Can I lose my faith?

To put it bluntly; yes you can.  There are hundreds of thousands of reasons that people lose their faith in God.  My advice to you if you feel you are losing your faith, read this and reflect on the advice given to you.  God is there for you and it breaks his heart if you leave him.  If you can see a friend or family member losing their faith and you want them to keep it (which I hope you do!), then tell them something amazing God has done in your life to prove to them that he is here and he is alive, tell them something that God has done in their life.  Because he is alive, and he wants them to be with him.  He wants you to be with him.

Yes I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, nor powers, nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 8: 38-39

The main reason I have seen for people to lose their faith is them thinking that God has been unfair to them.  They may have fallen ill, have a friend or a loved one fall ill or die unexpectedly or suffer a separation etc.  They will ask God: ‘Lord why have you allowed this to happen to me when I have served you faithfully?’  They will often feel that God has abandoned them.  However this is not the case, they are simply missing the signs.  There’s a famous quote that says; ‘God works in the shadows’.  People who are losing their faith are often looking for big, brightly lit signs saying ‘God is over here!’.  Yet they don’t get this.  Be patient, you will realise that he has been working for you secretly and in days, weeks, months or years he will show you that he has a plan for you to prosper you, not to hurt you.

Crying may last for a night but joy comes in the morning

Psalm 30: 5

For people trying to help someone restore their faith my advice to you is this: Look at what happened in their life that made them lose their faith.  Go and, in private, talk to them about it.  Ask them what happened, where do they think God was, where do they think God is now, does God still love them?  Ask them this and then tell them, regardless of their answer, God was with you, God is still with you and God will forever love you.  Give them a Bible verse or two, sit with them and show them that the Bible gives the answer.  Lastly, show them love, give them a hug, and tell them that it’s all going to be ok and that God is with them.

May the God of hope fill you all with joy and hope and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit

Romans 15: 13

To someone who thinks they’re losing their faith, go and talk to someone in your church who you respect and have your best interests at heart.  They will want to understand what’s made you reach this conclusion, so please be patient with them, they can’t see what’s going on in your life and they can’t read your mind.  Some resources I would give to you are:

Footprints in the sand: http://www.onlythebible.com/Poems/Footprints-in-the-Sand-Poem.html

Footprints in the sand is a short poem that shows us how great Gods love is and how he is always with us.

Your Love Never Fails:

This song is great because it’s so uplifting and again shows how great Gods love is

“How much do you love me” I asked Jesus, and Jesus said “this much”, stretched out his arm and died

Unknown

Remember that God is always with you and he loves you an unimaginable amount.  If you want to ask any questions or feel you are losing your faith, or know someone who is and want clarification, please comment below and I will contact you.

God bless

Reading your bible

Reading the Bible is a really, really hard thing to get into.  For many young people, the Bible can not seem to be able to relate to them or how they’re feeling.  I personally find that reading the Bible in chronological order is also really hard to do.  For example I personally haven’t read the whole Bible.  I’ve only read Genesis through to Numbers and Revelations (because why not!).

Always remember what is written in the Book of the Teachings.  Study it day and night to be sure to obey everything that is written there.  If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything

Joshua 1: 8

I find a great way to start loving the Bible if to find an inspirational Bible verse once a month and setting it as the wallpaper of your computer.  It is often better for it to be an inspirational verse, then you find yourself enjoying what the Bible says.  So it’s the beginning of the month and you’ve chosen your Bible verse.  The next week you should read the whole chapter of that book.  then the next week, read the next chapter and repeat this till you need a new verse.  This is a really simple way to get into reading the Bible.  But you don’t have to stick to this framework, you could read two or more chapters per week, depending how much time you have and chances are you’ll really get into reading the Word and not want to stop!

We tell you the Good News about the promise God made to our ancestors.  God has made this promise come true for us, his children, by raising Jesus from the dead

Acts 13: 32-33

I find that being in small groups in church, studying the Word, particularly with other people your age is a really good way to start.  I love studying the Word this way because it opens verse’s to discussion and allows you to understand other people’s viewpoints on certain matters.  Although this is a great way to learn, there are some dangers with this system.  It can be really tempting to turn up, analyse the verses and then go home and forget all about it.  My advice would be: when you get home, reread those verses and the chapter and see if anything else comes to you.  Dont be afraid to highlight or underline or put sticky notes in your Bible to remind you where good verses are.

Glory to God who can make you strong in faith by the Good News that I tell people and by the message about Jesus Christ.  The message about Christ is the secret that was hidden for long ages past but is now made known.  It has been made clear through the writings of the prophets.  And by the command of the eternal God it is made known to all nations that they may believe and obey.

Romans 16: 25-27

Another way that people get into reading the Word is by using Bible supplements.  These are daily Bible notes that give you a great background into the verses that your being told to read.  However these don’t work for everybody, I personally don’t use them as I find it hard to do it daily, but its different for everyone so if you find it helpful, then by all means go ahead and carry on!

So when Phillip ran towards the chariot, he heard the man reading from Isaiah the prophet.  Phillip asked, “do you understand what you are reading?”

He answered , “How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?”

Acts 8: 30-31

Do not be discouraged if you find reading the Bible hard!  Be patient, read any verses you don’t understand a few times, google its meaning.  All these things will help you enjoy reading Gods word more, you just need to find the way that suits you best.

Please leave a comment below; especially if you want to contact me about something I’ve said or something you want me to talk about or in this case, if you think I’ve missed a way to read the Bible that you think is worth me mentioning!

Telling people about God

Telling people about God is one of the hardest things Christians, particularly young Christians, struggle with because in everybody deep down is a desire to fit in with others around, at school or work or even in a friendship.  There are a few different ways that people spread the word of God.

You are a light that gives light to the world.  And people don’t hide a light under a bowl.  They put a lampshade so the light shines for all the people in the house.

Matthew 5:14-15

People are all different and all have different viewpoints so will have different ways of spreading the Word.  I personally believe that people should tell people about God, but in a way that isn’t intrusive.  I’m sure we are all familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses handing out leaflets and bullhorn with megaphones on street corners preaching, but for me personally that isn’t the way to spread the word of God.  I think that, yes you should tell people, but often handing out leaflets or using megaphones is counterproductive, people form conclusions and stereotypes of religion from the physical presence that they see and often these conclusions are negative ones.  I personally prefer going out in the community with my church and showing people love by offering to do free decorating or by organising holiday camps for their children.  Because then they realise that we are there to help and not convert and this gives them a better mind-set to listen to and read the Word.

Jesus died for you in public, so don’t live for him in private.

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I find that once you have found someone interested in being introduced to Church then your confidence will rise.  But always look for a gap in a conversation to tell people about God.  One of the best bits of advice I was given was: ‘When someone asks how your weekend was, reply using three words: Church was awesome’.  And although this may sound contradictory to what I’ve just said, it really isn’t.  Because talking to one person you can monitor their reaction.  They may say to you ‘I didn’t know you were a Christian’ and that could start a conversation which could ultimately lead them to make the decision to follow Christ.  Or it could go the other way and they may completely lose interest, at which point you have to realise that you’re pushing too hard and need to leave it.  But never feel afraid to tell people about God as most people have questions about faith and this is a really easy way to start a conversation with them.

The Jewish leaders saw that Peter and John were not afraid to speak, and they understood that these men had no special training or education. So they were amazed.

Acts 4: 13

But also be aware that there are people who prefer to argue with you, to try to persuade you to go to another religion or to become an atheist.  Getting into arguments about whose right and who isn’t always ends up at a stalemate.  It is simply not worth the time or the effort because it makes you, as a Christian, look bad and that isn’t what sharing the Word is about.  But also don’t be afraid of these situations.  It is often better to start a conversation and if it does reach this conclusion then step away, but by stepping away you’re leaving them with unanswered questions, which will hopefully at least give them an interest in God.

We cannot keep quiet.  We must speak about what we have seen and heard.

Acts 4: 21

So my message to you today is: Go out, do not be afraid because the Lord your God is with you and he is for you and he has a plan for you to succeed.  If you are not confident and need boosting, talk to a non-Christian friend and get them interested in church because then you will grow in confidence.  But remember that actions speak louder than words and a good way for people to find out about God is through seeing what you do, how you interact with people and how you show love.  Remember that God has a plan for you and perseverance is key.  What I’m really saying is that religion is a personal thing to each person, some will come forward willingly and others won’t.  However I believe that it is a personal relationship with God that everyone has, it’s just some treat him as their best friend and others treat him as their worst enemy.  Our job as Christians is to show them that God is actually their best friend and we have a personal insight into that.

This is what the scripture says: “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart.  That is the teaching of faith that we are telling.  If you use your mouth to say ‘Jesus is Lord’ and you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved.  We believe with our hearts, and so are made right with God.  And we use our mouths to say that we believe and so we are saved.  As the scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disappointed.”

Romans 10: 8-11

Please leave a comment below; especially if you want to contact me about something I’ve said or something you want me to talk about.

Worship music

Worship is a great way to get people interested in Church and God as well as keeping your faith alive between Sundays.  So many non-Christians assume that we sit in Church week in, week out singing ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘I vow to thee my country’ when the reality could not be further from this.  Although I appreciate that hymns are a great way to worship and I’m not discouraging anyone from singing hymns, there are (I think) more exciting and powerful songs to listen to.

All worship is a response to a revelation–it’s only as we breathe in more of the wonders of God that we can breathe out a fuller response to Him.

Matt Redman

I want to start by saying that just because you are a Christian it doesn’t mean you have to listen to worship music 24/7.  I listen to a lot of worship music but it’s not all I listen to.  Choosing what platform to listen to music can often make a lot of people give up!  There is so much choice now that people find a platform and stick with it, limiting their selection.  If your new to Christian music then I’d suggest searching something generic on YouTube, such as ‘Christian worship music’ and you have limitless videos that are 2-6 hours long.  Just listen to these and write down the names of the ones you like, which are often in the description of the video or use Siri to tell you what song is playing.  This will let you start a playlist on either iTunes or Spotify.  Both are free to set up however you have to pay for each individual song on iTunes, where as Spotify you don’t but you get a lot of adverts.  So it’s up to you but I personally use a mixture of both, paying for songs that I particularly like.

Worship must be: Christ centred, Holy Spirit led, a response to the Father, about intimacy and service.
Tim Hughes

I personally believe that we should worship God at other times than just on a Sunday morning.  Church is a great way to learn about worship music, particularly how to play it on your own.  I’m not particularly musically talented but a short session with a friend on the piano and a few online tutorials got me started.  I find it easy to sing a long whether I am playing along or just singing with music from my computer.  Some people say this isn’t ‘real worship’ but I believe it is, as the act of praising God through any means is worship.

In the end, worship can never be a performance, something you’re pretending or putting on. It’s got to be an overflow of your heart…Worship is about getting personal with God, drawing close to God.
Matt Redman
Some believe that worship is at its most powerful when you’re in a big Church service with hundreds or thousands around you with hundreds of speakers blasting at you.  Although I love this (and would hate for it to go) worshipping on your own or with a small group is often just as powerful as the large service, because people feel free to just stand up and say something that’s on their heart, which could be anything from a prayer request to a thought that God has given them to say.

Please leave a comment below, especially if you want to contact me about something I’ve said or something you want me to talk about.

Prayer

So this is it, a new blogger on the stage spouting out more random words that may inspire, or irritate the hell out of people.  So why would someone want to do this?  The answer is simple, if I inspire even just one person to do something better for themselves or someone else then this has all been worthwhile, whether I do this for 2 days or 2 years or 2 decades. Continue reading