I think it is only fair to say that for a lot of us our faith has definitely been challenged in many ways during the pandemic. We have honestly faced way too many ups and downs, uncertainty and even disappointment at how this year has shaped out to be. But as we head towards the end of 2020 let us be encouraged by the unchanging truth that God is still a good God and he is working all things for your good.
So for anyone who may be feeling as though their faith tank is heading towards empty, my dear friend Andy has written his TOP 5 LESSONS that he has learnt of how to keep that dust off your bible and keep your faith during this season.
1) Harness The Power Of Having Your Mask Off
In a time in our world where we have been so conditioned to put our masks on, now is the time to actually harness the power of taking them off emotionally with the people we surround ourselves with.
My first lesson that has helped me keep the faith is the understanding that it is so important to surround yourself with people with whom you can take your mask off with. These are the people that you can have those honest, raw and deep conversations with.
What we cannot forget is that with transparency automatically comes accountability and with accountability automatically comes growth. Remember that we were not created to be an island and to struggle alone and that each and everyone of us have something going on. No one is better or more “holy” than another. So I encourage you this season to look around your life and have at least two people that you feel you can be completely vulnerable with.
2) Remember That Input Matters
The second lesson that has helped me keep my faith during lockdown is the understanding that input matters. With so much fighting for our time and attention we have to stop and ask ourselves what is it exactly that we are taking in.
What is fuelling your mind ?
Input does matter. Don’t be afraid of asking yourself, “is this input helping me keep me faith or actually causing me to lose it ?”
This next season work towards taking in things that bring God’s image into your life and give out the same. Work on remaining disciplined in reading your bible and praying everyday.
3) Don’t Be Afraid To Challenge Your Beliefs
It amazes me how many of us don’t challenge our beliefs.
The third lesson that I have learnt that has helped me keep my faith is that it is ok to challenge my beliefs.
Challenge your beliefs so that they measure up with biblical teaching.
For most of us we generally say the bible is right but we don’t know why. We blindly agree with everything. To keep your faith alive in this next season, assess your beliefs and challenge them with the bible. This will lead you to studying your bible and not just reading it aimlessly.
4) Check Your Lens
At times our God lens can become obscured by particles of our thought patterns.
The fourth lesson I have learnt in keeping my faith is that it is so important that we try our best to keep our God lens clear. This allows for us to see the world and see people the way God does.
Too often we look at people through what is different between us but for compassion and faith to be activated we have to see people the way God sees people and understand that all humanity, just like you and me, needs the grace of God.
Let us work towards being patient, non-judgemental, forgiving and kind this next season and drop any stereotypes that we may have of people.
5) Find Purpose In The Small Things
Your life is not your own. We live in a world with 7 billion people and therefore you can not naively wander round like no one else matters.
The final lesson I have learnt that has helped me keep my faith is that the small things matter. Faith without works is dead. Small gestures of genuine appreciation, self sacrifice and love that reflect Jesus matter.
I reflect a lot on how Jesus spent his time serving people either through healings, teachings, eating with them, living alongside them and then dying for them. His life was not his own and in this next season let us lift up our eyes and see the world beyond ourselves and after seeing them let us step into serving them the best way we possibly can.
Thoughts by ANDY COULSON