What stops you from giving up your faith?
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11
Can you think of one good reason why you choose not to give up your faith in this day and age? I can think of many good reasons. Personally, I'd be lost without my faith. The world can be a dark and ugly place without any faith. There is good and evil in this world and noone can deny it. Having a strong faith will enable you to sift through the nonsense that surrounds you and see the truth that is before you. It will give you a healthy path of growth instead of leaving you to spin around in circles trying to figure it all out on your own because the truth is you can't. Once you lose your safety net in life, something's got to give, and then you really start to question what is the meaning of it all. God takes away that question mark and gives you an exclamation point filled with love.
The dark side of life stops me from giving up my faith. A prideful arrogant man who beats his wife because he can has no faith in God; he has faith in himself. The greedy selfish man who doesn't share a cent because he can has no faith in God; he has faith in himself. He believes that all of his intellect, talents and wealth are created by him for his pleasure to do whatever he pleases. He cannot fathom himself as a humble child of God created for God's purpose. The whole idea is beneath him. Pride always comes before the fall. He laughs at those who believe in God and calls the Bible a book of fairy tales. He's not shy about his opinion either. He'll say it to your face. If he can't see it, touch it, or feel it, it simply does not exist.
You could argue that there are Christians that are arrogant and greedy, but just because you say you're a Christian doesn't mean the Holy Spirit is alive and working in your life. The title unfortunately gets thrown around by some so loosely for a good image or simply to fit in, but their hearts aren't in it, and for some it never was. Saying they have faith made them look good in their own eyes, but that was about it. Jesus looks at everyone's heart. He's not looking at your wallet, your perfect body or the jewels that you wear. Jesus is looking at the deepest part of your soul, which is your heart. You really can't go any deeper than that.
Another great reason not to give up faith is because it gives us hope for a better tomorrow. It brings sunlight to a roomful of despondent people who have given up on life. It gives a person facing cancer the hope they need when the doctors say it's hopeless. It gives the man who has lost everything, the understanding that it's not about the things we acquire, it's about the love we share and the people we touch along the way.
There are many interests today that compete for our attention in this world, and some will destroy us in the end, but if you have faith as your foundation, you are less likely to get knocked over than the person who has none. You are more likely to get back up, fight for what is right and to persevere when those around you tell you it's over. I can't think of anything more important than putting the Lord first. He's as solid as a rock and will not waiver or compromise on the Truth and will help you see the Truth for what it is.
I think it's fair to say that faith is the glue that holds us together through good and bad times. Faith allows us to see the bigger picture. It's no longer about me and my constant list of wants. It becomes more about us and less about me. I am here for a greater purpose and that is to follow and worship the Lord that made me and to love and help those around me. As a Christian, you are taught faith isn't about you and your wants; it's more about all of us working together as one body for Jesus.
Those are just a few reasons that stop me from giving up my faith in God. Having faith is about keeping a humble heart and living a modest life so that we don't get caught up in greed and coveting things that aren't ours and never were intended to be ours. Everything we have and everything we do is thanks to God. He gets all the glory as he shines upon us every day. As I get older, people of great faith inspire me to be a better person. They set an amazing example of what it means to have faith and to live it. I can't think of a better way to live than going after God's own heart. Amen.