Ever wonder how some Christians persevere through any adversity or challenge in their spiritual whilst some others fade in their faith when troubles come? It is the age-old scenario that has affected humans since we grasped the concepts of faith and belief as a key part of living our life and the human experience.
Beyond the physical and emotional aspects of our humanity, the spirit or the spiritual aspect of a person is the most mysterious and the most important component of our being. What we are spiritually directly impacts the rest of our life especially in our values and philosophy towards pivotal choices and events.
The common tendency of humans to minimise their spiritual experience in life to avoid answering those deeper personal challenges is no less common in this age than the last. The avoidance of understanding higher virtues in favour of indulging in basic human desires is a result of an imperfect world.
For the average person, exploration of the spiritual is generally found in religion; either as tradition, personal faith, or curious observation. This would routinely involve some sort of ritual, and a level of human interaction in order to spiritually engage with a higher being or God to varying degrees.
What sets Christianity apart
What sets Christianity apart, is that the sacrifices and the rituals we make, are spiritual, and not necessarily physical. Most religions would teach you to physically surrender something to advance your faith, but Christianity calls for you to surrender your heart and mind for the opportunity to renew and regenerate the soul.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 2:12
This transformation of the mind and soul, frees us from the thought pattern that is common in the world; the thought of self and the need for survival. Christianity shows us the that rather than self, we focus on God; rather than survival, we need to sacrifice; and this is done not by coercion, but by willing obedience. It is essentially a deeper understanding of religion, and fuels a person’s desire towards higher virtues.
The tragedy that occurs in religion is when a believer isn’t shown the way into the deeper ideas of the faith, or is told to minimise their understanding and practice that inhibits growth and stifles deeper thought.
When such deeper pursuit towards God is stifled, people naturally turn elsewhere, and thus turn to the outside world which only conforms to the old thought pattern which is incompatible with Christianity and true faith.
Regarding faith, it is the duty and the advantage for every Christian to heed and to apply Christ’s words in their lives.
” Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Obedience and desire for the truth are great safeguards in any storm or challenge in life that threatens faith. Let us pursue God through Scripture and through the example of saints who have gone before in order to see our God clearly, and to know that we are not the only ones who struggled with our human experience, but that there are others who have gone before.
Jack is studying Commerce and Arts at Macquarie University, he is part of a family of five, his interests include politics, and church history.
Whilst he is theologically Anglican, he attends Gracepoint Presbyterian and serves the community through music.
Jack Liang's previous articles may be viewed at