I often receive letters from people who are the only committed Christians in their families, and who are struggling in their walk with God. My heart always goes out to them, because I can relate to what they are going through. When I surrendered my life to the Lord in earnest, and got serious about my relationship with Him, my children, my husband, and my extended family were, for the most part, indifferent. They didn't understand my newfound faith in God, and it seemed like they didn't care to understand it. For a long time, I felt totally alone, and distant from even my closest loved ones.
Just this morning, I heard from two young ladies who asked for prayer because they were struggling in their walk with the Lord. The first one was without her usual Christian support network, because she and her family had decided to leave their home church, and were not sure where they belonged. The second one was floundering because her only parent would not go to church with her, or encourage her relationship with God. Both of these young women saw signs that they were drifting away from the Lord because of their circumstances, and they were deeply troubled by it.
After praying for these young believers, I began sharing with them how I rose above my struggles to live the Christian life, while having little or no support to do so. First, I made a quality decision to love and serve the Lord with all my heart, even if every member of my family never did. Then, I committed to spending time alone with God each day, getting to know Him and His truths, expressed in the Scriptures. I discovered that the Lord had already made provision for me to be a fully equipped, victorious Christian - but I had to do my part. The Bible says, "As we know Jesus better, His divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life." (2 Peter 1:3 NLT) I had to get serious about getting to know God. That meant that I had to devote myself to prayer, and to the study of His Word. As I feasted on the Scriptures each day, the Lord began to reveal Himself to me, and to give me the wisdom, courage, and strength I needed to not only survive as a follower of Christ, but to thrive.
One of the Bible verses that encouraged me most was the one that follows the above-mentioned one: "He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." (2 Peter 1:4 NIV) When I discovered that the Lord had given me hundreds of powerful promises that could enable me to live a supernatural, abundant life, I began searching them out, memorizing them, and claiming them for my own. As I took God at His Word, I began to witness Him working miracles - not only in my own life, but in the lives of my loved ones. I claimed His promise in Acts 16:31 (NLT) for my family: "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with your entire household." And little by little, I saw my husband, my children, and many of my other relatives give their lives to Christ. To this day, I shudder to think what would have happened - or NOT happened - if I hadn't persevered in those early years, when I felt so alone in my faith.
Today, I'm here to tell you that even if you don't have a Christian support network to depend on, you can still have a close walk with the Lord. You can use this time, as I did, to learn to depend on God alone, and to cultivate a personal, intimate relationship with Him. You can pray, read God's Word, and ask Him to lead you into all that He has for you, including godly relationships that will enrich your life. And you can think about Jesus, when you are tempted to feel sorry for yourself, or to dwell on your difficulties. As Hebrews 12:3 (AMP) says: "Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds." It may be difficult to try to live the Christian life without a lot of support, but it IS doable. Declare with me today - "By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward - to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back"! (Philippians 3:13-14 The Message)
Prayer: Lord, when my circumstances are difficult, and I am tempted to give up, help me to refocus, and to get my eyes back on You. Fill me with a holy determination to pursue an intimate, vibrant relationship with You. Thank You that as I am faithful to You, regardless of my circumstances, You will change my life, my family, and my world!
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