Jesus In Every Moment a blog by Emily Furda

When it’s Hard to be a Christian

Have you ever felt like you’re standing alone in your walk with Christ? I know I’ve felt that way at times, then I’m also reminded of my own frailty and tendency to wander away from God. Many times though, it just feels as if we’re alone. When we put our eyes on those around us, it’s easy to get discouraged, but we have to remember God sees the bigger picture.

I first remember feeling like I was alone in my desire to server God when I was about 13. Someone reminded me that sometimes the hardest place to take a stand for Christ can be in the middle of a you think is “Christian” environment. In a place where “everyone” says they’re a Christian, it can become easy to lower the standard. When someone stands up and tries to set a higher standard by example, instead of seeing it as an opportunity to grow we see it as an attack. As much as I desire to take the stand, I know I’m guilty of taking it personal when I see someone living out what I say I believe but don’t act on.

So, what do you do when you feel alone? Last week we looked at Elijah when he was worn out.(You can read that post here  ) After God cared for Elijah, it was time for him to get back in the fight and take a stand. There are two things we can do when we feel alone, but need to continue the fight. Both are exactly what Elijah needed to do

  1. Listen to God in the quiet

I don’t know about you, but when I’m frustrated the last thing I want to do is be still. I tend to spin around in circles like the Tasmanian Devil. I want God to show up in a big way so I can hear from Him. That’s not usually how He operates.

It would be easy for me to hear Him if He spoke like a tornado, earthquake, or fire, but that wouldn’t do me any good. Instead of removing me from my level of self-imposed frenzy, it would only add to it. If I’m out of control emotionally, I can’t truly hear from God. God knew Elijah needed that too.

“There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:9-13 (NIV)

“And after the fire came a gentle whisper”

That sounds soothing doesn’t it? Yet to even hear the whisper, we have to be quiet and still. I’m working on that daily. We live in a world where noise and flashing lights surround us; it’s hard to be still when so many things compete for our attention. Sometimes we need to find our own cave, and let God speak to us. Listening for a whisper is hard, but it’s in those quiet moments that God can speak directly to your heart. God wants to hold us and whisper His love for us just like a crying child needs to be held and have someone whisper in her ear. We have to let Him. When we let Him whisper to us, He often reminds us things aren’t what they seem.

  1. Let God show you the truth

When we feel alone, it’s often just a feeling. We’re usually not alone. That was certainly the case for Elijah.

He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 1 Kings 19:14 (NIV)

Can you relate to the way Elijah responded to God? His attitude and humanness is something I love. Yes, he heard the whisper of God’s voice, but he’s still focusing on how alone he thinks he is. Somehow it’s comforting to know that even this prophet of God was prone to the same mindset I often have.

God’s response to Elijah is priceless:

The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:15-18

First God shows him three mighty men who will defend him and make sure his life is spared. If it were me, I’d be thinking “ok, well at least there are three people on my side, but that’s still kind of small.” Then God saves the big one for last. Seven thousand people are still standing strong in their faith in the one true God.

Personally, I would be asking why couldn’t God skip making me wait for a whisper, telling me about three people, and just start off with the 7,000 people? Elijah was hardly alone, but God needed to get his attention. If God had told him how many people were standing with him, where would Elijah’s focus and trust have gone? If it were me, I probably would have immediately looked to those 7,000 people for encouragement and never looked to God for His strength. God wants us to look to Him, not people for validation.

When we feel alone, that’s when learn to depend on God the most.

If you feel alone today, ask God to whisper His words to you. Look for #AJesusMoment, something small that reminds you He loves you. We often see Him moving in our lives when we slow down and see the small good things like a beautiful sunset, a cup of coffee, or a good book. When we slow down, God can whisper to us.

Then, ask Him for the bigger picture. Once your eyes are fixed on Him alone for your security, you just may realize there are others who feel just like you do.

Emily Furda

Are you like me and prone to drive yourself crazy before you let God calm you? Have you ever felt alone only to realize you’re not truly alone? Leave a comment on the blog so others know they’re not alone. Let’s encourage each other.

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