

Gospel music impacts inspires and further affirms your faith in Christ. Any song that just makes you “emotional, “focus on your life situations or “life” itself cannot be seen as gospel music.

Gospel music glorifies God, not your circumstances, His life in you, not “life” in itself. Something else that makes gospel music has an impact on your faith is the fact that it’s not from the writer’s “heart,” you know how people can sincerely write from their hearts how they feel about God? That’s not gospel music. If it can qualify as a piece of gospel music, it will have zero views of man and only God’s word uplifted. And definitely, when a Christian listens to one of such songs, his or her faith is further strengthened.

Let me drift a bit into how these songs in question can impact your choice. I am sure by now you know that what you listen to goes a long way into what would eventually be in your heart if you don’t guard it. Have you ever listened to a song that is all about love this, love that, my heart this and that, and over time you realize you start craving love from “the one”? That’s because what you hear is actually powerful; how much more when you feed your mind with it over and over again.

All I’m saying is gospel music would certainly impact you to make Godly choices. There’s no way you are listening to songs that constantly Glorify Christ and His word, remind you of who you are as a Christian, and then you are making choices like a worldly man. I say this confidently because what you listen to constantly builds a consciousness in you whether you planned for it or not, and when a God-consciousness is around you, your decisions would be influenced by such.

Also, gospel music can be in the form of consecration songs, which further strengthen your allegiance with our Lord, Jesus. Such songs help you re-affirm your love and commitment to Christ. This definitely impacts your faith. It reminds you of your decision to serve Christ and spurs you to love and serve Him even more. Therefore, every song cannot be referred to as gospel music! It’s a great thing we have music today, and in it is so many harmonious sounds and all that instruments that make you feel like your heart is about to burst, but please just before your heart bursts,  listen to the lyrics well. That a song is very slow, or the singer’s voice is so high, and “angelic” doesn’t make it gospel, let’s know what we are doing. Let’s not justify what is not by laying claims on the wrong things. Call a spade a spade. Call a song that glorifies God’s word gospel. I trust you un