Finding Encouragement in Trying Times

This past week has been, well… quite a week.  For me, it’s been both stressful and eye-opening.

My entire life I’ve felt like I was the only conservative Christian girl, now young woman, among my peers.  As I’ve gotten older, this feeling has become more of a reality… and even more so over the past few months.  Thankfully, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Today I came across a post on Woman to Woman Ministries by Emily M., who is feeling the same way.  She talked about what it’s like when you’re seemingly the only one standing firm in your beliefs – something that isn’t an easy thing to do in today’s society.

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Say what you want, but it can be discouraging as a Christian to live among people who say that you’re allowed to believe in God and His Word, but not if it is condemning to them.  The second we say we don’t agree with them on something because it goes against God, we are criticized and judged for not seeing everything in their way.  However, I’ve come to the realization that I can take that judgment as encouragement because that’s proving to me that I’m really not of this world – my heart truly belongs to Jesus!

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

This was one of the verses that Emily mentioned in her post, along with two from John which state that as followers of Jesus we will face trials on this earth and that there will be people who hate us and won’t accept our faith in Him.  It goes without saying that it’s to hurt at first when we’re rejected by family and friends because of our faith, but even if we have no one but Jesus in the end, then we have everything.

There comes a time when we’ve done our part – planted our seed – and if we’re still rejected or shut out, we shake the dust off our feet and move on.  That doesn’t mean we stop praying for them.  As long as we’ve done our part in sharing God’s Word, even if only through actions, then we can trust in Him to take care of the rest.

This applies to praying for the nation as well.  No matter who is leading our nation we can trust that God is in control.  Today’s post on Woman to Woman Ministries by Elizabeth was about this. She wrote about how we cannot place our trust in man, even ourselves – the only one we can put our complete trust in is God.  And now more than ever we need to place our trust in Him.

Just from these two posts I’m feeling more encouraged despite the opposing views of many of those around me.  I hope that between this post and the two I shared that fellow Christians will also feel encouraged when standing alone for our beliefs.

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