If you are struggling with your Christian faith right now you are not alone. Church attendance is down and especially among adults 18-34. The grief and uncertainty of the last three years has left many Christians with a malaise about their relationship with Jesus. Depression is on the rise in such staggering numbers that it is its own pandemic.
Few Christians seemed to be prepared for the pandemic and its unsettling dismantling of the foundations that western Christianity was built on. They seemed to lack any kind of depth to their faith and when they lost their community and the message of Jesus seemed to be replaced with the messages of an angry mob they seemed to have no capacity to persevere and endure.
Spiritual immaturity seemed to be on full display and no longer hidden by the superficial church attendance or vague religious social media sentiments. Some may have felt that the Christian life was too hard and in a time of disruption they just chose the light comforts of entertainment or the false religious boldness of politics instead of the easy yoke and blessed teaching of Jesus. Instead of seizing the opportunity to Grow Up when it was most needed they started to drift from the faith in slow and passive ways but drifted nonetheless.
I am here to tell you and am living proof that change is possible. The transformed life you dreamed of is available to you. The strength and resilience that you knew you were lacking is at hand and not out of reach.
To achieve this change you have to give up your own control of your life. You have to acknowledge that life doesn’t work on your own. You have to put Christ on the throne of your life and quit trying to assert your own authority. It won’t work. Christ is the only one who has the power, holiness, and wisdom to take your life and change it to a life full of purpose, kindness, peace, and God’s activity.
There are countless stories of the most successful and beautiful people destroying their life through poor choices, addiction, and selfishness. They have everything going for them except the capacity to handle it all on their own. What is needed is the help that only Christ can provide. The peace that only he can bring. The power that restores, forgives, and sets right.
If Jesus is the reason for the season then let’s make him Lord and King of our lives not just our home decorations. The Christ of Christmas is not just a baby in a manger but good news of great joy.
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us[h] from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Today, turn it all over to Jesus. All of it. He can handle it. Ask him to change you, free you from the bondage of sin and selfishness. Pray daily even when you think nothing is happening. Read your Bible even when the words seem beyond you. Worship Christ regularly even if you can’t sing. Each of these actions will lead you somewhere. I promise. It has worked for me so many times, it can work for you.