So often believers tell me they have lost faith after surmising that God is not going to change their church, family, circumstances, relationships, or their own lives. They have given up, weary of the attempt to pull themselves up by their bootstraps time after time in the hope of starting over on a positive note, only to be disillusioned. If I attempt to refute the feelings of hopelessness, they give myriad illustrations to prove that God has done nothing and is going to do nothing.
The interesting thing is that these believers have not lost faith; they still believe Christ died for their sins, forgiveness comes through Him alone, and He is the Son of God. However, obviously they have lost something, which is actually their inaccurate system of belief—their false religion, if you will—that they (or someone else) can accomplish their own plans for such things as changing the rebellious child, the unspiritual mate, and the carnal pastor. Any such plan is a religion in the sense that it demonstrates a powerful hold on a way of trusting, thinking, and behaving. Of course, when their attempts to change others fail, they become depressed, discouraged, frustrated, and full of worry, but this is the failure of religion, not the failure of Christ. Everyone needs to come to the end of religion and come to a complete trust in God. The process of accomplishing this involves the failure of everything in which trust is placed apart from Him. Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed.” Yes, religion fails, but the Lord never does. Lose your religion and cling to Him in trusting dependence.