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How do you find trusting faith when you don't feel it?


JLHPROF

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Faith has two components - belief and trust.
I have never had any problem with the first, but I have ongoing challenges with the second.

Elder Holland says " I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. "

For example I have held reasonably good jobs for the past 15 years, stable with decent pay.  I still do (although it is getting harder and harder to make ends meet).
I pay my tithing and seek the Lord's guidance in temporal things as well as spiritual.  Now the time has come for me to consider finding a new job as my current one may not remain viable much longer.

And yet I am constantly convinced I am going to fail.  That my family will end up homeless or run out of money or  I will have to do as my family did when I was young and rely on the mercy of friends for a place to stay.  I am constantly doubting that I can do any job I apply for, or that anyone would want to hire me.
I doubt myself constantly, and so by connection I doubt the Lord's promised blessings.  I have even received priesthood blessings for guidance and comfort that I believe God can bless me, but I am not so sure he will.
This is the goal:
f88440871013c92d1f3cc9854934271e.jpg

How do you achieve this goal if it's not in your nature?
So how do you convince yourself that the things you know are true will come to fruition in your lives?
How did a 90 year old Sarah consider God faithful to fulfill his promise to do something basically impossible?
When you know you are a sinner working on repentance, how do you come to know that God will bless you, even if you haven't yet fully kept the laws upon which that blessing is predicated?

Sorry for the rant...just under a bit of pressure and a lot of confusion right now.

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As someone who has lived through multiple episodes of unemployment (and the worry that comes with it), my answer is to pour out your heart to God (about your mistrust or lack of trust) and then ask for His hand in your life to be revealed to you.  Pray that you will see how He has taken care of you, or things that He has done for you.  Our faith is strengthened when we see God's promises come to pass.  Opening our eyes to the ways that God is already intervening makes having faith Him doing so in the future much easier.  

And also, vocally hold Him to the promises that He has made to you already.  I don't think that this does anything on HIs end but I have seen how it has strengthened my trust in God on my end.  It would be something like praying "I've paid my tithing and now I need you to open those windows of heaven on behalf of me and my family.  I have been obedient and I now request these blessings on my behalf."  I think that it's got to be humbly and not in a demanding way, and also with a sincere 'thy will be done' attitude, acknowledging that the blessings you request might not be the best ones or the ones needed and to for Him to do what is best, but just the act of vocalizing the trust that I did have (which my obedience to different commandments illustrated), helped strengthen my faith.

I've also learned not to indulge my 'worst case scenario' tendencies.  I try not to focus on everything that can go wrong, but when i start going down that road i pray for strength to stop.  I had to recognize that those feelings, and the fear that came with them, were not reality, they were satanic, put in my mind to specifically retard my faith by making the situation feel more precarious than it actually was.  I now treat them the same way I tread all unwanted thoughts-i immediately say a silent prayer and might even sing a hymn or something in my head to clear them out.  That has also helped me to 'doubt not.'

Edited by bluebell
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7 minutes ago, Bobbieaware said:

Find a way to get paid a reasonable commission for each of the many posts you place on this board and you'll be financially secure in no time. 😉

Not sure if that means you think I post too much or that my posts have actual value. ;)

 

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2 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Not sure if that means you think I post too much or that my posts have actual value. ;)

 

Wondering how one goes about earning a living while spending what seems to be an extraordinary amount of time engaged in a hobby that has no financial reward. 😋 P.S. Full disclosure: There are times when I wonder the same thing about myself.

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12 minutes ago, bluebell said:

As someone who has lived through multiple episodes of unemployment (and the worry that comes with it), my answer is to pour out your heart to God (about your mistrust or lack of trust) and then ask for His hand in your life to be revealed to you.  Pray that you will see how He has taken care of you, or things that He has done for you.  Our faith is strengthened when we see God's promises come to pass.  Opening our eyes to the ways that God is already intervening makes having faith Him doing so in the future much easier.  

And also, vocally hold Him to the promises that He has made to you already.  I don't think that this does anything on HIs end but I have seen how it has strengthened my trust in God on my end.  It would be something like praying "I've paid my tithing and now I need you to open those windows of heaven on behalf of me and my family.  I have been obedient and I now request these blessings on my behalf."  I think that it's got to be humbly and not in a demanding way, and also with a sincere 'thy will be done' attitude, acknowledging that the blessings you request might not be the best ones or the ones needed and to for Him to do what is best, but just the act of vocalizing the trust that I did have (which my obedience to different commandments illustrated), helped strengthen my faith.

I've also learned not to indulge my 'worst case scenario' tendencies.  I try not to focus on everything that can go wrong, but when i start going down that road i pray for strength to stop.  I had to recognize that those feelings, and the fear that came with them, were not reality, they were satanic, put in my mind to specifically retard my faith by making the situation feel more precarious than it actually was.  I now treat them the same way I tread all unwanted thoughts-i immediately say a silent prayer and might even sing a hymn or something in my head to clear them out.  That has also helped me to 'doubt not.'

Wow.
Thank you for some actual practical and actionable advice.  (You're awesome!)

Most often when my anxiety and self-doubt rear their head the best advice anyone seems to have is basically to "buck up" or to "think positive".  But things aren't always just an issue of willpower.
Some of the ideas you suggest are practical and applicable.  Hopefully they will help.  My father is a big believer in the vocally holding God accountable practice.  Honestly, I've sometimes felt too unworthy to state that I expect a blessing, even when I have fulfilled the requirement.

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9 minutes ago, Bobbieaware said:

Wondering how one goes about earning a living while spending what seems to be an extraordinary amount of time engaged in a hobby that has no financial reward. 😋 P.S. Full disclosure: There are times when I wonder the same thing about myself.

I run a quiet little store with condensed selling periods.  Lots of downtime in the off season while I'm just minding the shop.
In other words I post at work when it's quiet.

Edited by JLHPROF
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14 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I run a quiet little store with condensed selling periods.  Lots of downtime in the off season while I'm just minding the shop.
In other words I post at work when it's quiet.

Perhaps you could engage in an endeavor with financial reward during the down time? Or perhaps you could become educated in a new career or job skill when it's slow? How about real estate sales?

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6 minutes ago, Bobbieaware said:

Perhaps you could engage in an endeavor with financial reward during the down time? Or perhaps you could become educated in a new career or job skill when it's slow? How about real estate sales?

DEL.
Sorry, got a bit defensive.
 

Edited by JLHPROF
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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Wow.
Thank you for some actual practical and actionable advice.  (You're awesome!)

Most often when my anxiety and self-doubt rear their head the best advice anyone seems to have is basically to "buck up" or to "think positive".  But things aren't always just an issue of willpower.
Some of the ideas you suggest are practical and applicable.  Hopefully they will help.  My father is a big believer in the vocally holding God accountable practice.  Honestly, I've sometimes felt too unworthy to state that I expect a blessing, even when I have fulfilled the requirement.

It's a lot easier to see God in the rearview mirror than in the windshield, and during our worst periods it was a daily struggle for me.  But I did notice that when I implemented those things I talked about, it got easier.  The way ahead, spiritually speaking, came into focus.  Lights came on where there weren't any before.  I might have been in tears again the next day but I never gave up all the ground I had won, even if i took frequent steps back some days.  

Financially stress and worry, especially employment concerns is just really hard.

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I cannot add much to what bluebell said. I have always been the only breadwinner in my family and there have been times when I could not see how in the world I was going to make the next mortgage payment or even put food on the table. And sometimes I had to swallow my pride and accept help, especially when I was in the Navy and was not earning top dollar. Plus I was not always a full tithe payer.

I listened to a talk by a fairly recent convert who helped change my attitude. He was also in the Navy. He had divorced and then remarried to an LDS lady with children of her own. I do not recall how soon but after marrying the lady he joined the church. He was paying child support for several children from his first marriage. With that and the bills plus just trying to live took all of their money each month with nothing left for luxuries, dining out, etc. Then his wife suggested that they start paying tithing. At first he was opposed because he understood economics pretty well and when knew that when out go already equaled income, there could be no additional outgo. His wife seemed to be a very persuasive lady so after praying about the situation he finally agreed to start paying tithing. And, to his surprise (but not his wife's) they still were able to make ends meet.

Since I became a full tithe payer in my heart, in faith, as well as in deed, I have not worried, even when going through chemotherapy. And now that I have been forcefully retired and am on a static and limited income, I still do not worry. I know that somehow the Lord will show me the way. He may not send me a check (although that has happened) I just know that He will keep His word. After all. He did say something to the effect of, "If ye keep my commandments I am bound."

I don't know if this helps or not. I hope so.

Glenn

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

DEL.
Sorry, got a bit defensive.
 

I truly understand. I think an oft-ignored solution to the kinds of problems you describe in your OP are often tealized when one understands the Lord often fulfills his 'rewards for faith promises'' by blessing his children with good minds, God-given talents and enough native-born ability that if one so blessed chooses to lay hold on and utilize those tools he can take proactive action to improve his circumstances without the need for a more extraordinary form of divine intervention. In other words, in many situations the Lord's divine intervention is found in how he supplies us with useful and effective life-tools we can employ to improve our lot in life. In this scenario, our faith is put to the test by seeing if we will conscientiously employ those divinely-bestowed tools toward the accomplishment of the many needful things that need to be done in our lives.

Edited by Bobbieaware
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23 minutes ago, Bobbieaware said:

I truly understand. I think an oft-ignored solution to the kinds of problems you describe in your OP are often tealized when one understands the Lord often fulfills his 'rewards for faith promises'' by blessing his children with good minds, God-given talents and enough native-born ability that if one so blessed chooses to lay hold on and utilize those tools he can take proactive action to improve his circumstances without the need for a more extraordinary form of divine intervention. In other words, in many situations the Lord's divine intervention is found in how he supplies us with useful and effective life-tools we can employ to improve our lot in life. In this scenario, our faith is put to the test by seeing if we will conscientiously employ those divinely-bestowed tools toward the accomplishment of the many needful things that need to be done in our lives.

Proactivity is as foreign to my personality as trust.  Taking a chance on either myself or others is very hard for me.
But I'm working on both.

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My late wife's first husband came home from military service in Korea a changed man. Shortly thereafter he moved out, divorced her and started living a more "liberated" life. So there she was, a mortgage, seven children, and one of them on a full-time mission. Her husband managed to get her to accept a 10-acre property in Minnesota as her alimony (that was soon thereafter lost to unpaid property taxes), and there was a pittance of child-support. The ward helped a bit, in fact took over support of her missionary son, but she needed a job, couldn't really afford child support for the three youngest (1, 2 and 4 years old). Being without marketable skills, she put in job applications in various places, including for the position of building custodian of the local meetinghouse. What happened was fairly remarkable. This was told to her later by the man who ended up hiring her to be the custodian. He had a stack of applications, and was going through the entire stack. He told her there were plenty of good candidates with experience doing the work, but somehow none of them seemed "right".  Then he came upon her application.  She was a housewife, had never worked in custodial work, and wasn't really qualified like many of the other candidates.  But he suddenly had the feeling that she was the right one for the job.  So he hired her.  He didn't know her (he lived in a different stake, I think), didn't know she was a member of the church (he might have surmised it), and didn't know she was newly divorced with a passle of children. But she was the right one.  She had found the job she needed -- one where she could bring her little children to watch over them while she worked.  In fact, they "helped".  She told me that sometimes she had one of them sit on the floor buffer while she was buffing floors (hallways were not carpeted) to keep him or her out of mischief (the child thought it was fun).  In short, it is clear to me that the Lord was looking after her.

Although I know plenty of fellow members who have had problems finding new jobs, I still think the Lord will look after you, too. And sometimes finding a new job is not the blessing one needs.

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I'd love to give you business, maybe you could PM me. If you think it's a store I'd like to shop at or isn't too far from Davis County. Or maybe that wasn't what was meant in your post at all. I do relate to some of your feelings, I too suffer with some self doubt when it comes to most everything, and getting hired in employment especially. 

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6 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Faith has two components - belief and trust.
I have never had any problem with the first, but I have ongoing challenges with the second.
..........................................................
And yet I am constantly convinced I am going to fail.  That my family will end up homeless or run out of money or  I will have to do as my family did when I was young and rely on the mercy of friends for a place to stay.  I am constantly doubting that I can do any job I apply for, or that anyone would want to hire me.......................................................
When you know you are a sinner working on repentance, how do you come to know that God will bless you, even if you haven't yet fully kept the laws upon which that blessing is predicated?

Sorry for the rant...just under a bit of pressure and a lot of confusion right now.

Two things:  First, give up on the cute aphorisms, which may or may not be applicable, and just put your best foot forward.  Employers are not so much interested in expertise as in a good attitude.

Second, try following Alma 32: 26-43.

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9 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Wow.
Thank you for some actual practical and actionable advice.  (You're awesome!)

Most often when my anxiety and self-doubt rear their head the best advice anyone seems to have is basically to "buck up" or to "think positive".  But things aren't always just an issue of willpower.
Some of the ideas you suggest are practical and applicable.  Hopefully they will help.  My father is a big believer in the vocally holding God accountable practice.  Honestly, I've sometimes felt too unworthy to state that I expect a blessing, even when I have fulfilled the requirement.

You might find this exercise helpful in shifting away from anxiety producing thoughts (recommended by my daughter's therapist).  If you don't like this version, there are a number on youtube, you might find another that works better for you (like the voice better, whatever...).  Just google "leaves on a stream":

 

Edited by Calm
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What you are describing is something that some sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (many therapists claim they do it, few actually do with fidelity, you'll have homework and it won't take more than 20 sessions and can be done in a handful in some cases) will entirely fix.   It simply teaches you to think and speak to yourself with accuracy and in healthy ways.   It is the only research proven intervention for teen depression (or was a few years ago), and one of two for anxiety and PTSD.     If you can't afford in person and/or can't find someone who does it with fidelity, you can even do it online https://ecouch.anu.edu.au/welcome   It makes a world of difference once you incorporate it.

It is perfectly natural to be concerned over your ability to provide for your family.   You have personal experience that God doesn't just FIX bad things that happen to faithful people, and if you have lived very long at all lots of experiences seeing others who were good and did good that were out of work.   So why fight that angst: just accept that it may be hard, if the worst happens.  The key is getting to believing that you can handle it, and not sabotage yourself so you make the worst case happen.  I'd suggest that the fact that you have succeeded in a job for a while means that even though you wouldn't like to repeat your father's experience, you did get through it just fine.   So quit worry about your job when it comes to your wife and children.  So long as you continue being a good father and maintain good and healthy relationships with your family, they will also get through it okay, even if they have to eat a steady diet of rice and beans for a year (which btw, families in other countries do routinely for their whole lives).

As for trusting God, stress can cause emotional numbing (so can anxiety and depression, clinical or not).  And when we are emotionally numb, it is pretty common to also have trouble feeling the spirit.   This is exactly why the story of Lehi's dream is in the Book of Mormon.   So that you know that the soluton is to hold tight to the iron rod while you are moving through mists of darkness --- IOW, keep doing the good habits that you have established, prayer, reading the scriptures, adequate sleep, uplifting music, service, to the full extent you can.

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It is Faith that drives us, animates us and fuels belief. "Faith nod belief", are two sides of the same coin, and it is that coin that is the price of eternal life, here and in the heavens. Without belief, there is nothing to have faith in, and without faith, there can be no belief.

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6 hours ago, rpn said:

What you are describing is something that some sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (many therapists claim they do it, few actually do with fidelity, you'll have homework and it won't take more than 20 sessions and can be done in a handful in some cases) will entirely fix.   It simply teaches you to think and speak to yourself with accuracy and in healthy ways.   It is the only research proven intervention for teen depression (or was a few years ago), and one of two for anxiety and PTSD.     If you can't afford in person and/or can't find someone who does it with fidelity, you can even do it online https://ecouch.anu.edu.au/welcome   It makes a world of difference once you incorporate it.

It is perfectly natural to be concerned over your ability to provide for your family.   You have personal experience that God doesn't just FIX bad things that happen to faithful people, and if you have lived very long at all lots of experiences seeing others who were good and did good that were out of work.   So why fight that angst: just accept that it may be hard, if the worst happens.  The key is getting to believing that you can handle it, and not sabotage yourself so you make the worst case happen.  I'd suggest that the fact that you have succeeded in a job for a while means that even though you wouldn't like to repeat your father's experience, you did get through it just fine.   So quit worry about your job when it comes to your wife and children.  So long as you continue being a good father and maintain good and healthy relationships with your family, they will also get through it okay, even if they have to eat a steady diet of rice and beans for a year (which btw, families in other countries do routinely for their whole lives).

As for trusting God, stress can cause emotional numbing (so can anxiety and depression, clinical or not).  And when we are emotionally numb, it is pretty common to also have trouble feeling the spirit.   This is exactly why the story of Lehi's dream is in the Book of Mormon.   So that you know that the soluton is to hold tight to the iron rod while you are moving through mists of darkness --- IOW, keep doing the good habits that you have established, prayer, reading the scriptures, adequate sleep, uplifting music, service, to the full extent you can.

RPN's stuff is good.  That was something else my daughter's therapist recommended, I forgot about it because too much to do with Mom right then so I am happy to see it posted.  Big thanks, RPN.  I think I will be doing it online myself as I just don't have the energy for trying to find an available therapist for me now (as much as I like my daughter's, I think .I need my own when I do it, life is complicated enough it helps to talk to someone outside the complications).

Edited by Calm
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On 9/21/2017 at 12:36 PM, JLHPROF said:

Faith has two components - belief and trust.
I have never had any problem with the first, but I have ongoing challenges with the second.

Elder Holland says " I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. "

For example I have held reasonably good jobs for the past 15 years, stable with decent pay.  I still do (although it is getting harder and harder to make ends meet).
I pay my tithing and seek the Lord's guidance in temporal things as well as spiritual.  Now the time has come for me to consider finding a new job as my current one may not remain viable much longer.

And yet I am constantly convinced I am going to fail.  That my family will end up homeless or run out of money or  I will have to do as my family did when I was young and rely on the mercy of friends for a place to stay.  I am constantly doubting that I can do any job I apply for, or that anyone would want to hire me.
I doubt myself constantly, and so by connection I doubt the Lord's promised blessings.  I have even received priesthood blessings for guidance and comfort that I believe God can bless me, but I am not so sure he will.
This is the goal:
f88440871013c92d1f3cc9854934271e.jpg

How do you achieve this goal if it's not in your nature?
So how do you convince yourself that the things you know are true will come to fruition in your lives?
How did a 90 year old Sarah consider God faithful to fulfill his promise to do something basically impossible?
When you know you are a sinner working on repentance, how do you come to know that God will bless you, even if you haven't yet fully kept the laws upon which that blessing is predicated?

Sorry for the rant...just under a bit of pressure and a lot of confusion right now.

Never apologize for a rant...but will you be open to a small suggestion?  Just for a minute...take out the church..God and faith...and ask yourself how you feel about you; separate and a part..your talents..your ambition..your integrity and anything that pertains to employment.  I believe this is important.  How you feel about you and your own confidence will speak volumes on what God can do for you.  Best of everything...I admire you and no matter what..I just know that your family will be just fine.  You have love.

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Do not indulge in worst-case scenario thinking. Bad things happen but when I fixate on them I worry. There is always some potential situation you cannot prepare for. I rememner once wondering how I would survive if I were suddenly blind or suffered a head injury that made me unable to reason like I need to. Then I realized how unlikely they all were.

If Abinadi can be optimistic going to preach knowing he is going to be tortured to death for it I can live with a bit of uncertainty.

 

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On 9/21/2017 at 11:36 AM, JLHPROF said:

Faith has two components - belief and trust.
I have never had any problem with the first, but I have ongoing challenges with the second.

Elder Holland says " I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. "

For example I have held reasonably good jobs for the past 15 years, stable with decent pay.  I still do (although it is getting harder and harder to make ends meet).
I pay my tithing and seek the Lord's guidance in temporal things as well as spiritual.  Now the time has come for me to consider finding a new job as my current one may not remain viable much longer.

And yet I am constantly convinced I am going to fail.  That my family will end up homeless or run out of money or  I will have to do as my family did when I was young and rely on the mercy of friends for a place to stay.  I am constantly doubting that I can do any job I apply for, or that anyone would want to hire me.
I doubt myself constantly, and so by connection I doubt the Lord's promised blessings.  I have even received priesthood blessings for guidance and comfort that I believe God can bless me, but I am not so sure he will.
This is the goal:
f88440871013c92d1f3cc9854934271e.jpg

How do you achieve this goal if it's not in your nature?
So how do you convince yourself that the things you know are true will come to fruition in your lives?
How did a 90 year old Sarah consider God faithful to fulfill his promise to do something basically impossible?
When you know you are a sinner working on repentance, how do you come to know that God will bless you, even if you haven't yet fully kept the laws upon which that blessing is predicated?

Sorry for the rant...just under a bit of pressure and a lot of confusion right now.

Step off of the ledge, let Him catch you. The next time you'll know he will catch you. I don't think your post was a rant.

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4 hours ago, rodheadlee said:

Step off of the ledge, let Him catch you. The next time you'll know he will catch you. I don't think your post was a rant.

I like this.  It reminds me of  quote that I have shared here before. 
"If I fall...let me fall.  The person I become will catch me"...

No doubt the Lord will have something to with who you become..but YOU are who you think you are...and can become with your talents and love for others.

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