By all indications, we live in a society that is becoming more and more secular. If you’re not familiar with the term “secular” it simply refers to the premise that our culture is going farther away from operating under the principles of Christianity. Instead, we live in a society that encourages people to fulfill their own desires, climb the ladder, get to the top and to step on whoever they need to step on in pursuit of success. As Christians, we are called to view everything through the lens of our faith. But how do we do that in the face of a culture that seems to want to do everything possible to silence our faith?
In a lot of ways, it feels like the world has gone completely mad. Every time you turn on the news, you probably find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of hatred, violence and chaos that seems to fill every headline. In a world that is obviously so divided, doesn’t it make sense to try to find something to bring unity? The Bible is very clear about God’s design for unity. Paul encouraged the believers in Ephesus to come together based on the premise that there is only “one Lord, one faith and one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).
So, in the face of what appears to be a faithless time, how do we keep the faith?
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (ESV)
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you fail to meet the test. I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.
One of the best ways to keep the faith is to continually examine yourself to make sure that you are living the faith that you proclaim. As is the case with most relationships, it’s easy to begin to feel disconnected in our relationship with Jesus Christ. That fact may make you feel uncomfortable, but it’s the reality. If you have relatives or friends who live in another state, haven’t you noticed that there are times where you feel closer to them than you do at other times? It’s because you have times where you make a more concerted effort to talk to them and interact with them than you do at other times.
Similarly, we all have times where we seem to be more focused on our faith than we are at other times. When our focus is placed more heavily on our faith, our relationship with Christ receives higher priority. If you start feeling like there is a bit of a disconnect in that relationship, examine yourself and find out why. Ask yourself harsh questions and try to determine what has sparked the feeling of disconnect that you’re experiencing.
Having a time in your life where you don’t feel as in-tune with God as you do at other times isn’t sinful. Instead, it provides a wonderful opportunity for you to “examine yourself” to make sure that you are still in the faith.
Saturate Yourself with God’s Word
Psalm 119:105 (ESV)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
It’s easy to take it for granted, but the Bible is one of the most powerful tools that we have at our disposal. As Christians, we believe that the Bible is a written copy of God’s divine Word and that every word is inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16).
One of the best ways to make sure that you are keeping the faith in a faithless world is to be completely filled with God’s precious Word. God’s Word is His plan for you and for the rest of humanity. While some people around you may not have yet come to the point of accepting His will and His Word for their lives, your commitment to relying on the Bible as a lamp for your path can help ensure that you are showing them a better way of living.
When Christ was baptized, He was immediately led into the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days. At the end of that 40-day period, the Bible says that Satan came to tempt Him in His time of physical weakness. However, Jesus was so filled with the Word of God that He was able to rebuff Satan’s attempts with the truth of Scripture.
Similarly, the best way to answer the issues that we’re facing in a seemingly chaotic society can be found in the Bible. If you are looking for a way to better keep the faith, make sure that you are spending time every day reading or listening to God’s Word. Not only does it ensure that you are ready to share His Word with others around you, but it also helps you to be able to withstand any sort of Satanic attacks that come up in your life. When your life is rooted in God’s Word, you are less likely to be shaken by the problems of our world.
Commit to Prayer Time
Matthew 6:5-6 (TPT)
Whenever you pray, be sincere and not like the pretenders who love the attention they receive while praying before others in the meetings and on street corners. Believe me, they’ve already received in full their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your innermost chamber and be alone with Father God, praying to him in secret. And your father who sees all you do, will reward you openly.
Prayer is a powerful concept and plays a vital role in maintaining your faith in the face of a secular society. It’s crucial that you truly understand what happens when you pray. God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Creator of the universe, the One who is from everlasting-to-everlasting stops everything He is doing to listen to you!
Prayer is a key component of keeping your faith because it gives you the opportunity to cast all of your cares onto God (1 Peter 5:7). In these times of prayer, we are able to better subject ourselves to God’s design for our lives. Additionally, it also gives us the chance to receive from God. In our times of personal, secluded prayer, the Holy Spirit can minister to us and give us the encouragement that we need to continue living our faith.
Find a Community
Hebrews 10:25 (TPT)
This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed a habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.
Over the course of the last 16 months, it’s been difficult to be as “plugged in” to the local church. While many of us stayed at home because of government mandates or out of fear for our own safety, we were forced to miss out on being present with a faith-based community.
Humans need contact with other humans. In Proverbs 27:17 we read that, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Being actively engaged with other believers provides a wonderful opportunity for us to be better equipped to live out our faith.
Your brothers and sisters in Christ are a source of encouragement that you need in these wicked times that we live in. Even if you find yourself unable to take part in corporate worship services as we continue to navigate through an ongoing pandemic, find other ways to be connected to a body of believers.
Many churches are now doing Bible studies and small groups through Zoom calls and other teleconferencing platforms. Even if you’re not able to go to a church weekly, find other ways to stay connected to a group of like-minded believers who can encourage you to keep the faith.
A Closing Prayer:
God, Your Word declared that the days that we are living in would come before Your Son comes back to receive His Church to Himself. While the times are troubling, I know that I do not have to live in fear. Instead, help me to live my faith in the face of adversity. While the world seems to be falling apart, give me the boldness to point people to the One who can hold everything together. In Christ’s name, Amen!