How to Maintain Your Faith in a Seemingly Faithless World - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Faith
March 1, 2019

How to Maintain Your Faith in a Seemingly Faithless World

We live in an increasingly secular society. According to the Pew Research Center, 1.1 billion people worldwide identify as non-believers. Many others superficially identify with Christianity but rarely pray, read the Bible, or otherwise act on their faith. Church attendance rates are at an all-time low, with many denominations forced to close churches as a result. In fact, research from the National Congregations Study indicates that fewer than one-quarter of Americans attend church three out of every eight Sundays.

The statistics highlighted above reflect what Christians increasingly feel — a lack of faith within their communities and, often, within their own lives. If you can relate to this feeling, you're certainly not alone.

Remaining true to your faith may feel all but impossible when it's absent from so many elements of daily life, but it's a challenge worth pursuing. Below, we offer suggestions for reconnecting with your faith and incorporating it into your daily routine.

Regularly Examine Your Faith

Introspection is essential. Take time to reflect on your faith and your journey therein. This can be accomplished through journaling or prayer. If, during this time of reflection, you realize you are currently feeling disconnected from your faith, ask yourself these essential questions:

  •       What led you to feel this way?
  •       Do your current feelings echo other times of disconnection in your life?
  •       What can you do to get back on track?

Find Inspiration in Biblical Figures

You are far from the first person to ever feel alone or isolated due to your faith. The Bible is chock full of stories of inspiring figures who, like you, struggled to reconcile their beliefs with the doubt and outright hostility around them.

One of the most notable Bible stories worth revisiting: Moses, who after witnessing the Lord within a burning bush, continued to question whether his people would believe his testimony. In fact, Moses was so worried about his public speaking abilities (or lack thereof), he sought help from his brother. Despite all this, he persevered and, with God's help, led his people to safety. Other inspiring figures include:

  •       Jeremiah
  •       Noah
  •       Esther
  •       Job
  •       Mary

Of course, Jesus is the ultimate inspiration. He was despised, rejected and, ultimately, crucified. He knew loneliness like nobody else ever has or will — and through His sacrifice, He banished it. You can escape those difficult feelings through drawing closer to Him.

Take Solace in Prayer

How often do you pray? If you're like many Christians, prayer comes as an afterthought. Perhaps you sneak in a short prayer at the end of a long day or maybe you pray before digging into your favorite meal. What about when you face challenges in daily life? The more you infuse prayer into your routine, the more connected you'll feel to your faith.

Prayer can feel intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Don't think of it as a grand oratory; eloquence isn't a necessity. When in doubt, refer to this inspiring Martin Luther quote: "The fewer the words, the better the prayer."

Instead of striving to deliver a perfect, extended prayer on occasion, opt for incorporating short, simple prayers into key moments throughout each day. There is no set number of prayers you need to strive for, but you should eventually feel as if prayer is a key part of your otherwise secular pursuits.

It may take a few weeks or even months before prayer feels like a natural aspect of your routine, but your persistence will ultimately pay off. If forgetfulness remains the primary obstacle between you and regular prayer, don't hesitate to use a prayer app or written reminders to keep you on track.

Connect with a Faith-Based Community

How often do you discuss your faith with other Christians? Even a brief interaction with a fellow believer can energize you and renew your commitment. Options abound; get involved with your local church, join a Bible study, or sign up for a faith-based volunteer effort. You don't need to be surrounded by fellow believers at all times, but regular interaction will keep you from feeling hopeless or alone. If all else fails, turn to technology for support; a quick search will deliver a myriad of faith-based forums and social media groups.

Do Good in the World

Faith is about more than prayer and church attendance. Both are important, of course, but daily action is also essential. Matthew 5:16 instructs, "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Even when your coworkers, friends or even family members disagree with your testimony, it's possible to inspire them with your faith-driven lifestyle. This could mean donating your time or resources to those in need, offering emotional support to loved ones in times of trouble, or simply smiling at people and making them feel welcome. Don't discount small acts — they make a difference.

Show Compassion

In these trying times, our world could use a heavy dose of compassion. Regardless of how those around you believe or behave, you can demonstrate compassion for their personal battles. After all, the Lord has continually demonstrated compassion for you, as evidenced in a myriad of Bible verses. Psalm 116:5, for example, points out, "The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion."

Compassion for yourself is just as important. Don't beat yourself up for occasionally struggling with your faith. As mentioned earlier, this struggle has been shared by some of the Bible's most inspiring figures.

Living out your faith isn't easy, but it's far from impossible. With a little commitment and a lot of grace, you can cultivate a strong spiritual connection to guide you through the challenges of the modern world.

If you’d like to learn more about professions that enable you to serve wholeheartedly and faithfully in your life’s work or want to learn more about a biblically based, Christ-centered education at Geneva, we’d love to chat with you. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your education goals, please phone us at 855-979-5563 or email web@geneva.edu.