Solutions to Your Problems

9:11 PM

You feel distant from God. You don't know how to get back on the right track. You've failed Him (again). Basically, you're clueless as to what the Christian life is like or looks like. 


Let me make it simple: faith.

That's the way to connect to God, to know God, to please God, to get back up and running again. 

And without faith it is impossible to please him, 
for whoever would draw near to God must believe
 that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
-  h e b r e w s 11 : 6  -

"That's great," you say. "What do I have faith for? What do I do?"

Most of us American girls in normal positions of life have no real horrors or problems in desperate need of dependence on God through faith. Maybe your biggest faith crisis has been only that you cannot seem to muster up enough interest in reading God's Word every day (or once every two months or so. . .). Maybe your life's comfortable, quiet, boring almost. Whatever would you need faith for?

The first step is to get uncomfortable. Part of exercising faith means putting yourself in a place where you absolutely need faith. And when you absolutely need faith -- that's when you begin to grow by leaps and bounds.

Here are some practical ways to jumpstart your Christian faith engine:

Pick a sin, any sin. There's lots to choose from -- your snarky remarks, your worry over tests, your self-absorption, your bitterness. Examine your heart and find a prominent sin (don't worry about finding the biggest sin in your life -- that's an unnecessary distraction from the fact that all your sin prohibits your sanctification). Then, with lots of prayer and joy, tackle that sin to the ground. Being sanctified, applying God's grace and strength to your particular faults -- these are surefire things that follow the will of God and require lots and lots of faith.

Praise Him. Always. Whether you're going through a rough time or an easy time, start making lists of things you're thankful for. Thank Him for what He's doing when trials come that break your heart. Praise Him for who He is. Sing Him a song. Write Him a psalm. Don't let anything go by until you figure out just how exactly it's bringing God praise -- because everything is. (Tip: Start thanking Him like crazy when you hit a rough spot in life. The rough spots are where God's breakthroughs seem most obvious, unexpected and awesome. Don't miss them by whining.)

Give. Give more than you can afford financially. Give more love than your heart can bear to give. Give more time to a particular thing or person than you originally thought you could. Basically, give to the point where you're relying on God's gifts and strengths instead of your own.

Go about His work. Share the Gospel. Make disciples. Encourage. Pray for and love on a particular lost person instead of just praying for all the lost generically. When you do God's work -- whether that be fighting sin or leading a friend to Christ -- you automatically need Him more so than you would going about your own business.

Ask and you shall receive. Flat out ask God to break you down until you're dependent on Him, until you need faith to survive. Pray that He would knock out every other idol in your life until He becomes central and only. God loves to answer this prayer in the affirmative, so be careful: it will happen if you ask. Even if you ask without knowing the full consequences. It's worth it in the end, but be forewarned that your idols and ungodly desires go deep -- deep enough to wound and tear during the breakdown. I highly recommend it as the only way to truly change. 

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7 impressions

  1. I think these are great suggestions and tips for Christians and, with a few word substitutions, non-Christians too. I hope this post indicates your life was going along so smoothly you felt compelled to stir things up. ;-)

    Adele

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  2. Dear Bailey,
    This has got to be one of your best yet.
    So challenging!
    Thank you so much.
    I am experiencing the "Praise Him. Always." section. God is good!
    from a Christian sister

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  3. Bailey! I've missed your regular posts :) I can identify with this post so much-- that feeling of complacent "who needs faith" creeps into my life far too often. Thank you for sharing what God has been teaching you.

    On a completely unrelated note-- I visited Hillsdale last month and really, really liked it :) I'm in the process of applying right now and will get the (hopefully positive!) admissions decision by February. So stressful and exciting...

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  4. WOW. so apparently you know just what i need without even talking to me. what.

    so glad to have you as a friend. <3

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  5. I, too, have missed your posts. However, I understand that you are very busy. I hope college is going well for you, and that Madison will also benefit from the experience!
    I am homeschooled and unlikely to ever go to college. Could you perhaps tell us a little about it!
    Your sister in Christ

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  6. I so needed this today, I was crying about this very thing.... Thank you.

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  7. Thank you for your obedience in writing this. It came straight from the Lord and I can't wait to encourage my daughters with this. Blessings to you!
    Mom of 7

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