Every generation seems convinced that their particular period of history is the most difficult time in which to live.  In this regard our generation is no exception.  Many find themselves thinking that these are the toughest times that the human race has ever known. 

That thought, of course, is not entirely accurate.  All times are tough times; and many other periods of history, in some ways, have been more difficult than our own.

Still, these are trying times in which to live.  Recent reports on network news have dealt with the problems of stress among children in the early grades of school.  Some of them were no more than six or seven years old.  Yet they were showing the classic signs of stress – difficulty sleeping,  emotional depression and irritability.  When asked what they were worried about, their answers were the same as any adult might give – such things as family conflict, and the prospect of divorce, whether there would be enough money to pay all the bills, and, last but not least, terrorism, a repeat of 9/11, or the prospect of war.

These are difficult days in which to live, and even our children know it.  Does our Christian faith offer any help for the living of these days?

The answer to that question, of course, depends upon what we mean by the term “Christian faith.”  To some people it is nothing more than a formal creed, which they have passively accepted.  That kind of faith offers no help in tough times.  But to others, faith has another meaning.  Jesus told His disciples that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed, they could use it to uproot a tree and transplant it to the midst of the sea.  The language is symbolic, but the meaning is clear.  Jesus thought of faith as a dynamic force to be put to work in the solving of problems and the meeting of daily challenges.

One of the greatest problems that we have is a sense of inadequacy, the uneasy feeling that we are not quite equal to the challenges of life.  We cannot live long in this world without seeing enough suffering and discouragement to make us wonder how some people carry on at all.

Life is not going to get any easier; so we must become stronger.  We must discover what St. Paul discovered: “In Him who is my strength, I have strength for everything.”  That kind of faith is worth having.  And if our faith in Jesus is not producing a similar result in our lives, then it is not functioning, as it ought.  “The Spirit, that God has given us, makes us strong.”

Faith in God will not provide us with easy answers and magic solutions.  But it can make us wise; it can enable us to think and apply the wisdom of the ages to the problems of today.

Is your faith strong?  If not, it is time to work at it.