What Is a Crisis of Faith – and How Is it Caused?

The first time a crisis of faith obliterated my world was when I absorbed the doctor’s words that my baby didn’t have a heartbeat.

The next time was when I witnessed my husband be resuscitated at the age of 36 because his heart stopped working.

The time after that was when one of my kids told me they didn’t believe in Jesus anymore.

The next time was when I was cut out and shunned from a community of friends because of my husband’s actions at a birthday party.

Each time, tears poured down my cheeks as I attempted to pick up the tiny shards of my shattered heart. Part of me was numb and I could barely function. The other part of me was angry—angry that I had put my trust in One who betrayed me—or so it seemed.

Each time I questioned why God would allow these things to happen and each time, God was there in the midst of those dark days to remind me how faith blossoms in the dark.

What Is a Crisis of Faith?

When it comes to a crisis of faith, it’s important to give space to ourselves as we ask the hard questions about faith. A crisis of faith is exactly like it sounds. It’s a moment in time when you question everything you regarded as truth. It’s when a person feels that he or she no longer trusts God or follows Christ.

They question whether or not God is real and if He is good.

They question whether or not they can put their trust in God.

They question why bad things happen.

They question how a good God can send people to hell.

But here’s the honest to goodness truth. A crisis of faith causes us to take our eyes off the true battleground.

  • The truth is that we have an enemy he desires to distort our faith and he is hard at work.
  • The truth is that life is messy and we live in a broken world.
  • The truth is that we will go through some of the deepest, darkest valleys in order to cultivate and stake a claim in Christ’s kingdom.

What Can Cause a Crisis of Faith in Our Lives?

The Bible is filled with stories of those who lived before us who also had a crisis of faith. One of the most comforting scriptures in the Bible records the Hall of Faith—those who struggled and overcame. Hebrews 11:1 begins with: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This chapter goes on to record the events from Abel to Moses, to David and Samuel. Each faced pain, struggle, hardship, and heartache. Perhaps the most comforting words of the Bible are found in the Psalms where Psalmists faced a crisis of faith.

“Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” Psalm 10:1-11

“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.” Psalm 13:1-4

“Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you.” Psalm 143:7-9

And the crisis situations we face today aren’t any different from situations like:



The death of a child

The loss of a job

The betrayal of a friend

A financial crisis

When these things happen, it is so easy to blame God and turn away from Him. As hard as things are right now, it’s vital to keep in mind it is not God’s fault. We live in a broken world filled with death, destruction, and disease. But the beautiful part of living in this world is that we were given free will. We were given a choice to choose God or not.

In fact, we are promised:

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

How to Get Through a Crisis of Faith

To get through a crisis of faith, we need to examine whether we misplaced our faith in the first place. Did we assume that because we love Jesus that no evil, pain, or harm would come our way? We have to be willing to examine our perspectives and opinions and then compare them to the truth of God’s Word.

To overcome a crisis of faith we need to surrender to God’s plan for us and lay our hearts bare before the Lord along with previous expectations. We need to cast down and abolish any idols we may have erected on the throne of heart that rightly belonged to God. The next step is to repent of any sin in our lives. Did we give the enemy a foothold or did we knowingly sin and ignored the consequences? Then we ask God to help us with our unbelief as we ask for God to fill our hearts with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Next, we wait. We wait for God to repair our hearts and heal our wounds. Waiting for healing and hope is often the hardest part. In the midst of our waiting, find a way to connect with God. Whether it’s in prayer, going for a walk in nature, or being surrounded by those who are strong in the faith.

We ask for help in our unbelief and it’s okay to ask for help. It’s more than okay. Letting others know what you’re going through will help you as you gain different perspectives especially if they share their experiences of wavering in faith. It also gives them the opportunity to pray for you.

In all the seasons when I questioned God and questioned my faith, areas of my life were nothing but ashes and dust. There were days when I didn’t even recognize the woman in the mirror so did my prayer life and even my Bible looked different. Those moments were moments of reckoning. They were raw and, in many ways, agonizingly beautiful. Despite losing my faith, I realized God had walked alongside me and sometimes carried me. And when I eventually healed, I had a deeper appreciation for God. I now know I serve a God who loves me in ways I can’t describe, and the honest reality is that I wouldn’t take away the darkest days.

It's time to declare your trust in God even if it feels scary, fresh, and entirely too fragile. Trust that God has the best in store for you. Trust that He will pull you out of the muck and mire to set you firmly on the highest of mountains. Now is the time to give God permission to work in your life and surrender to the process so that He can give you a new heart and a new, deeper faith. No matter the crisis you face, remember there is always hope and God will always be there for you. His love for you will never end.

Read more about having faith in a crisis:

What Kind of Faith Can Help Us Endure to the End?
How to Pray in the Midst of Crises
How You Can Face Crisis Without Panic

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Ridofranz 

Heather Riggleman is a believer, wife, mom, author, social media consultant, and full-time writer. She lives in Minden, Nebraska with her kids, high school sweetheart, and three cats who are her entourage around the homestead. She is a former award-winning journalist with over 2,000 articles published. She is full of grace and grit, raw honesty, and truly believes tacos can solve just about any situation. You can find her on GodUpdates, iBelieve, Crosswalk, Hello Darling, Focus On The Family, and in Brio Magazine. Connect with her at or on Facebook.  

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