Ever feel like you’re the only one trying to live for Christ? Maybe you’re the only Christian at your school–at least, the only one who wants to act like it. Or maybe your group of friends doesn’t think it’s cool when you don’t want to gossip or go to their parties on weekends. Maybe you’re even the odd one out in your family–the only believer. And it’s tough. You try to stay excited about God and living for Him, but you’re surrounded by daily discouragement. Nobody else wants to live that way. No one supports you. You feel very alone.
No matter where you’re feeling like the lone Jesus freak, it’s hard to remain there. It’s hard to face life daily knowing that you might be the only person in that place that wants to live in a way that’s…weird. To all those people, anyway. How do you keep from being swallowed up by the discouragement?
There’s no easy, quick way to conquer this sense of defeat or loneliness. Unfortunately, the answer here is probably long-term endurance. Ever heard that Jesus promised struggles to those who follow Him? Yep–you’re experiencing that promise right now.
The encouraging news is that we have God Himself to help sustain us. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking He seems really far away to be of any comfort, but hang with me. God’s Word is one way that He is present with us and able to speak to any situation that we’re going through. I don’t mean just randomly opening your Bible when you’ve had a tough day and hoping that something encouraging appears. Sometimes that works, but does it really give you enough juice to face a school year of being “the Christian?” Does a short verse and a few seconds of prayer charge you up enough to live 24/7 with a family that does not agree with your choice to follow Christ?
It takes diligence (another word for long, hard work). What that means is spending time in God’s Word every day. Purposefully. Reading it, thinking about it, and praying over it. Psalm 1:1-3 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
When you spend daily time in God’s Word, it changes you. It strengthens your foundation, so that you’re not easily knocked down. It encourages your soul. And it reminds you of the truly awesome God that you serve and how much He loves you. It doesn’t make the hard stuff go away, but it sure helps you get through it. I encourage you to try it. Spend a little time in His Word every day, and see if it helps. Try it for at least a week.