Dear Young Christian,
This world is full of ideas and beliefs that are false. There is a real enemy of whom the Bible speaks, whose sole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. Deception is powerful, and we need to know what is true and what is not. This quote from Elizabeth Elliot says it so well:
“The Word of God I think of as a straight edge, which shows up our own crookedness. We can’t really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture.”
Though we who are saved by faith in Jesus belong to God, the devil will do all he can to deceive us and destroy our faith.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, because man is flawed (Christians are no exception). Some influential people can insert his or her own religious ideas – popular “spiritual” practices of the day which seem to appeal to the masses – into the Gospel message. This is extremely harmful for young Christians to experience. It sets them up for catastrophic disillusionment.
I encourage you to practice acknowledging God and what His word say in every circumstance. If someone you look up to has had a good influence on you in the past, but now seems to have ideas contrary to God’s word, remember that they are human beings and not God. You need not follow them or believe as they do if it goes against the truth of the Bible and the Spirit of God in side you. You, though you’re young, could be the one who influences them with your faith. Never underestimate the power and light of God through your life. Just imagine others coming to know the love and forgiveness and restoration of Jesus because of your testimony!
There will be times when your faith will be challenged. I pray for you to stand strong in the Lord and on the promises of His Word. Please don’t think that you are lost if your faith is shaken. It is in these times that God reveals to us what we can’t see in our own hearts. We all have times of struggle and doubt. Just hold on to Him if you find yourself in a crisis of faith. Please, hold on! Even if the trial lasts for a very long time, it will be worth is all if you just hold on. Pray earnestly that God will steady your heart, that He will be strong in your weakness.
Determine in you heart ahead of time to cling to the Lord in all circumstances. Work out your salvation with a heart set on devotion to the One who died and rose again to give life and freedom and a future. Respect Him in awe and reverence with holy fear. Never compromise your idea of God being anything less than all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present. He is the Creator of all things.
God will never leave you. He will never forsake you even in your failure or in those times it feels He is so far away. Run to Him for help, for shelter in the storm.
The world will try to make it seem like Christians are narrow-minded, exclusive, uneducated, delusional or worse. Don’t let those labels discourage you. Hold tight to the truth. Study the Word of God and know what is absolute and immovable truth. You don’t need to fear winning or losing an argument on spiritual matters. The Holy Spirit will help you to know what to say. Never forget that you live for Jesus and not the approval of others.
You will hear or maybe even encounter people who claim to be Christians who say that the Word of God is changeable based on the current culture. The truth is that the Word reveals God to us, and God is love. Whoever tries to alter the Scripture to fit their narrative is attempting to put a veil over who God is. Those individuals or churches have not chosen love, no matter how sensitive their message comes across.
The message of love and hope and freedom, abundant life in Jesus – a free gift to all who will come to Him and believe – is loving. We don’t need to change a thing.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
Jesus died for us. His plan of salvation required unimaginable sacrifice on His part in order to save the souls of lowly man. Yes, we are lowly and in desperate need of a Savior. We must never believe that we are enough without God. Instead, let us rejoice that we have all we will ever need in Him.
If you suffer persecution for your faith in Jesus, you are walking well, and His light is shining through your life. Expect the difficulties that come because of your faith in Jesus. Stay near in close fellowship with other Christians who will encourage you. They are your family in Christ. You may feel alone in your walk but know that you belong to the kingdom of God, and you are never alone.
If you are one who has been confused, disillusioned and given up on your faith, given up on God, please come home. The Father is waiting with open arms to welcome you, His child.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
But it was fitting to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.
Luke 15:20, 32