Struggling in Your Faith? Isolation Isn’t the Answer
The hardest thing for struggling Christians to recognize is that church is exactly the community they need. So often, they feel it isn’t.
So write Lewis & Sarah Allen in an excellent article about the need we all have for church community and family, particularly when we are feeling weary, struggling with faith, enduring hardship, or frankly, just feeling fed up with church.
All Christians always need one another. The church is God’s masterpiece, the community in which his glory in Jesus is displayed (John 17:22; 2 Cor. 3:18). If we’re struggling in our faith, we simply need to get ourselves to that glory display.
We see glory in the gathering of the church. As Christians come to worship, God comes to meet with his people. We both really do mean that. Years of church involvement can lead us all to be skeptics. We all are skilled at detecting insincerity, mixed motives, fixed smiles hiding pain or sin (most likely both). We all inwardly groan at clumsy leading, bad music, and bad preaching. Maybe some are dealing with wounds of unkindness from leaders and people alike. Sundays can be stressful. This much is true.
What is truer still, amid the failure, is that Jesus comes to shepherd his people. Sunday by Sunday, as we sing, pray, hear preaching, celebrate baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and open our lives to one another, we encounter the glorious love of the Good Shepherd by his Spirit. The Lord who has died to win his church to himself delights to walk in her midst. There is a substitute for our isolated struggles, and it is the corporate gathering of the church. The weary need to hear this and believe it.
How are you doing? Do you get up on a Sunday morning with a “shall I, shan’t I?” dilemma, ready to make up your mind about church according to whether you’re feeling good about the faith or about yourself? How about instead, you get up, whether with a joyful or a heavy heart, and tell yourself, Jesus is calling me to assemble with the saints. He wants me to draw close to him with others and to refresh and help me. He wants to use me to bring encouragement to fellow strugglers. This is my privilege and my duty. You worship, because he is worthy and because you need to be a worshiper. Worship nurtures faith.
They then go on to provide four pointers for how to engage in Sunday worship; (1) come expectantly; (2) come to encourage; (3) come to take part; (4) come to share with others.
However you are doing, whatever is going on in your life, the most important thing to do is to come!
You can read the whole article here.