Many of my friends and colleagues know this but even now I sometimes still get distant looks from people as if they are disgusted that I'm 'one of those'.
Being a Christian is hard but really who said it was easy? It's hard to believe when you work amongst a crowd of unbelievers. It's difficult to not to fall into stereotypes of what people think of Christians and it's even harder to not be tempted to just blend with what everyone else is doing. Partying, Drinking and Drugs are the easiest to say no too because it's so easy to stay strong against peer pressure. But little white lies, falling into prayer deprivation and forgetting to be thankful are sins that so many teenage Christians allow themselves to fall into.
Often If I find myself struggling, I can feel that things just aren't right in my spirit- that I'm missing something. I open my bible and read aloud my favourite verse to comfort me and remind me that it's always worth the struggle against worldly temptations because of what He's done for us.
As read in Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5 and 6, 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.' No struggle becomes a battle overcome without God's help. He guides me though the day and without him, I cannot win.
This isn't saying my struggles will disappear though- this just reassures me that I'm never alone. Loneliness is the worst thing to feel when you're struggling and feeling down. Another clichÃ© thing to say but a statement that holds great truth is not to lose faith. It talks about living by faith in a great Planetshakers song called 'Nothing is impossible'. "Through you I can do anything, I can do all things, 'cause it's you who gives me strength, nothing is impossible."
I love this song because not only is a declaration of faith and belief but like the bible, it remains close to my heart because it speaks words about my God and all we can do with him and all he does for us all.
In Ephesians chapter 6 verses 10 to 13 it says, "Finally be strong in the Lord and his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
The armour of God
This is really encouraging as it talks about putting on the armour of God. What I love about this is its truth behind it. Every day as Christians, we put on God's armour to do his work, live out his commandments under his watchful eye. I think of it as a covering or protection for what difficulty we might face that day. We all do wrong and make mistakes but with God we know how we can correct them to make things right. Every time I fall out of line or upset someone I know, I am reminded of how important it is to start every day afresh by fixing my mistakes.
It's hard to live up to expectation of what a Christian must be like but one thing to remember is that not everyone is perfect and we all make mistakes. It sounds ridiculously colloquial to say but often people forget that Christians are humans too.
As its written in Galatians chapter 6 verses 7 to 9, " For he sows to his flesh will of flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
The most important thing to remember is never lose faith in the Lord as he renews our strength and makes everyday a new one.
Joelle Bautista is a Journalism student of the New Zealand Broadcasting School based in Christchurch. She enjoys writing, talking and playing sport. Born and raised in the Church, her love for God grows increasingly by the day.
Joelle Bautista's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/joelle-bautista.html