I was just reading an article on The Gospel Coalition called The Perils of Falling for a ‘Fyre’-Style Faith. Personally I know nothing about the Fyre Festival or its documentary on Netflix. I would never have clicked on this post, I just happened to read it because I follow TGC on on Feedly and so it was the next article in my feed. The article discussed how we as Christians sometimes try and oversell Christianity and a fantasy faith. This often results in a bunch of so called “conversions” to Christianity and then a bunch of new converts who feel that they haven’t received what they were promised (like the Fyre Festival attendees) and are burned, unlikely to seek Christ again.
This is something I see happening a lot. Christians don’t want to talk about how hard life as a Christian can be. We don’t want to talk about it to non-Christians and we often don’t even want to talk about it to other Christians.
A hot topic over the past several years has been teenagers and young adults leaving the church. One of the biggest reasons given for this is something I agree with–we don’t have answers for the questions that young people are asking and the world does. Thus, we lose our young people to the world. However, I believe another huge reason is because faith is harder than they thought it would be. Maybe because the world offers them something that seems easier, or because others aren’t real with them, or because they just don’t feel up to the faith fight anymore.
Believing in Christ has been a huge struggle for me recently. Sometimes I cry at the table with my parents and I tell them “I don’t want to go to church”. Or to my mentor and I tell her “I don’t want to read my Bible”. Or to my old roommate and I tell her “I don’t want to serve anymore”. I write letters to God and tell Him that I don’t understand and I am so tired.
But when it comes down to it, I wipe my eyes and go to church, read my Bible, tell others about the wonderfulness of God, go to serve where I can, and so on. I can’t imagine not doing those things. I have not given up and I will not give up.
Because my faith is not based on my feelings.
I did not choose to believe in my Father in heaven because I thought it would be easy. I did not choose to become a Christian because it made me feel good. I did not choose to dedicate my life to serving God on the 15th of December 2011 because someone told me a nice story. I do not choose to go to church every week because it’s a nice show.
Rather, I do all these things because I believe Jesus when He says “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). I believe, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give” (John 14:27, emphasis added). I believe, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). I believe, “I am the Lord and there is no other; besides me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5).
Sometimes, maybe even often, I want to give up. I feel like it isn’t worth it I feel like God doesn’t love me any more. I feel like there is no way for me to keep going. But I can counter it with what I know. I know that my God is like no other God. I know that Jesus died for my sins. I know that following Jesus requires sacrifice. I know that the suffering of this world will come to an end.
I know what I believe and I know Him whom I believe in. Thus, no matter what I feel–I will not give up!