The Bible describes the Christian faith as a race. That means there are winners and losers. It also means there’s training involved, endurance, staying strong and steadfast in the race in order to come out a winner.
There’s a lot we struggle with as in our faith journey. Sin, life challenges like illness, job loss, addict in the family, rejection, betrayal. The list goes on and on. We need to be equipped to stay strong as Christians so we can finish the race without giving up.
5 ways to stay strong as a Christian
1. Rely on Jesus fully to stay strong
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”Philippians 4:13
“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”Hebrews 12:2
The first important thing to remember is that staying strong is not dependent on your own ability. You don’t get saved and Jesus just leaves you to carry on by yourself as a Christian. Thank heavens He doesn’t, right?
He walks with you every single step. He goes before you, behind you and is within you. You’re never alone. God’s presence is always with you, and that should give you strength to face each day and each challenge boldly.
Jesus is the beginning, middle and end of our Christian faith. We are because He is. He will sustain us on this journey and that helps us stay strong.
2. Remember the reward in the end
In Hebrews 12:2, the Bible says Jesus endured the Cross-the thorn, the nails, the humiliation, the agony and pain- because of the JOY that was to come. That joy was salvation for all mankind. It was reconciliation to God for all sinners. He remembered the reward and was able to stay strong in the face of unspeakable pain.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”James 1:12
Even for us as Christians, eternal life with our Lord is the reward we will get when we stay strong. Endless joy, love and peace. No more tears, worries and pain. Oh, how glorious! It’s a promise that God gives us as His children, if we stay strong and don’t give up on this journey of faith.
3. Let go of the things that hold you back
” Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”Hebrews 12:1
An athlete can never run a race wearing heavy clothing or carrying a heavy backpack. That’s extra weight that will hold him back and slow him down in the race. He lays aside all the weight to run the race and win.
Similarly, for us as Christians we need to put down the weight that will hold us back. The worry, stress, unforgiveness, bitterness, past sins are all extra baggage. Learning to let go and let God will help us stay strong as Christians.
We need to focus on what will help us move forward in the race and stay strong. Reading His word, worshipping, staying in His presence, prayer, constantly meeting with fellow believers. That will help us to stay strong.
4. Take comfort in knowing you’re not the only one struggling
The devil has a weird way of trying to convince us that we’re the only ones struggling in our Christian faith. Totally untrue.
After living in 3 countries and 2 continents, I’ve learnt that Christian problems are all pretty similar. Rejection, betrayal, insecurity, low self-esteem, identity, consistency in our faith, standing strong on godly beliefs that are different from the world.
We’re all going through the same. Different levels of it. Knowing that should give you comfort to stay strong in the Lord.
“Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”1 Peter 5:9
Resist the lie from the devil that your problems are so unique, you’re the only one going through them because I can assure you, it’s not true. When you start opening up to other believers you’ll be surprised how many of them will say “What? Me too!”
5. Put on the full armor of God
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”Ephesians 6:10-11
Putting on the full armor of God is one of the most powerful ways to stay strong as a Christian against the devil. The full armor includes:
- Belt of truth- believing God’s word not the lies of the world. Being a person of integrity who is trustworthy
- Shield of faith-not doubting God but being sure that He will fulfill His promises
- Breastplate of righteousness- striving to be holy, pure and in a right relationship with God
- Helmet of salvation-believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose again
- Feet prepared with the Gospel of peace- Being a peacemaker with both God and people
- Sword of the Spirit- the Bible which is the word of God
My Encouragement to You
We can all agree that being a Christian is not easy. The Bible says it and we know it. But the Bible also equips us on how we can stay strong in the Lord and on this journey. The key in all of it is focus-on Jesus, on the reward to come if we endure, on His word. That’s all it comes down to. And remember God will help and strengthen you every step of the way.
Heavenly Father, thank You for my life and for salvation. As I embark on this Christian walk day by day, I pray you keep me strong. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and on His word. Remind me that at the end of this race, I will get the crown of life so I can stay strong.
In Jesus’ name, amen.