Johannes Schouten
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Maybe for some people, yesterday's Sunday sermon was a bit of a "downer."

Instead of speaking about the "victorious Christian life" or the "life you've always wanted" or "becoming a better you" I ended the message talking about the challenge of faith, especially for me personally--how hard and lonely it can be to believe in Jesus in our contemporary culture.

There are times I find faith hard and difficult. This is maybe not true of everyone--someone may find belief in God or faith in Jesus Christ easy, a breeze, with very little challenges. That is not my experience.

For me faith is, at times, a challenge, hard, difficult. I feel the attacks on my heart and my soul. I feel subtle temptations to "turn away" or "don't take it so seriously."

I am so helped a short story in the gospel of Mark where a man cries out to Jesus: “I believe; help my unbelief!” That sounds so honest! That sounds like me.

I am also helped by the following two songs, both of which speak of the precariousness of faith and the coldness of the human heart:

1. "He Will Hold Me Fast" (performed by Shane and Shane)

 

2. "Hold Me Jesus" (Rich Mullins)